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Property adviser, DTZ has been appointed by Walsall Council and the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) to advise on the procurement of a developer partner for the Phoenix 10 site in Walsall and interested parties are now being asked to come forward and take part in a Market Consultation exercise.

Located in Darlaston next to the M6 and within the Black Country Enterprise Zone, the 44 acre Phoenix 10 site comprises the former IMI Copper Works, owned by the HCA and adjoining Council land formerly used as a waste tip.

The landowners are seeking a private sector developer to remediate and redevelop the site for employment uses, boosting economic growth for the borough.

DTZ will be advising the Council and HCA on the marketing and procurement process.

Jonathan Turner, Director, Development Consulting at DTZ, commented: “Bringing such a large area of land back into productive use will make a significant positive contribution to Walsall’s employment land supply and make an important contribution to economic growth and employment in the borough while also enhancing the local environment. We look forward to working closely with the Council and HCA to realise their vision for the site.”

Councillor Mohammad Nazir, Walsall Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration said: “It’s great to have DTZ on board to support the HCA and ourselves in marketing the site to developers from the private sector. Securing the development of such a large site can make a massive contribution to employment opportunities for local people, a top priority for Walsall Council and the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership.

He added: “Delivery of the Phoenix 10 site is not only important for the economy of Walsall but the region as a whole.”

Christine Addison, Executive Director for the HCA, said: “This is an important step towards attracting a development partner for Phoenix 10. We look forward to working collaboratively the Council to deliver this important Enterprise Zone site and bring further jobs and economic growth in the Walsall area.”

In October last year, work began on the £26m highways improvement scheme in Darlaston which will help unlock land and enhance local transport links for existing and new businesses who will eventually set up on site. In addition, £64.5m worth of improvements to M6 J10 will also support the delivery of Phoenix 10 and the Enterprise Zone site as a whole.


DTZ has announced the appointment of Keith Hardman as the head of its Leeds office.

A Senior Director currently based in Leeds, Keith has been with DTZ and Donaldsons for 22 years. He leads the UK Development team, and specialises in the delivery of town centre development and regeneration schemes. Keith is currently advising local authorities on 8 such projects with a combined development value exceeding £500 million.

Keith acted for the Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust on the sale of 19 acres of surplus land at Seacroft Hospital and is advising the HCA on several disposals including the iconic Tower Works, part of the Holbeck Urban Village, where Carillion have recently been selected as preferred developer.

Tim Cameron-Jones, Head of DTZ’s northern region comments: “I am delighted to announce Keith’s appointment as Office Head. As DTZ continues to grow, we have put a management structure in place to support that growth whilst also allowing managers to maintain their ongoing client relationships and fee earning work. Keith joins me in the regional management team, alongside: John Keyes, Head of our Manchester office; Tony Hordon, Head of the Newcastle office; and Andrew TC Smith, Head of our national Public Sector Advisory team.”

Keith Hardman comments: “I am looking forward to this new role – as market conditions improve, the future plans for DTZ in the UK, and Leeds in particular, presents an exciting challenge and one that our 110 strong team is well prepared for. Having known the business and my colleagues for a number of years, I am looking forward to continuing to work closely with them in delivering results to our growing client base.”

Colin Wilson, Head of UK & Ireland comments: “I am very pleased that Keith has agreed to take up this important role leading our colleagues in the Yorkshire region. Keith is very well respected by his clients and colleagues and I am sure his local experience and expertise will help drive the strategic momentum of DTZ in the region and wider across the UK.”


Thomas Moore, Director in DTZ’s Building Consultancy team in Leeds comments:

“Throughout the Yorkshire region, construction output has continued to grow since the start of 2015, with increased investment throughout the region. Leeds in particular, continues to go through an exciting period with the Victoria Gate scheme now underway linking the existing Victoria Quarter to this ambitious Leeds heritage inspired scheme. Regeneration also pushes forward in the West of the region, with Westfield scheme in Bradford, the regeneration plans for the Bradford Shipley canal corridor and Shipley town centre.

“House building continues to be strong in the region benefitting from the extension of help to buy initiative and the recent reduction in stamp duty, which may create more demand for the 3 and 4 bed housing in new build market. The social housing sector should also be busy in 2015, as housing associations focus on delivering their 2015 – 2018 allocation schemes, with funding starting in March 2015.

“However, the increase in construction output in the region has put pressure on construction resources and contractors, which in turn has lead to an upward trend in tender prices throughout 2014 which is predicted to continue leading up to the General Election.

“Contractors and suppliers are now responding more efficiently to the increase in construction work and material suppliers appear to be catching up with increased demand for bricks and blocks. However, we are seeing evidence that although the market remains competitive, costs are continuing to rise and labour shortages are becoming a real issue for main contractors and sub contractors.

“Given these issues, it is clear that deferring construction work should be avoided to reduce the risks associated with labour shortages, possible longer lead-in times for materials and the consequential effects on project programmes. A particular incentive for landlords in the case of terminal dilapidations claims, is to ensure that there is as limited exposure as possible to the rising costs. Strategies to mitigate this include encouraging tenants to implement the agreed dilapidations works before lease end transferring the risk to them, or settlement of claims based on ‘real’ tender prices with a firm intention and plan to carry out works at lease end.“


The UK’s largest vehicle-mounted refrigeration maintenance company has moved into a new site in Wigan, thanks to a letting successfully completed by Manchester chartered surveyors Sanderson Weatherall on behalf of landlord Industrious.

Cambridge-based Marshall Fleet Solutions has taken 20,000 sq ft at Haslemere Industrial Estate, following a bespoke fit-out by Industrious which ensured the accommodation met the new tenant’s specific requirements.

The deal follows the recent letting, also by Sanderson Weatherall, of 30,000 sq ft at the same industrial estate for materials handling equipment distributor, Briggs Equipment UK.

Marshall Fleet Solutions, which now has 10 depots across England, describes itself as a one-stop shop for all aspects of commercial vehicle repair, including tail lift, trailers and ancillary products. About 80 per cent of its jobs are undertaken at customer premises or roadsides by its 150 mobile engineers.

Carl Sinclair, Marshall Fleet Solutions’ depot manager at Haslemere Industrial Estate, said: “We were very impressed by the way the Sanderson Weatherall team worked closely with us and Industrious to ensure our exact requirements were met.

“Sanderson Weatherall worked at pace and kept us informed throughout the process to ensure the deal progressed smoothly. The Wigan depot, and our nearby light van install centre at Little Hulton in Salford, provide us with further national coverage. We are confident both sites will play an important role in the continued development of Marshall Fleet Solutions.”

Haslemere Industrial Estate owner Industrious has offices in Birmingham and London. It leases about 1,250 units in 83 locations throughout the UK, providing more than seven million square feet of warehouse space, plus industrial and commercial facilities.

These most recent lettings by Sanderson Weatherall on Haslemere Industrial Estate have helped Industrious achieve an occupancy rate of 94.5 per cent on its estates in the North West.

The firm’s agency experts who arranged the Marshall Fleet Solutions and Briggs Equipment lettings are based at the leading national chartered surveyors’ offices in Manchester’s Spring Gardens.

Commenting on the letting, Sanderson Weatherall surveyor, Adam Marshall, said: “We’re delighted to have secured Marshall Fleet Solutions, following on from the successful Briggs Equipment deal. We are very pleased to be acting for a landlord such as Industrious, which is very proactive in its approach to securing tenants.

“We continue to have good success across North West sites and the recent lettings are an excellent example of the regional economy’s continued improvement.”

Joint agents with Sanderson Weatherall for Haslemere Industrial Estate are Nolan Redshaw and DTZ.


Momentum Financial Technology Ltd, formerly known as Blue Speck Financial Ltd, has relocated its 40-strong team to new offices at 10 Templeback, Bristol.

The Bristol-born financial technology firm, which announced plans to open a new 120-person facility in November, has moved to the top floor of the building following the completion of a major redesign.

The 13,000 sq ft office space has been designed to offer a quirky, flexible working environment which includes creative breakout zones, a communal canteen and state-of-the-art meeting facilities.

The concept of workplace transformation is a rapidly growing trend in Bristol as businesses look for ways to change how their staff work and interact with their office environment.

London-based Cube Real Estate, which asset manages the property on behalf of its owners, Benson Elliot, is well-known for allowing businesses to put their own creative mark on buildings and designing spaces where tenants can operate efficiently.

Jonathan Lawes, director of Cube, said: “The way people spend their working day is changing and we knew that to meet these demands, we need to offer flexible terms and give businesses the opportunity to make their mark on the building.

“This trend is particularly prevalent amongst tech businesses as they look to fall in line with sustainability measures as well as the ‘smart working’ concept. In Bristol, there are rising demands for office space with a real focus on innovative design.

“The way Momentum has adapted the space in response to this is outstanding and we hope it will become a benchmark for future tenants at the building.”

Momentum Financial Technology, which offers cutting edge financial solutions, has taken 13,000 sq ft on a ten year lease and joins current tenants, NFU Mutual.

Toby Hughes, CEO at Momentum Financial Technology, said: “We were amazed at how quickly the fit out was completed and even more amazed when we saw the finished product in the flesh.

“The space offers us with all we need and more, including capacity to further expand our growing team which we hope to have in place by early 2016.”

The office was designed by Area Sq and fitted by Sketch Studios, both part of the FourFront Group. Features include a table-tennis and foosball area, an event space and purpose-built bar, sound-proof work pods and a financial wellness wall, which represents the complexity of navigating financially through your life.

Cube Real Estate has applied for planning permission to improve the arrival experience at 10 Templeback with a re-designed and re-modelled reception. The firm also plans to create a new shower hub in the car park which will include cycle racks, showers, a drying room and lockers to further enhance the building’s green credentials and promote sustainable travel. The building already has a ferry stop.

Two other transactions are currently being finalised, with space totalling 15,000 sq ft under offer.

10 Templeback is a 123,000 sq ft building and one of Bristol’s most prominent Grade A office developments. The waterfront building is one of the city’s greenest buildings and is available to new tenants on tailor made attractive terms.

NFU Mutual currently occupies two floors but substantial high quality space remains available on the remaining three floors totalling 50,000 sq ft.

10 Templeback is being jointly marketed by DTZ and Alder King.


CBRE’s Leeds Industrial Agency team jointly with DTZ, have been appointed to let a 29,691 sq ft detached warehouse/ industrial unit on Wood Lane in Rothwell, West Yorkshire. The launch of the unit, which was recently purchased by In-Site Properties and is currently undergoing a comprehensive refurbishment programme, will help address the well-documented regional shortage of quality circa 30,000 sq ft units.

The property is strategically located on the western fringe of the town of Rothwell just under 4 miles from Leeds City Centre, with excellent access to Junction 44 of the M1 and Junction 7 of the M621 Motorways. The property itself is accessed directly off Wood Lane, which leads directly to Junction 44 of the M1 Motorway via Wakefield Road.

Jacques Esterhuizen, Surveyor in CBRE’s Leeds Industrial Agency team, commented;

“Once refurbished, this property will be ideally suited to occupiers or purchasers who require good quality warehouse accommodation with a large external secure yard. Due to the current lack of well-located warehouse properties within the 30,000 sq ft range, accommodation of this nature in West Yorkshire is attracting good levels of interest. Occupiers are being readily advised to seek out quality built stock while it is available.”


A Birmingham restaurant has acquired a 30,000 sq ft industrial unit in Digbeth for its centralised distribution business.

Pepper Chef, a Chinese restaurant which has a branch in Southside, has purchased the 30,000 sq ft unit on 66-75 Lower Essex Street from Eriks UK, represented by DTZ. The restaurant has plans to expand its UK network and open further restaurants.

Eriks UK, a leading supplier of mechanical engineering components has relocated to Tyseley where it has an existing facility which is being expanded.

John Sambrooks of DTZ’s Industrial agency team commented: “We are delighted to have facilitated Pepper Chef’s expansion. The unit is located in close proximity to the Custard Factory and China Town and offers an excellent base to build upon its successful Southside restaurant.”


Rhys James, Senior Director and Head of DTZ‘s office in South Wales this week addressed an invited audience of over 200 DTZ clients and professional colleagues at a breakfast presentation at Cardiff’s St David’s Hotel.

During the presentation, Rhys referred to several aspects of the property market in South Wales in 2014 which had represented a significant improvement on the challenging market conditions that had been experienced in 2013:

In the Industrial market he said that the sentiment was still a cautious one but that there were “clear signs of improvement.” St Modwen’s intend to start the first speculative industrial development in South Wales for 10 years when they commit to a new 50,000 sq ft unit at their Celtic Business Park at Llanwern and that is certainly an encouraging sign. On the retail front  he referred to the large food store market imploding in 2014; a real disappointment for the South Wales region where so many brown field regeneration schemes in recent years have been anchored by multi-million pound commitments from one of the big four food store operators, however not any more. On the market for housing land he referred to the strong demand for well located and deliverable development sites from regional and national house builders, from Housing Associations and with gross land values, before deducting for S106 costs and abnormal development costs, varying from £350,000 per acre in West Wales and the northern valley’s towns to as much £1.5m per acre for the best sites in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Rhys James’ most enthusiastic comments were reserved for the Cardiff office market which had seen take up in 2014 rise an exceptional 82% when compared with the 2013 figure; 542,000 sq ft was taken up in 2014 with 49% of that space being let in Cardiff city centre buildings.

Looking forward, he spoke at length about the plans that Rightacres and Cardiff City Council have for redeveloping Central Square, the area on the north side of Cardiff central Station, with over 1 million sq ft of new building due to be completed during the course of the next 5 or 10 years.

Central Square will have the new BBC HQ building of 160,000 sq ft as its focal point and work on that building is due to be commenced in summer 2015. He identified Rightacres’ decision to appoint Foster & Partners as the project architects as being a real inspiration. He added that they have been majorly impressive from day one in helping to deliver the BBC scheme. The remainder of Central Square will include 2 detached office buildings, the first of which is already on site at 135,000 sq ft, and due for completion at the end of 2015 with Blake Morgan solicitors as the first pre-let for 28,000 sq ft. Other new buildings which will be constructed during the course of the next 5 – 10 years will include those for hotel, private rented sector apartments, serviced apartments, retail and student residence use. The new complex to replace Marland House will include a world class transport interchange including the relocated bus station.  Rhys James commented: “The BBC HQ building has undoubtedly been the catalyst which has enabled Central Square to come alive and to become a deliverable regeneration scheme. It will be part of a scheme which, when joined with Network Rail’s planned redevelopment of Cardiff Central Station, will project Cardiff in to the premier league of European capital cities.

DTZ presented its ‘2015 Outlook’ for the property market at the event, providing key insights for both occupiers and investors for the year ahead. The breakfast presentation revealed that UK commercial property investment reached an all-time high in 2014, with £54.9 billion transacted, with the increase driven by investment outside of London, which increased from £25.4bn in 2013 to £34.4bn in 2014.

The UK regions have been an attractive option, given the higher yields on offer than in London, and with occupier markets underpinned by increasing demand and ongoing limited supply. DTZ also observed a dramatic increase of the flows into domestic retail funds during the second half of 2013 and over 2014, boosting institutional demand.

Overseas investment continued to dominate in London, representing over 68% of transactions in 2014, but the real increase in overseas investment was again in the rest of the UK. This increased significantly from a 28% share of the total in 2013 to 36% in 2014, driven by significant surges in investment from the US, China and, in particular, Europe.

The breakfast presentation also revealed that commercial property investment in the UK as a whole reached an all-time high in 2014, with £56.2bn transacted, with the increase driven by investment in the UK regions outside of London, rising from £25.5bn in 2013 to £35.7bn in 2014.

Ben Clarke, Head of UK Research at DTZ commented: “The UK regions have been an attractive option, given the higher yields on offer than in London, and with occupier markets underpinned by increasing demand and ongoing limited supply.”

However, the most important issue impacting property remains the ongoing ultra-low interest rate environment that has almost certainly been prolonged into 2016 with the release of record low inflation figures. This is especially relevant since DTZ expects more UK property markets to be overvalued than undervalued by late 2015.

Ben Clarke explained: “The longer the yield spread between property and bonds is, and is expected to be favourable, the further property yields will be compressed. The UK all-property total return for 2015 is set to again be a double digit, though we expect it to fall short of 2014’s near-20% return. However, front-loading returns in this way comes at the cost of a sharper correction to commercial property down the line when the interest rate environment eventually normalises.”

The event also revealed that whilst the main drivers of returns have been on the investment side, there has also been a significant turnaround in most occupier markets. Office take-up in the key UK centres outside of central London was a record 5.7 million sq ft in 2014. A record volume of grade B lettings reflected the extreme shortage of grade A stock. However grade A pre-letting made a resurgence at the end of the year in response to a much-needed, albeit historically small, increase in the development pipeline.

The Industrial market had a record volume of grade A take-up in the first half of 2014, and overall 2014 lettings were the highest since 2008. DTZ has tracked an increase in demand for large distribution hubs as retailers adapt their strategies in response to ongoing increases in online spending and the ‘click and collect’ phenomenon which took hold in 2014. This has helped kick-start industrial speculative development in the Midlands and the South East.

Andrew Gibson, DTZ Associate Director, Investment Agency added: “The £655m invested in Wales throughout 2014 outperforms even the pre-recessionary years of 2005 to 2008. The weight of money that started to enter the market in 2013/14 has continued to drive yield compression into the regions and prime yields seem set on a downward trend throughout 2015. The UK’s vastly improved economic platform has bolstered investor confidence and created a credible occupational story that reduces investor risk when looking at even some of the more secondary assets. As 2015 progresses, the secondary market looks set to gather momentum which will produce a reducing gap between prime and secondary yields, ultimately benefiting the investment market in Wales.

“Portfolio premiums played a large part in the 2014 market and it appears that this will continue into 2015 with US Investment Fund, Karlin Real Estate launching the sale of their first portfolio last week, which includes the BAAE Facility in Llantrisant, which is an asset they only acquired in 2014.

“There were some notable high volume transactions in 2014 with the sale of Parc Trostre, Llanelli for £156m and Capital Shopping Park, Cardiff for £56.65m. With the weight of money continuing to build and the regional markets remaining attractive to investors, it is likely that, post the historically low pre-election slow down, further high volume transactions will be seen in H2 2015.”


2014 was a record breaking year for industrial take-up, with 23 national and regional records broken according to the latest figures from DTZ. Total UK take-up reached 32.6m sq ft over 2014, the highest since 2010, driven largely by improving economic sentiment and retailers expanding their logistics networks in response to the growth in online shopping.

DTZ Research’s Industrial Property Times report for H2 2014 also revealed that a record 14.8m sq ft of grade A space was taken over the last 12 months. In the South West take-up totalled 1.1m sq ft in Q4 2014, the first time for two years that quarterly take-up reached over 1m sq ft and contributed to make 2014 the strongest year on record.

2014 also saw the re-emergence of speculative development in response to the lack of available grade A space, with 9.1m sq ft taken through build-to-suit deals, double the 2013 total. Developers are largely building storage and distribution facilities and targeting locations with good access to the road network.

Take-up was strong for manufacturing (8.8m sq ft), logistics (6.8m sq ft) and retail sectors (12.7m sq ft). Jaguar Land Rover was the most active individual firm in the market in 2014, taking three buildings totaling 673,000 sq ft across the West Midlands. The largest deal of the year was a build-to-suit of over a million sq ft at Thrapston in the East Midlands.

Industrial prime rents are beginning to increase nationally, given the rise in activity and low level of grade A availability, which is driving competition between occupiers. Investor demand was strong in 2014, resulting in a record £6.1bn transacted in total. The largest investment deal of the year was Legal and General’s acquisition of the Ocean Portfolio, a prime, multi-let, industrial and logistics portfolio of 12 assets across the UK including Fradley Park in Lichfield, for £226.5m.

Michael Green, Research Analyst at DTZ commented: “Looking ahead to 2015, the need for speculative development will continue with more schemes across the UK set to be announced. We also anticipate high levels of take-up in 2014 to be maintained over the next five years as industrial output increases and occupiers look to increase their UK footprint, although continued difficulties in the Eurozone may have a dampening effect.“

In the South West, a well-documented lack of stock and land space in Bristol is illustrated by the fact that no deals above 50,000 sq ft were recorded in Bristol or Avonmouth. Only two grade A buildings, 334,000 sq ft at Crossflow and 270,000 sq ft at G Park remain. The strong competition between occupiers and lack of space has meant Bristol has the highest rents outside of London.

Philip Cranstone, Associate Director, Industrial agency at DTZ in Bristol comments: “2014 was a strong year for take-up in the South West, with a large amount of existing availability disappearing from the market.  We have seen the balance of power shifting back towards the landlord, but despite this, unlike the more central regions, the South West has not seen speculative development of any scale to date. There has been some new build activity, for example Farm Foods purchasing land for 178,000 sq ft in Avonmouth, along with various examples of pre-lets in the parcels sector, but it remains to be seen whether those developers considering speculative development will take the plunge in the South West in 2015.”


An estimated £1.5 billion of commercial property was transacted across central London in the first two months of 2015, according to global property services firm DTZ.

The largest of the 33 transactions was the £270 million purchase of Christchurch Court, Paternoster Square by Shimao Property from Deka. Other significant deals include Norges’ £190 million acquisition of Queensbury House, 3 Old Burlington Street, from Sorgente Group and Tishman Speyer’s purchase of 100 New Oxford Street from Hermes and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) for £130 million.

A total of 77% of investment came from outside the UK, the highest proportion since 2009. This was underpinned by investors from Asia Pacific who accounted for 32% (£489 million), markedly up on their five year average share of 16%. UK purchasers accounted for £348 million of acquisitions, accounting for the majority of the £590m investment from within Europe. As a region, Europe accounted for a 39% share.

China was the most active buyer from the Asia Pacific region, acquiring £277 million, followed by Singapore (£91 million) and Hong Kong (£59 million). North American investors acquired £270 million.

There are currently £6.9 billion of commercial properties for sale in central London, up from the £3 billion recorded at the end of 2014. By comparison, at this time last year, approximately £2.3 billion of commercial properties across central London were available or under offer. Current availability is partially explained by there being 20 buildings over £100 million currently available or under offer, at an average lot size of £226 million and total of £4.5 billion. Among the largest lots available are the Walbrook Building (£560 million) and 60 Curzon Street (£200m).

Sophy Moffat, Senior Analyst, Central London Investment, said: “Economic growth in the UK is forecast to continue to outpace many other major European countries over the next five years. This will support confidence in the strength of the leasing market and sustain strong investor appetite. We therefore expect overseas demand to remain strong.”