IM Properties completes acquisition of Blythe Valley Park

IM Properties has completed the acquisition of Blythe Valley Park in Solihull.  The 260 acre park has been bought out of receivership by the Coleshill-based developer for a value close to £125 million.

Situated at Junction 4 of the M42, just five minutes from Solihull Town Centre and Birmingham Airport, Blythe Valley Park is the Midlands’ most prominent business park and is a high profile purchase for IM Properties.

The site is split into two phases, the first of which includes 430,000 sq ft of existing accommodation spread across 11 buildings, with 44 acres of undeveloped land for future commercial development.  The second phase extends to 44 acres of development land, located at the rear of the site.

Both phases have outline permission for circa 1.5 million sq ft of predominantly B1 floor space, with permission for a hotel and restaurant with sports facility in Phase 1. The existing 135 acre country park which bounds the site also forms part of the purchase.

John Hammond, UK Investment Director, IM Properties, said: “Blythe Valley Park is the most prominent and renowned business park in the Midlands and represents IM Properties’ most significant ever acquisition.  With key infrastructure in place and given the strong motorway connectivity this is one of the most desirable out of town office locations in the region and one of the most strategically located in the UK.

“2014 has been a very active year for IM and one where we have repositioned our investment portfolio to focus on the Midlands and the South East and the acquisition of Blythe Valley Park demonstrates our commitment to investing and developing in the West Midlands.

“This asset will draw on all of our in-house expertise to work closely with existing tenants, whilst trying to secure new occupiers to the park through design and build development opportunities, looking to capitalise on the positive signs of recovery that we have seen in the M42 office market.”

In the Solihull Local Plan 2013, Blythe Valley Park is allocated for mixed use development, comprising 1.75 million sq ft of employment development, circa 600 dwellings and supporting facilities, which could include hotels, health and fitness, leisure, childcare facilities and other local facilities falling within Classes A1 to A5.

John Hammond continued: “Alongside the commercial element of the site, we are looking to create more of a mixed-use offering to complement the existing and future developments.  Business parks are not just about the office buildings themselves; it is vital to look at the bigger picture to provide the right amenity to support the requirements of our current and prospective tenants.  There is a great opportunity to fulfil the potential of Blythe Valley Park in terms of creating a real sense of place, connectivity and to maximise its true value as a number one business park location.

“We have developed strong relationships with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council over the past couple of years and we are looking forward to building on these relationships going forward to deliver future commercial and residential developments at Blythe Valley.”

The acquisition of Blythe Valley Park is another key purchase in the Solihull Borough for IM Properties, where it already owns existing stock including Solihull Business Park, Mell Square Shopping Centre and the recently acquired Fore Business Park.

Current occupiers at Blythe Valley Park include Arup, Siemens Plc, Balfour Beatty, Regus and St James’s Place Wealth Management Group.

IM Properties has appointed CBRE as joint letting agent alongside Savills, who have been retained.