November 2012 news archive


swindon dc2

IM Properties has completed one of the largest industrial lettings of the year with Oak Furniture Land, the UK’s largest retailer of solid hardwood furniture.

Oak Furniture Land has taken the whole of IM Properties’ prime 302,000 sq ft distribution warehouse, known as DC2, on South Marston Park, Swindon, on a 15 year lease.

Currently operating from four premises in Swindon, the move will enable the ambitious retailer to store and distribute its products under one roof while employing more than 200 members of staff.

Fast-growing Oak Furniture Land was also attracted by the building’s expansion opportunities - where up to 150,000 sq ft of expansion space can be developed, subject to planning, for the tenant in situ. 

South Marston Park has a prime position being strategically located between London and Bristol and is approximately five miles to the north of Junction 15 of the M4 motorway. The park is home to a number of national and international companies including Honda, Aldi, M&S, B&Q, TDG and Nissin.

Oak Furniture Land Property Director, Steve Kettel said: “The DC2 unit will provide us with the opportunity to streamline our storage and distribution processes, bringing the majority of our operations under one roof and allowing us to service our customers more effectively.

“Swindon is a great location for Oak Furniture Land, and the size of the unit, together with the possibility for future expansion, enables us to look forward with a clear strategy over the coming years.”

Rob Hemus, Asset Manager at IM Properties, added: “We are very pleased to welcome OFL to DC2 and to complete one of the biggest deals in the distribution market this year.  We are also looking forward to developing a strong relationship with OFL, including the opportunity to potentially expand the unit in the future to support their targeted growth plans.

“IM Properties purchased this building in 2007 as we were confident of its letting prospects.  To secure Oak Furniture Land within 6 months of Morrisons’ departure pays testament to its quality and location.”

Cushman & Wakefield and Jones Lang LaSalle were the joint letting agents acting on behalf of IM Properties. The deal was completed within just 3 weeks of the terms being agreed.

Gordon Reynolds of Cushman & Wakefield added: “We are very pleased to have completed this deal in such a quick timeframe following a minimal marketing period.

There is a shortage of good quality distribution units across the UK and DC2, with its 75m yard was one of the best in the country.  The speed of this letting clearly demonstrates the strong levels of demand for quality standing product in key locations.”

OFL sells large volumes of high quality oak, mango and mahogany furniture at reduced prices, both online and from a portfolio of over 30 stores nationwide. In 2010 and 2011 it was listed in The Sunday Times Fast Track 100; a prestigious league table of the fastest growing companies in the UK.

DC2 boasts an 11.5m clear internal height, 24 dock and six level access doors, 92 lorry parking bays and 213 car parking spaces and a service yard.


Halfords Autocentres has opened its trade counter unit at IM Properties’ new Longwell Green Gallagher Trade Park in Bristol.

The opening follows Barnwood Construction’s recent handover of the completed scheme located at Longwell Green Trade Park, which will generate more than 70 job opportunities once fully let. 

IM Properties began speculatively building the development in March and Halfords Autocentres signed a pre-let agreement for the 4,000 sq ft unit the following month.

Simon Allen, Network Development Manager at Halfords Autocentres, said:  “We are delighted to have taken possession of our unit on the Longwell Green Gallagher Trade Park scheme.

“The new site is ideally located to complement our existing Bristol centres in Filton, Bedminster, Newfoundland Street and Downend Road. The opening is part of our huge expansion plans aiming to open 30 new centres a year.”

Toolstation recently opened at another 4,000 sq ft unit and discussions are underway for the remaining five trade counter units.  The space available ranges in size from 2,920 sq ft to 14,350 sq ft.

In addition, IM has planning permission for an 18,000 sq ft self-storage unit at the prime trade park and talks are taking place with a number of operators.

Longwell Green Gallagher Trade Park is surrounded by some of the best known names in retail including Homebase, B&Q, Marks & Spencer, Next and Boots. It is located off the A4174 Avon Ring Road, providing access to Junction 1 of the M32 and Junction 19 of the M4 and is just five miles from Bristol City Centre.

Lewis Payne, Development Manager at IM Properties, said: “Halfords Autocentres is one of many household names attracted to our new trade counter scheme and we are pleased that new jobs will be generated for local people when the first units open for business in October.”

Gordon Reynolds, of agents Cushman & Wakefield, added: “The Longwell Green Gallagher Trade Park scheme is located on one of the region’s premier trade parks and high levels of interest demonstrates there is a pent up demand for good quality trade counter premises in the right location.”

Each of the available units benefits from a double height glazed feature entrance, 7.2m minimum clear internal height, 37.5 kN/m2 floor loading, overhead sectional loading door and substantial signage panels.

For more details please contact Gordon Reynolds / Gregory Cooper at Cushman & Wakefield on 020 7935 5000 or Paul Baker / Chris Miles at Jones Lang LaSalle on 0117 927 6691