Property report: Showing real industry

By Ged Henderson

30 Mar 2023

Preston East

The unceasing demand for industrial and logistics space in Lancashire has driven a £30m acquisition and the unveiling of a major new development site.

Developers HBD and Barnfield have sold EAST, a prime logistics scheme on the outskirts of Preston, to Titan Investors, while Trebor Developments has launched a new logistics and manufacturing park nearby, extending to over 54 acres.

Both EAST and the proposed Gateway Park development sit on prime sites next to junction 31 of the M6.

Titan has acquired three fully let buildings and the final development plot. The deal follows recent pre-lets with DHL and DPD.

The first phase, built speculatively, completed in December 2021 and was fully let within three months of completion. The final 30,000 sq ft building will be developed directly by Titan.

Tracy Clavell-Bate, head of development and acquisitions at Barnfield, says: “We knew when the 18-acre site came to the market that it would be in great demand. It has been a very rewarding project to work on from concept masterplanning, construction, lettings and completing the sale, all within three years.”

The Gateway Park scheme aims to provide a range of industrial units on a build-to-suit or speculative basis, ranging from 33,000 sq ft to more than 800,000 sq ft, with the first anticipated to be delivered for occupation in 2025.

Bob Tattrie, managing partner of midlands based Trebor, says: “There is a significant lack of prime land supply in the North West for industrial accommodation and we are delighted to bring forward this major development which can meet the requirements of a wide range of occupiers.”

Meanwhile, the value of North West industrial investment property deals fell by almost a third in 2022 compared to the year before but remained well above the 2020 figure and the five-year average.

Research by specialist agents B8 Real Estate also showed that while rising interest rates and economic conditions led to a fall in demand from investors in the second half of the year, demand from occupiers remained strong and rents continued to rise.

Key deals in Lancashire during the year included the acquisition by a unnamed institutional investor of a 43,000 sq ft unit at Amethyst Court, Preston, which was let to Sainsburys and the acquisition by Inflection Real Estate of a 85,757 sq ft unit at Walton Summit, recently let to logistics firm Kammac.

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