Logistics march continues

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

There are 1.25m sq ft of industrial deals due to be transacted across the region in the coming months, following a flurry of large acquisitions so far in 2015 increasing the pressure on supply in the North West.

Sizable deals so far this year include Exertis agreeing a freehold deal to build 540,000 sq ft at Eshton's Burnley Bridge Business Park; Tritax Big Box REIT's forward-funding of a 400,000 sq ft distribution facility pre-let to Nice-Pak in Westwood Park, Wigan; and Peel Ports' 280,000 sq ft pre-let to Culina Group at Port Salford.

In the pipeline, B&M Retail is due to sign for the 350,000 sq ft Logicor-owned Onyx350 warehouse in Runcorn in the next week, with an option to extend the unit by 130,000 sq ft. Cushman & Wakefield, Moriarty & Co, and B8 Real Estate are the letting agents.

At M6EPIC, Legal & General Property and DB Symmetry's 34-acre site in Wigan, Poundland is set to take around 350,000 sq ft for a regional distribution centre. Pochin Construction is also currently on site with a 110,000 sq ft speculative unit on behalf of the developers at the park. CBRE, B8RE and Moriarty & Co are joint agents for DB Symmetry.

At Logistics North in Bolton, where Harworth Estates has outline planning permission for 4m sq ft of industrial and logistics units, JD Wetherspoon is understood to be close to agreeing a deal on a 200,000 sq ft warehouse with expansion space. Harworth's agents are JLL and DTZ. A spokesman for Harworth declined to comment but said that "inquiries for space under 300,000 sq ft at the site have been significant".

In Trafford Park, Norbert Dentressangle has agreed a 270,000 sq ft pre-let with developer Evander and Legal & General at the Grand Central site. A planning application is due to be submitted in the coming weeks. Savills, Bilfinger GVA and JLL acted for Evander and L&G. Louch Shatlock is the agent for Norbert Dentressangle.

A lack of supply in the market is a persistent issue for the North West industrial sector. According to recent figures from Colliers International, at the end of the first quarter of 2015, there was an overall total – old and new space combined – of 9.9m sq ft of large industrial accommodation, down from 10.1m sq ft in the second half of 2014.

The amount of large new space within the overall total for the North West was 856,707 sq ft, down from 1.3m sq ft a year ago, and equating to approximately nine months of supply for the region.

Industrial take-up in 2014 was around 4m sq ft, with 2.58m sq ft transacted in the first half of the year.

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