March 30, 2021
Fiera Real Estate (“FRE UK”) and Wrenbridge in partnership with Henry Davidson Developments are pleased to announce the acquisition of a 5 acre site in the employment area of Houghton Regis, where they have submitted planning to develop a new Grade A warehouse development with a GDV of £22m. The site sits in a prime location near Junction 11A of the M1, providing access to the motorway network in under 15 minutes.
The site was purchased from a private landowner on behalf of Fiera Real Estate Opportunity Fund V UK (“FREOF V UK”), the latest fund in Fiera Real Estate’s programmatic venture series with CBRE Global Investment Partners (“CBRE GIP”).
FRE UK and Wrenbridge have submitted planning to develop a 100,968 sq.ft scheme consisting of six units across four buildings. Specifications will include 10m clear internal heights, 50kN/sq m floor loading,10% office content, surface level loading doors and self-contained service yards for larger units.
The site is part of the Houghton Regis North Strategic Allocation, a new sustainable urban extension on the northern side of the town between A5 and Junction 11A of the M1. The A5-M1 Link opened in May 2017 after an investment of £162 million providing a rapid dual carriageway link to the new M1 junction 11A. The site forms the Employment Land of the Houghton Regis North Site 2 (Bidwell West) outline planning permission. This outline consent is for up to 1,850 dwellings, a primary school, this employment land, local centre and community/leisure uses.
Demand for distribution warehouses is very strong across the UK and has remained resilient throughout the pandemic, which has been driven by the soaring performance of online retail, most notably Amazon. The market resilience has resulted in positive rental growth, fuelled by the combination of a demand/supply imbalance and the requirement to be located close to the customer. The new Houghton Regis scheme will help fill the gap in the lack of existing Grade A supply in the area.
Sustainability and environmental considerations have been at the forefront of the design of the new development and it will be targeting BREEAM Excellent and EPC ‘A’ rating. A range of sustainable features are proposed within the design of the units including photovoltaic panels and energy-efficient lighting, air source heat pumps, photoelectric sensors and electric panel heaters will be installed to encourage reduced energy consumption above Part L2A Regulations.
Wrenbridge is partnering with HDD to carry out the development on site.
Jeff Wilson, Director of Wrenbridge commented “This is a gateway employment site just off Junction 11A of the M1. We are looking to bring forward a high quality, sustainable scheme to meet the considerable demand in the area from both local and national occupiers.”
Chris Button, Fund Manager of Fiera Real Estate, commented “Investment demand for logistics assets has been resilient throughout the pandemic and there is strong demand for the proposed unit sizes and constrained supply. We have significant funding for more speculative industrial and logistics developments in major urban locations.”
Wrenbridge has appointed Adroit Real Estate Advisors and Savills as agents for the scheme.