Investors hungry for waterfront business units

Malcolm Jones – director of office agency for KWB, standing in Dudley College’s Construction Apprentice Training Centre
X The Business Desk

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Three units totalling over 80,000 sq ft have been sold as investments on Waterfront Business Park in Brierley Hill, demonstrating the development’s “appeal and potential”.

Units two, four and five, which are all fully tenanted, have been acquired by investors.

Sized at 11,906 sq ft, 14,150 sq ft and 56,782 sq ft respectively, the sale of these units – which totals 82,838 sq ft, comes amid a flurry of activity at Waterfront Business Park.

The development has been owned by Bridges Fund Management since 2019. It was recently revealed that unit one had secured almost 7,000 sq ft across two lettings to new occupiers, TEAM Software and Optical Express.

Nigel Tripp, director of property firm KWB, said: “Activity on the park has been excellent in recent months, and that’s credit to Bridges, the work undertaken since acquisition, and the innate layout, quality and location of the development itself.”

Unit two, occupied by Royal Mail as a sorting office, has now been purchased by investors, Urban Logistics.

The property was sold for £1.1m – representing a net yield of 4.99%.

Given the capital investments that Royal Mail has committed to the site, the tenant is expected to renew its lease, which is due to expire in 2023.

Units four and five, both occupied by Dudley College of Technology, have also been sold as investments. The college has transformed the space at Waterfront into its Construction Apprenticeship Training Centre (CAT Centre) and an Energy Training Hub, which offers full-cost certification in gas, electrical, renewables, refrigeration and health and safety.

For the sale itself, KWB worked alongside joint commercial property investment agent, AP Investment. Following two rounds of bidding, the units were purchased for £3,925,000, reflecting a net initial yield (NIY) of 7.4%. The investor was AFH Wealth Management, which acquired the property on behalf of one its high-income property funds.

Tripp said: “The appreciating value of assets on Waterfront Business Park is demonstrated well by these sales. We see can that the work Bridges has undertaken at the site has enhanced its appeal to both occupiers and investors. The projected increase in value can also be attributed, in part, to the forthcoming Midland Metro link to Merry Hill – connecting it directly to Birmingham city centre.”

Currently under refurbishment, unit seven will shortly be coming to market and will be available for sale or to let, offering HQ offices of 32,965 sq ft.

Max Shelley of Bulleys, joint agent for occupier sales and lettings at the Park, said: “Waterfront Business Park represents the highest quality office space in Brierley Hill and, at over 30,000 sq ft, Unit 7 is the largest available self-contained office building in the area, too.”