South West Property and Construction round-up

Spectrum’s reception plans

Business Leader Magazine looks at the latest property and construction news from across the South West…

NHS shared business services signs for Bristol’s spectrum building

Affinity Global Real Estate, the regeneration and commercial property added value specialist, has let a further 8,869 sq ft at The Spectrum Building in central Bristol to NHS Shared Business Services Ltd at an annual rent of £199,552.

The outsourcing and support services firm – a joint venture between the Department of Health and Sopra Steria – has taken the ground floor space on a new ten-year lease. The arrival of NHSSBS follows 16,500 sq ft of lettings in 2016, and brings the building to 78% let with just 25,409 sq ft still available, the majority of which is on the newly-refurbished ground floor.

The circa £1 million ground floor refurbishment – including new raised floors, LED lights and air conditioning – completed in May, with further work to update the reception area due to finish towards the end of the year. The relocation of NHSSBS from nearby offices brings the number of companies based at The Spectrum Building to 10.

Robert Whitton, Chief Executive Officer of Affinity Global Real Estate, said: “We made the acquisition of The Spectrum Building as part of our asset repositioning strategy which specifically targets the UK’s most in-demand, but under-served office markets. Bristol is one such city. Not only is it one of the UK’s fastest-growing cities, but as a market, it offers property investment opportunities that can rival anything in Greater London.

“The Bristol office market still remains relatively under-supplied with high-quality space, and with the work undertaken at The Spectrum Building helping to plug this shortfall we are confident of finding occupiers for the remaining vacant space in the near future.”

Unit measures up for fashion firm

A wholesale company supplying fashion accessories to independent retailers across the UK has taken on a large warehouse unit at Frome’s popular and growing Commerce Park.

Hot Tomato, founded in 2007 and headquartered in Bath, has signed a 10-year lease on the 2,500 sq ft (232.25 sq m) Unit L14 in a deal brokered by property consultancy Myddelton & Major.

Quoting leasehold rent for the prominently-located corner unit at the park’s New Enterprise Zone was £8.00 per square foot.

Myddelton & Major Partner Philip Holford said: “Hot Tomato is an expanding business that scours the world for beautiful and contemporary fashion accessories which it wholesales to the trade.

“The firm was seeking a warehouse unit in the Somerset/Wiltshire border area and we were delighted to facilitate their growth into this large unit at the strategically-located business park which offers high specification industrial/warehouse premises.”

Bouygues Energies and Services S.A.S. expands at West Point Row

Energy and services provider Bouygues Energies and Services S.A.S has increased its presence in Bristol by expanding its offices in West Point Row, Bradley Stoke.

The company now occupies a total of 4,512 sq ft in Unit 1 after extending into 2,189 sq ft of office space on the ground floor of Unit 1 in West Point Row, where it already occupies the first floor.

The new lease for the ground floor space is linked to Bouygues’ lease for first floor space, with both leases running until 2021.

James Preece, national offices director at Colliers International, said: “West Point Row is strategically-located near the M4/M5 interchange, and its attraction to businesses has been further enhanced by the recent high-quality refurbishment, competitive quoting rent and excellent parking ratio.

“The first floor of Unit 5 and all of Unit 2 are under offer only leaving 1,427 sq ft on the ground floor of Unit 5 available, and we are expecting interest in this from a variety of potential occupiers.”

Bedminster Renaissance as Firmstone Consortia One purchases St Catherine’s Place

An underdeveloped pocket of land in Bedminster, Bristol, has been sold by Ashdown Capital making way for further regeneration of the area. The freehold of St Catherine’s Place has been sold to Firmstone Consortia One Ltd for an undisclosed sum. Property advisers GVA and Sisman Property Consultants negotiated the sale on behalf of the vendor.

The site, which is bordered by Dalby Avenue to the east and south, and the pedestrianised East Street to the north, has been sold with a resolution from Bristol City Council to grant planning for 188 residential units, together with parking and ground floor retail use. The adjacent St Catherine’s Place Shopping Centre has also been sold to Firmstone Consortia One Ltd.

Gordon Isgrove, Regional Senior Director at leading property adviser GVA says: “This site is located in an area that is a focus for regeneration and will act as a catalyst for other potential schemes. By investing in this site, Firmstone Consortia One will be creating a vibrant centre for existing businesses within the shopping centre, as well as the creation of much needed new homes.

“AIongside other redevelopments in the vicinity, changes at St Catherine’s Place will mean that this part of Bedminster can look forward to much needed investment.”