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Why Yate industrial estate is being seen as a barometer for the economy

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Written by: David Clensy | Posted 06 December 2016 11:46

Why Yate industrial estate is being seen as a barometer for the economy

The 6.5 acre Apollo Park site in Yate may not at first glance seem that exceptional – but it is being seen by many as a barometer indicating a healthier economy.

It has been owned for the past decade by developer Chancerygate, who simply mothballed the site until the commercial property market was on the rise.

The plot, which stands beside a pre-existing industrial estate, has a chequered history – once the site of a Sainsbury's cold store, it was bought by the Plymouth Brethren shortly after the turn of the millennium. But when planning permission was refused for a church on the industrial site, the religious community sold it on to the developers.

One half of the plot has now been redeveloped with 12 state of the art industrial business units, with companies such as high-spec bicycle manufacturer Saddleback already setting up home there.

Now the second phase of Apollo Park, one of the very few speculative industrial developments in recent years in the South West, is under construction and has already been sold off-plan.

Chancerygate, the specialist industrial and logistics developer, represented by the industrial and logistics team in the Bristol office of Colliers International, jointly with JLL, has sold a 60,000sq ft unit to timber import and distribution company James Latham.

Alastair King of developers Chancerygate said: “We are pleased to welcome James Latham to Apollo Park. Following a complex planning process we are delighted to be able to satisfy James Latham's freehold requirement here in Yate, retaining the company's presence in the town where they have been based for many years.

“In committing to this modern distribution facility James Latham has been able to retain important jobs in the town and with the predicted growth in the business this new facility will allow new jobs for local people to be created."

Tim Davies, head of the industrial and logistics team in the Bristol office of Colliers International, said the success of Apollo Park in attracting owners and tenants confirmed the decision of Chancerygate to “bite the bullet" and build speculatively on the established Great Western Industrial Estate in Yate.

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“The Apollo Park site had stood idle for the best part of 10 years, but encouraged by local activity and their experience in other markets outside of the South West, Chancerygate pushed the button," he said.

“They have been rewarded by disposing of 80 per cent of the buildings before practical completion with long term lettings of 39,000sq ft to Saddleback and the 60,000sq ft sale to James Latham, leaving 40,000sq ft of speculatively built units which are available for immediate occupation and ranging in size from 3,200sq ft up to 18,000sq ft. These units are available to let or purchase."

He added that supply levels of industrial stock in the South West were now at an all-time low.

“There is strong evidence showing evidence of rental growth and reduced landlord incentives throughout the Bristol area. This in part reflects occupier demand remaining pretty consistent but also a continuing lack of new industrial development," he said.

“Although other developers remain wary about exposing themselves without “cast iron pre-let" activity for at least part of the development it is Chancerygate's attitude to risk that has been rewarded.

“The Greater Bristol industrial market continues to perform in a robust manner with the 2016 H1 take up statistics recording 3.2m sq ft of building and 48.36 acres of land developed.

“This H1 take up exceeds the 10-year average for complete years which is approximately 2.2m sq ft. The Greater Bristol vacancy level at around 3-4 per cent compared to the 10-year average of 12 per cent of total stock.

Chancerygate are currently under offer on another five acres of industrial and warehouse land in the Bristol market which they hope to be bringing forward for development in mid-2017.

Apollo Park is located on a 6.5 acre site on Armstrong Way, and is ideally positioned for Junction 18/19 of the M4 motorway, and for Junction 14/15 of the M5 motorway, as well as for access into central Bristol via the A432/ M32.

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Nick Widlinski, depot manager for James Latham, said the new site will be a great improvement on the firm's current warehouse in Yate on Badminton Road.

“Our current building is open to the elements at both ends, but this will be full enclosed, which will allow us to keep a much greater range of stock," he said. “The access here is also greatly improved, with an in and out route for our lorries, which compares to a very difficult approach for lorries at our current site.

“The other great benefit is that the new building is considerably higher than our former building, which increases massively the volume of space available to us by investing in taller racking systems."

In addition to the purchase of Phase Two of Apollo Park, the two largest units in Phase 1 – 11 and 12 totalling around 39,000sq ft – have been let to elite performance cycle company Saddleback. In addition, Unit 10 – totalling 4,000sq ft – has recently been sold.

A variety of end users are expected to be attracted to the remaining available units, which provide flexible industrial space ranging from 3,200 to 5,000 sq ft. The units can be consolidated to accommodate larger requirements up to 18,000 sq ft if necessary.


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