A property partnership is set to create a string of new industrial and warehousing sites across the Black Country and wider West Midlands, raising hopes for scores of new jobs in the next few years.
Property company Hovi is working with business property agents Bulleys to bring disused brownfield sites back into use, building modern, top quality, industrial units and warehouses to cater for growing demand from a broad range of businesses.
Over the last 18 years, Wolverhampton-based Hovi has built up a property portfolio of almost 1 million sq ft of high-quality industrial estates occupied by more than 100 companies.
It has also launched a housebuilding arm, and director Ian Houghton said: “We are bringing together the skills we have developed on both sides of the business – new build and industrial property – in this new venture to create speculatively-built units that meet the high quality standards required by modern businesses.
“We have entered into an exclusive arrangement with Bulleys and partner Steve Perriton to help us find suitable sites across the Black Country and the West Midlands. They know the commercial property market in this area from top to bottom; we couldn’t be working with a better informed, more knowledgeable, partner.
“As a result we have already identified three new sites and there will be many more to come over the next couple of years as people start to see bright new units going up on brownfield sites that have often been left derelict and empty for decades.”
Since it was established 1965 Bulleys has built a reputation as a local specialist in the field of industrial and commercial property consultancy. With offices in Wolverhampton, Oldbury and Telford is it now one of the leading property consultants in the West Midlands and Shropshire areas.
Partner Steve Perriton said: “I have worked with Hovi since it was first started by Ian Houghton and Chris Vincent, but this project takes that partnership to a new level.
“We will be advising and assisting them in finding a range of sites to build new commercial and industrial units to offer to market on either a freehold or leasehold basis. Very few companies are involved in speculative building at the moment, so this is good news for companies that are already based in our region or are looking for space here. And it will provide a major boost for the local economy, providing the opportunity for substantial job creation as well as bringing brownfield sites back into use.
“At Bulleys we pride ourselves on our depth of local knowledge of commercial property across the Black Country and Shropshire in particular. We are delighted to be involved in such a bold venture that holds great promise for this area.”
Hovi already owns existing industrial and commercial estates in Wolverhampton, Tividale, Rowley Regis, Brierley Hill, Oldbury, Droitwich and Bromsgrove.
Ian Houghton said: “A lot of the older industrial and warehousing properties are starting to reach the end of their natural lives, a process hastened by new regulations on energy usage such as EPCs or the use of asbestos roofing in their original construction.
“Currently there is a growing need for modern, high grade, warehousing from firms involved in e-commerce, whether that is a major retailer or a small operator selling through eBay. At the same time an increasing number of companies supplying industrial services and components want warehousing closer to their major clients, such as JLR’s engine factory on the i54.
“We aim to fill the need of firms looking for space ranging from 1,500 sq ft up to 100,000 sq ft. We believe the demand is strong enough to make speculative construction an economic prospect – we will build these units in the full confidence that future occupiers are already out there waiting.”