Commercial Quarter plans take major step forward in Ashford

Ashford Borough Council has agreed to work with developers Quinn Estates Ltd and George Wilson Holdings Ltd on the site earmarked for the first new office building in the Ashford Commercial Quarter. Together they will help bring forward the exciting plans to redevelop the area into a dynamic new main business hub in the town.

The Commercial Quarter is a mixed use development that will maximise the advantages of its location opposite Ashford International Station. It will stimulate major investment opportunities and create several hundred jobs, 590,000 square feet of office space and 150 homes. Ashford was recently named the best place to do business in Kent in a poll by investment promotion agency Locate in Kent.

Quinn Estates and George Wilson have been in partnership for over 10 years in which time they have delivered more than three million sq ft of commercial space in Kent and created thousands of jobs. They have been involved on projects throughout the county including office space on Whitstable Road in Faversham, Estuary View in Whitstable and Lakesview Business Park in Hersden. Quinn Estates also recently acquired the former Letraset building in Kingsnorth Industrial Estate, Ashford, which now is home to Kent Space.

Cllr Gerry Clarkson, Leader of Ashford Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to be working with Quinn Estates and George Wilson Holdings on this exciting and very important project for Ashford.

“They are local developers with a strong track record and reputation for delivery and we look forward to working with them to bring the exciting plans we have for the area to life. The Commercial Quarter will become the economic heartbeat of the town by creating an impressive new office space and jobs as well as supporting our growing reputation as the number one business location in Kent.”

The council purchased International House last year and it is performing extremely well, both as a revenue stream and as an iconic landmark that symbolises the innovation the Commercial Quarter represents. Work on the first phase of the new public realm around International House and Dover Place is due to be completed soon, and this will create a sense of place, forming an attractive and first impression of the town.

Mark Quinn, Managing Director of Quinn Estates Ltd, says: “We have paid a great deal of attention to the changes that have been occurring within Ashford over the past few years.
The Commercial Quarter will provide for economic growth, enhance facilities for residents with an improved public realm and create a range of jobs.

“Our track record across Kent shows that we have the capability to make this scheme a reality so that Ashford can add to the already sterling work achieved to date and continue to drive forward an agenda that can really put Ashford at the forefront on a regional and national basis.”

George Wilson, Chairman of George Wilson Holdings Ltd, says: “What potential buyers of space in The Commercial Quarter out there need to understand is that we have the unique ability to adapt incredibly flexibly to market conditions where others cannot.

“This has been demonstrated on several occasions where in order to make a deal work we have acted as brokers matching our purchaser with a potential purchaser for their property or even taking our purchaser’s property in part exchange.  In this economic climate banks will not fund those who have an office to dispose of – we can relieve them of that burden and they are able to move on.”

Work on the Commercial Quarter is anticipated to start on site in spring 2016 with an 18 month build timetable from starting on site.