Thursday, August 14, 2014

News: St Paul's in pole position

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Rotherham-based regeneration specialist, St Paul's, is looking to attract large occupiers seeking design and build opportunities to the region and is in pole position to meet demand.

Specialising in developing brownfield sites, the company was formed in 1987 as the vehicle to acquire and reclaim the 180 acre disused Cortonwood Colliery site in the Dearne Valley and is now based in offices at one of its own developments in Templeborough.

One of its current projects is Smithy Wood, Chapeltown, where 20 acres of the extensive 50 acre site has already been transformed by St Paul's in a joint venture partnership with The Norfolk Estate. With over 165,000 sq ft of developed space in Phases 1 & 2, the third 29 acre phase is able to accommodate 500,000 sq ft of bespoke opportunities.

Knight Frank's recent H1 2014 logistics report cited that occupier demand was upbeat in the first half of the year resulting in take-up being double that of the same period last year. This, combined with an increasing number of enquiries from manufacturers as the economy improves indicates that demand is greatly outstripping supply in the South Yorkshire area.

David Newton, managing director of St Paul's Developments, said: "The recent half-year logistics reports have confirmed that the logistics market is changing for occupiers and that the days of big incentives on built stock are a thing of the past. The drastic shortage of stock in South Yorkshire paves the way for a concerted return to design and build and we are confident that the 29 acres of "oven ready" land we have with EZ status at Smithy Wood, is in prime position to accommodate the large occupiers."

Close to Junction 35 of the M1, Smithy Wood has helped expanding Rotherham companies like EMSc Ltd and Cutting & Wear move into larger premises.

Newton added: "Occupiers are now considering bespoke design and build opportunities and will be trading a pick of existing buildings for the advantages of purpose built accommodation. Quality along with deliverability become key priorities. We have witnessed an upsurge in interest from occupiers who are considering this route, have seen the success of the earlier phases at Smithy Wood and know that this high quality can be replicated on the next phase which can accommodate a broad spectrum of operations from data centres to offices or large warehousing/industrial units."

Rebecca Schofield, partner at the Sheffield office of Knight Frank - joint agent on Smithy Wood with Fowler Sandford. Rebecca said: "The market is certainly moving into a landlord's favour as a result of strengthening demand and falling supply. We are now seeing occupiers starting to seriously consider build to suit options and Smithy Wood, as strategically one of the best developments in the region, is well placed to capitalise on this. St Paul's Developments' track record in delivery for large occupiers and the added benefit of EZ status definitely makes the scheme one to watch."

The report also highlighted the resurgance of speculative development and picked out the Re-evolution development on the Advanced Manufacturing Park (AMP) in Rotherham where the two 22,000 and 30,000 sq ft units "are likely to be taken-up rapidly as occupier interest in this scheme remains strong."

St Paul's Developments website

Images: St Paul's Developments

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