A view on the industrial property market by Nick Atkinson, Director at HTA Real Estate.
HTA Real Estate Ltd is a niche industrial property consultancy business covering the North East region, set up by three Directors in November 2013. Our main focus is industrial property and along with our joint letting agents with CBRE, we are responsible for marketing the available buildings and future opportunities at Jade Business Park.
We are very much at the ‘coal face’ in respect of the local industrial and logistics economies. By tracking the level of new enquiries we can see which sectors are expanding and which are experiencing challenges. We meet industrial property occupiers daily, both as property owners and tenants, so we understand what occupiers are looking for in their premises and the more specific priorities required by the various occupier sectors. For example, a manufacturer is likely to be more concerned about the availability of skilled labour, power supply and proximity to their customer, whereas a parcel distribution hub will require a location central to the regional population for efficient delivery networks.
There is a common perception that industrial buildings are ‘two a penny’ and occupiers looking for a new building assume it will be an easy task to find a new home. However, the truth is exactly the opposite and the region is suffering from a shortage of supply across all size ranges. There has been precious little development since the financial crisis of 2008. During the same period, we have lost a significant proportion of older stock to obsolescence and redevelopment for new housing.
Meanwhile, the demise of the High Street has boosted demand for warehousing and parcel distribution to sustain the e-commerce sector. Other factors such as Brexit and Covid have disrupted ‘just-in-time’ global supply chains, forcing manufacturers to hold more parts and supplies locally to insure against potential disruption.
Jade Business Park is perfectly placed to fulfil the demand by providing high specification new units in a very accessible location on the A19. The Enterprise Zone benefits also make these brand new units comparable in cost to older stock. Not surprisingly, we are seeing a high level of enquiries and demand.
Of the seven new units built in Phase 1, two units are now occupied and a further two are under offer, translating to new lettings of almost 100,000 sq ft and two-thirds of the development occupied. We are already looking towards Phase 2 and we have the flexibility to build units to order, as we did with Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems in Phase 1. Phase 2 offers an additional 39.64 acres of development land with the capacity to accommodate large scale design and build projects up to 250,000 sq ft.
The last remaining units in Phase 1 extend to 11,195 sq ft, 16,810 sq ft and the largest unit is 31,229 sq ft. If you have a requirement or you know of a company looking for high-quality manufacturing or distribution space then we’d be delighted to talk to you and see if Jade ticks your boxes?