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Vail Williams

20

Commercial property expert Vail Williams has added to its teams in Heathrow, Reading and Guildford as it continues to expand the business.

The fresh arrivals follow last month’s cohort of new recruits consolidating Vail Williams’ growing operations around the country. They will help to serve a lengthening roster of clients in the Heathrow, Thames Valley and Surrey areas.

Arriving at Vail Williams’ new Heathrow office at Capital Place in Bath Road, next to the airport, is Marcus Smith. He joins as Associate in the Business Space discipline covering the Heathrow and Thames Valley areas.

With 16 years’ experience, Marcus specialises in the disposal and acquisition of office, industrial and mixed-use schemes across west London and the Thames Valley for occupiers and landlords.

Joining the Guildford office as Associate is Thomas Spencer who focuses on Valuation services. With a decade of experience, he has worked with major lenders, residential developers and public sector clients such as Surrey Police.

Previous roles have included work on valuation, residential development agency and asset management development surveying, housing enablement, and general practice surveying. He will cover the Surrey area.

Vail Williams Partner Kevin Cook said: “It’s been an exciting time recently as our business has grown nationally and we’ve welcomed new recruits bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience for our clients.

“Marcus and Thomas strengthen our already formidable line-up of property experts. They demonstrate very clearly how committed we are to offering our clients first rate property advice and solutions across all our regions.”

9

Local chilli sauce producer Thousand Hills Limited has taken a 2,500 sq ft unit at Unit 6 Bridge Industries in Fareham. Commercial property consultancy Vail Williams acted on behalf of the landlord Sumner Properties Limited.

Unit 6 Bridge Industries recently underwent a comprehensive refurbishment and the letting sees Thousand Hills Limited take a new three-year lease.

Thousand Hills, which boasts a Royal Navy sauce range, produces chilli sauces (initially based on Rwandan recipes) ranging from ultra-mild heat up to flaming hot! Head of Operations Nathanael Boarer said: “We are very pleased with our new unit – it will enable us to increase output of all our range, which can be purchased online at www.thousandhills.co.uk.”

Vail Williams surveyor Leanne Channon said: “Our client is delighted that Thousand Hills Limited has chosen Bridge Industries as its operational base. The unit had recently been refurbished and demonstrates that tenants are seeking good quality units ready for occupation.”

Profits from the Royal Navy chilli chutney sauces are being donated to The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, the principle charity of the Royal Navy.

6

A national recruitment drive in response to increasing demand and powerful business growth has brought a fresh cohort of experts to commercial property consultancy Vail Williams.

Appointments and promotions at senior and junior levels have been made at Vail Williams’ offices in Guildford, Crawley, Reading, Southampton and London, reflecting the expanding company’s commercial success around the country.

A total of 18 new faces, promotions and transfers across Vail Williams have boosted key services: planning and building consultancy, valuation, lease advisory and property asset management.

Vail Williams’ confidence to strengthen further its expert and experienced teams provides more evidence of the continued upswing of activity in the property sector and the UK economy more widely.

The firm’s London office has welcomed new partners Richard Dawtrey and Graham Saunders.

Richard joins Vail Williams’ investment team, with responsibility for the acquisition and disposal of commercial investments throughout the UK. He has 15 years of property investment experience and has completed more than 500 transactions within the office, industrial, retail and leisure sectors.

Graham leads Vail Williams’ valuation business in London. He joins from Cushman and Wakefield and brings with him a wealth of experience and success developed in the London valuation market.

Planning experts joining Vail Williams’ Guildford office include Associate Planner Vincint Verster – a Chartered Town Planner with more than 11 years’ experience, who comes from Boyer Planning Ltd where he was Senior Planner. Also joining the Vail Williams team in Guildford is Administrator Candice Sweeney.

Arriving at Vail Williams’ Reading office is Associate Peter Fry, whose commercial property career spans almost 24 years. Peter has specialised in valuation since 1994, and will cover the Thames valley, west London and M40 regions. Graduate Planner Sarah Isherwood also joins the Reading office.

Marie Newman has joined the Southampton office as an Associate, in the valuation team with a focus across the Solent region. Marie has 20 years’ experience in valuing commercial property, residential land and investments for corporate and private clients. In Crawley, Vail Williams welcomes Graduate Planner James Guthrie.

A series of promotions and transfers has also strengthened Vail Williams’ teams around the country.

In Southampton, Mike Greenwood is promoted to Partner, Valuation, and Russell Miller moves up to become Partner, Law of Property Act Receivership. In Birmingham, Paul Arnell has been promoted to Partner, Valuation. Meanwhile, Ben Christian is promoted to Planner in Southampton; Jen Sanders to Senior Planner in London; and Emma Bourke to Surveyor (Level 2) in property asset management, also in London.

Vail Williams Chief Executive Ian Rudland said: “The talented new recruits we are welcoming, and the well-deserved promotions are a clear sign of how Vail Williams is powerfully growing as a business.

“Our aim is to offer our clients business-centred property solutions that directly support their business needs; this requires our team to have both the relevant skills and experience to draw upon. Town planning, building consultancy, valuation, lease advisory and property asset management are key sectors for us.

“Our growth is in evidence around the country and we are building that capability on each office’s deep local knowledge and expertise. We are now even better equipped to call on expertise for every situation wherever it is. Our future is very bright.”

8

A national recruitment drive in response to increasing demand and powerful business growth has brought a fresh cohort of experts to commercial property consultancy Vail Williams.

Appointments and promotions at senior and junior levels have been made at Vail Williams’ offices in Guildford, Crawley, Reading, Southampton and London, reflecting the expanding company’s commercial success around the country.

A total of 18 new faces, promotions and transfers across Vail Williams have boosted key services: planning and building consultancy, valuation, lease advisory and property asset management.

Vail Williams’ confidence to strengthen further its expert and experienced teams provides more evidence of the continued upswing of activity in the property sector and the UK economy more widely.

The firm’s London office has welcomed new partners Richard Dawtrey and Graham Saunders.

Richard joins Vail Williams’ investment team, with responsibility for the acquisition and disposal of commercial investments throughout the UK. He has 15 years of property investment experience and has completed more than 500 transactions within the office, industrial, retail and leisure sectors.

Graham leads Vail Williams’ valuation business in London. He joins from Cushman and Wakefield and brings with him a wealth of experience and success developed in the London valuation market.

Planning experts joining Vail Williams’ Guildford office include Associate Planner Vincint Verster – a Chartered Town Planner with more than 11 years’ experience, who comes from Boyer Planning Ltd where he was Senior Planner. Also joining the Vail Williams team in Guildford is Administrator Candice Sweeney.

Arriving at Vail Williams’ Reading office is Associate Peter Fry, whose commercial property career spans almost 24 years. Peter has specialised in valuation since 1994, and will cover the Thames valley, west London and M40 regions. Graduate Planner Sarah Isherwood also joins the Reading office.

Marie Newman has joined the Southampton office as an Associate, in the valuation team with a focus across the Solent region. Marie has 20 years’ experience in valuing commercial property, residential land and investments for corporate and private clients. In Crawley, Vail Williams welcomes Graduate Planner James Guthrie.

A series of promotions and transfers has also strengthened Vail Williams’ teams around the country.

In Southampton, Mike Greenwood is promoted to Partner, Valuation, and Russell Miller moves up to become Partner, Law of Property Act Receivership. In Birmingham, Paul Arnell has been promoted to Partner, Valuation. Meanwhile, Ben Christian is promoted to Planner in Southampton; Jen Sanders to Senior Planner in London; and Emma Bourke to Surveyor (Level 2) in property asset management, also in London.

Vail Williams Chief Executive Ian Rudland said: “The talented new recruits we are welcoming, and the well-deserved promotions are a clear sign of how Vail Williams is powerfully growing as a business.

“Our aim is to offer our clients business-centred property solutions that directly support their business needs; this requires our team to have both the relevant skills and experience to draw upon. Town planning, building consultancy, valuation, lease advisory and property asset management are key sectors for us.

“Our growth is in evidence around the country and we are building that capability on each office’s deep local knowledge and expertise. We are now even better equipped to call on expertise for every situation wherever it is. Our future is very bright.”

10

Commercial property experts at Vail Williams have been chosen to advise on a prestigious development proposal on Portsmouth’s waterfront and transform a run-down office building into stylish new homes, student accommodation and shops.

The major development on the Hard, near Gunwharf Quays Shopping Centre, has been submitted to the city council’s planners by Vail Williams on behalf of Bouygues Development Limited.

The scheme is to replace a derelict 13-storey vacant office building with a landmark 40-storey tower delivering 329 residential flats, accommodation for 512 students and 940 square metres of retail floorspace as a lively frontage onto the Hard.

The plans also contain proposals for Havant Street car park, currently a surface car park, to become multi-storey. The comprehensive regeneration potential of both sites has been highlighted previously by Portsmouth City Council’s planning guidance for the Hard.

Vail Williams associate David Ramsay said: “This is a significant proposal for Portsmouth’s famous waterfront, bringing investment and jobs. We’re committed to working with Portsmouth City Council and Bouygues Development, focusing our expertise on securing the very best development for the site and ultimately the city.

“This landmark building is one of a number of large sites we are working on as a team, using our regional presence, local knowledge and depth of market experience.”

For the submission, Vail Williams’ planning team has played a key role working with Bouygues Development in compiling and submitting the planning application following detailed pre-application discussions with Council officers.

The Vail William’s team will continue to provide planning advice and support during the determination period, monitoring the application’s progress and planning policy requirements.

6

National waste logistics company HIPPO has taken the last remaining unit at Blueprint Industrial Estate in Portsmouth. Commercial property expert Vail Williams acted on behalf of the landlord Glen House Estates.

The deal sees HIPPO, which provides bespoke and reliable waste solutions to help business and domestic customers reduce their costs for waste disposal, take a new six-year lease on the 8,386 square feet unit which is located at Portsmouth’s best-known industrial location.

“HIPPO experienced record growth in 2013, collecting our millionth HIPPOBAG which resulted in the need for us to expand our logistics operation to aid the expansion of the business,” commented HIPPO managing director Gareth Lloyd-Jones. “Vail Williams offered us an ideal business solution with this property; with both office and warehouse space it will allow us to continue to grow.”

HIPPO also has an office at the prestigious 1000 Lakeside in North Harbour, Portsmouth. This scheme is now fully let following the recent agreement with Wiggle, brokered by Vail Williams and other joint agents.

Vail Williams surveyor Leanne Channon said: “Our client is delighted that HIPPO has chosen Blueprint as its operational base. The unit had recently been refurbished and is one of only a handful with a large rear yard, so it suits HIPPO’s needs perfectly.”

8

A thriving home-grown company has expanded its headquarters into Portsmouth’s leading business address at Lakeside North Harbour.

In a landmark deal brokered on behalf of Highcross by commercial property experts at Vail Williams and Hughes Ellard, Wiggle, one of the world’s leading sports retailers, has taken up 10,000 square feet at 1000 Lakeside with a further 7,500 square feet in solicitor’s hands.

It’s a significant moment for Wiggle which can trace its origins back to the 1920s. It has developed from a single shop in Highland Road into an award-winning company supplying equipment for a range of sports and employing over 400 people.

The arrival of Wiggle leaves just 16,000 square feet left to fill at 1000 Lakeside, which in recent years has become the city’s commercial heartland. There are also design and build options on the site.

It already hosts big names such as The Southern Co-operative, Capita, Coffin Mew, Hippowaste, Handelsbanken, Babcock and Regus. A new Porsche dealership has also opened at the business park.

The move signifies Wiggle’s expansion from its former pair of Portsmouth offices in North Harbour Road and Southampton Road.

Vail Williams Associate Philip Holmes said: “Moving into this kind of prestigious premises is a significant moment for Wiggle, which deserves all its success. It shows how Portsmouth’s infrastructure can retain dynamic operations.

“Arriving at 1000 Lakeside means Wiggle now have all the advantages of location, facilities and the deal-making atmosphere that is generated among so many thriving businesses.”

Wiggle CEO Stefan Barden said: “We’re delighted to boast 1000 Lakeside as our new base which will provide us with the facilities and space we need for the next stage of our business’s growth.

“Portsmouth is our home town and we’re very grateful to Vail Williams for the expertise and effort they put in to secure us such an excellent location.”

Vail Williams and Hughes Ellard represented Lakeside owner Highcross in the transaction. Wiggle was advised by Tony Lewis Surveyors Ltd.

Vail Williams played a key role in the transformation of the Lakeside North Harbour business park advising property fund manager Highcross on the acquisition of the site in 2005, providing planning advice for the now consented master plan for development of 1 million square feet of commercial space, rating advice and business space agency for the offices and other land uses.

5

Elekta Ltd, the world-leading manufacturer of treatment solutions for cancer and brain disorders, has purchased the Gateway site in Crawley, Sussex.

This landmark site is adjacent to Elekta’s current UK head office on Fleming Way, and
overlooks the roundabout at the junction of Fleming Way and London Road, in the heart of the Manor Royal Business District.

The two hectare (five acre) site was bought in a £4.2 million deal handled by property consultancy Vail Williams.

“We are delighted to be making this massive investment in the local economy,” said Bill Yaeger, executive vice President Elekta Oncology. “We have specific and significant plans for further investment in the site, which will effectively future-proof Elekta’s commitment to Crawley and the South East region for many years to come.”

In September last year Elekta received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise 2013 for International Trade. In March this year, Elekta won the supply chain excellence award in the annual Gatwick Diamond Business Awards in recognition of its engagement and support of local industry. Other recent accolades for Elekta include the technology award in Insider’s Made in the South East Award programme and an Institute of Export award.

Commenting on the purchase, Vail Williams partner Andrew Osborne said: “This strategic acquisition by Elekta is one of a number of Crawley-focused occupier requirements which has resulted in a significant reduction in the availability of employment sites within the Manor Royal Business District.”

5

The terrible flooding we are currently experiencing is affecting businesses as well as homes. The least affected have staff unable to get to work and the worst are completely submerged with stock, equipment and personal possessions ruined. Experts at property consultancy Vail Williams share their advice.

How do I know if I may be affected by flooding?
It may be too late for some to establish flood risk, however due diligence to assess whether your home or business may be vulnerable can be undertaken by visiting the Environment Agency website where you can enter your postcode and view the local flood risk map. This mapping however does not necessarily include flash flooding from other sources such as sewers, drains or groundwater in general.

What do I need to do if my business is at risk of flooding?
If your property is at risk of flooding, planning ahead is essential. In addition to sandbags and pumps there are many cost effective solutions including flood-resistance or proofing works which can reduce the amount of water entering the property and reduce flood damage by 50-80 per cent.

Contingency planning is essential for this and any other risk to property – there are many quick solutions available, from switching telephony; identifying alternative offices; serviced offices; home working or even self-storage to ensure staff can still be effective and goods can be stored safely.

Health and safety of staff is an absolute priority and if your business is in immediate danger of rising waters, electrical and gas systems should be isolated and any submerged live equipment must be avoided. Security also needs to be a key consideration due to risk of looting.

What do I need to do if my business premises have been flooded?
Before returning to your business premises you are obliged to ensure it is safe to do so. When you do return we would recommend that you take photographic records and make lists of damaged items to be provided to your insurers and landlord.

Contact your insurers and landlord as soon as possible and establish what cover is provided in terms of alternative accommodation and mobilise your staff in relation to to business continuity planning.

Once your insurance company has been informed they will need to send a loss adjuster prior to approval of rectification works. If you do not have insurance you will need to speak to your local authority for information on proposed grants in light of the Prime Minister’s announcement that those who are uninsured will be compensated for damage caused.

The clean-up operation will not be without risk – an initial health and safety assessment will need to be undertaken first. This will ensure that it is safe to make a more comprehensive survey and detailed evaluation of the extent of any damage and what repair work is required.

Floodwater is dangerous and may contain sewage; suitable protective clothing should be worn and all areas suitably disinfected. Further photographs can be taken when floodwater has subsided to record areas previously covered by floodwater. The degree of moisture content of the building will also need to be assessed and ventilation will be key to reducing the risk of mould growth.

Flooding is unlikely to lead to serious structural instability in modern commercial buildings unless there has been landslip or significant washing away of supporting ground. If this has occurred a survey by a building surveyor or structural engineer will be required.

Similarly, if repair or rectification works are required a building surveyor may be able to assist in identifying repairs, obtaining quotations and liaising with your loss adjuster.
In news recently announced by the Prime Minister, businesses will be able to obtain grants up to £5,000 for future flood prevention.

What about my rent?
You will need to check the specific insurance and suspension of rent provisions clauses of your lease and we would recommend speaking to your legal advisors on the interpretation of these lease provisions.

Generally a business lease will provide that should the premises not be fit for occupation no rent would be payable until the premises are once again fit for occupation.

The insured risk clauses of the lease will define whether flooding is covered and there is a risk if a claim is made that the insurance risks covered may change on renewal and you may find flooding not being covered in the future.

Do we still need to pay business rates?
Businesses should, where they are affected by flooding necessitating full or part closure, contact their local council rates office in the first instance where initial rate relief may be granted.

In the longer term, the damaging effects that the flooding may be having – or may have in the future – to the property does present an opportunity to re-assess the business rates, in some more extreme circumstances enabling the rating assessment to be removed from the Rating List altogether.

Any business affected by flood damage to such an extent that its premises are no longer able to be occupied will qualify for 100 per cent void rates relief for a period of three-six months from the date of vacation, dependent on the type of property.

However the government has announced (February 12, Prime Minister’s question time) that there will be 100 per cent business rates exemption for flood-hit properties for up to three months (potentially less relief than is already currently available for some unoccupied premises) followed by 50 per cent relief until such time as the property is re-occupied. No more information has yet been released covering the detail of the flood relief, the qualification requirements or how the relief will be applied.

11

Ken Williams FRICS, founding partner of property consultancy Vail Williams, passed away on January 28, 2014 following a short illness.

A member of RICS, Ken started his career in Manchester with Dunlop Heywood before moving south to join Mann & Co in Woking during the early 1970s. He founded his own practice Pearson Williams in Reading in March 1976. The growing business opened offices in Camberley, Surrey and Bracknell, Berkshire before merging with LS Vail & Son in 1988 to form Vail Williams, where Ken was the managing partner and joint senior partner with John Vail. During this period he acquired the businesses of Gibson Eley in Reading and Shepherd Dear & Co at Heathrow. Ken retired from the business in 2004 to become a consultant, following which he continued to act as an expert witness and arbitrator.

A prominent figure in the commercial property sector throughout the Thames Valley and Surrey areas, Ken was involved in many of the regions’ profile development and investment transactions during the 1980s and ‘90s representing clients such as Marlborough Property Holdings Plc, Crest Estates Plc, Barratt Commercial, Systems Designers Plc, Thorn EMI and NSS News Agents. Major developments led by him included Bartley Wood at Hook, Nr Basingstoke; Albany Park, Camberley; and many of the major office schemes in Camberley, Woking, Farnborough and Fleet.

Since moving to Spain in 2004, Ken remained in close contact with Vail Williams throughout his retirement taking great interest in the ongoing development of the firm. Most recently he was able to attend the Vail Williams’ alumni event hosted in London at the end of last year as part of Vail Williams’ 25th year anniversary celebrations.

Commenting on Ken’s career, Ian Rudland, chief executive officer of Vail Williams, said: “Ken was a visionary with an amazing capacity to look at business opportunities from a unique perspective. Ken’s commercial acumen enabled him to build Pearson Williams, the firm he founded in 1976, in to a hugely reputable commercial surveying practice with offices in Reading, Camberley and Bracknell. Ken led the merger of Pearson Williams to join forces with LS Vail & Son in 1988 which cemented Vail Williams’ position as the largest firm of commercial property agents in the South East.”

Ian added: “Ken was renowned for his social and inter-personal skills. He cared immensely about the people around him and spotted young talent which he mentored and nurtured, giving freely of his time and trust. He was never happier than when he was able relax and chat with his colleagues and acquaintances no matter their position. This aspect of Ken is very firmly embedded in the culture of Vail Williams. We are all very saddened to loose such a charismatic personality which has been made all the more poignant given that we have been celebrating the firm’s 25th anniversary and less than 12 months after the death of John Vail.”

A memorial service will be held in the near future, details of which will be available from Ian Rudland.