Network Space sells 162,000 sq ft Mere Grange industrial development

InfraRed Capital Partners Ltd, on behalf of the InfraRed Urban Logistics Income Fund (IULIF), has acquired 162,000 sq ft of high-quality multi-let industrial space at Mere Grange, St Helens, from Network Space for £17,600,000 reflecting a net initial yield of 5.50%.

The investment follows InfraRed’s initial £93 million acquisition of a 1 million sq ft portfolio of 25 industrial sites and two development sites from Network Space in 2018, on behalf of the European InfraRed Active Real Estate Fund IV.

Dean Harrison, Investment Director at InfraRed Capital Partners, commented: “The asset’s proximity to Liverpool and Manchester and direct motorway access to the M62 positions it well for last mile delivery and urban servicing. The recent letting to a global e-commerce retailer is evidence of the asset’s attractiveness for e-commerce occupiers.

“The accelerated shift to e-commerce during recent months has increased demand for modern, high-quality urban logistics assets. We are looking to expand our urban logistic holdings in the UK and Western Europe throughout 2020 and beyond with substantial capital available for deployment.”

Network Space has a long history at the 30-acre site, having initially entered into a Development Agreement with Homes England in 2007. The Network Space team delivered infrastructure to open up the land together with a 60,000 sq ft speculative office scheme in 2008, which was subsequently sold.

A revised agreement between Network Space, Homes England and St Helens MBC led to industrial and logistics workspace being delivered on 10-acres of the site in 2017, alongside the sale of eight acres to Anwyl Homes for 82 homes.

The development of four speculative industrial units totalling 90,000 sq ft was delivered in 2018, before a further 72,000 sq ft of space was designed and built for occupiers Synergy and Ormazabal.

The 162,000 sq ft scheme is now 90% let to occupiers Dresser Natural Gas Solutions, Kilwaughter, alongside Synergy, Ormazabal and a global e-commerce retailer, creating some 300 new jobs.

Stephen Barnes, Managing Director of Network Space Developments, said: “Our partnership with Homes England and St Helens MBC at Mere Grange has proved a great success. The quality of the design and specification, the environment we have created and this location has enabled us to bring forward a first class scheme delivering new jobs and investment, as well as providing new homes in the Borough.

“Having successfully completed the development and secured a first class tenant line up, it is great to team up again with Infrared Capital Partners, who we are also currently developing 300,000 sq ft of space for elsewhere in the North West.”

Simon Wood, of B8 Real Estate acted for Network Space on the sale. He said: “B8 Real Estate has worked on this scheme throughout, from its original design, marketing, letting and now the eventual sale. It’s fantastic to see the success of this project and the development of this key area of St Helen’s, providing much needed modern space for the local and regional economy. The sale proves the continued strong investment demand for good quality prime multi-let industrial estates and confidence in key locations such as this.

“Despite the significant wider economic issues of the pandemic, occupational activity and investment activity remains buoyant in this sector in the North West. Congratulations to Network Space and indeed InfraRed on another successful outcome.”