Expansion in the US and significant pre-lets in the Midlands, continue to underline IM Properties’ position as one of UK’s largest privately-owned property companies according to its latest results.
The success of its $240mm flagship lifestyle centre at Brookfield, Wisconsin with 400,000 sq ft of retail and 244 residential apartments, now 80% and 98% leased respectively, has led its US division to invest in two further developments in the Chicago area.
In the UK, IM Properties’ commercial division saw turnover increase from £11.3m to £98m in 2018, contributing £36m to its pre-tax profits of £46m for 2018. This was generated from land sales and pre-lets including the £150m DPD super-hub at Hinckley Park, the 250,000 sq ft pre-let to Kitchencraft on The Hub, near Birmingham and the letting of the FIRST speculatively built office scheme on the M42 for a decade at Blythe Valley Park (BVP).
The division has also continued to invest in several large-scale sites, which are capable of delivering in excess of 15m sq ft of logistics space, primarily in the Midlands. These include Peddimore, one of the UK’s most significant new manufacturing and logistics locations in the UK, a 238-acre site on junction 11 of the M42 and 140 acres at junction 9 on the M42, which alongside other land under their control, provides a secure future development pipeline for the group.
On the residential side, IM Land, the strategic land arm of IM Properties continues to expand, with some 3,000 acres under its control, which could deliver up to 22,000 new homes. IM Land is currently onsite at BVP partnering with Crest Nicholson and Bloor Homes on the first two phases of 750 homes.
Tim Wooldridge, managing director of Midlands based IM Properties said the company was operating from a stable base with strong positive cash generation from its core investment portfolio, enabling the development divisions to focus on medium and long-term projects with higher returns.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work behind the scenes over the past 12 months to maintain a healthy position going forward, identifying new opportunities and looking at new trends and investments.
“Being a privately-owned group, we’re agile and able to go where the market demands, pioneering new approaches to delivering property and sustainable schemes. We’re utilising our knowledge and experience gained from previous innovations such as the first Electricity Cost Neutral Building in the UK at The Hub, to bring further green technology forward at Peddimore.
“At BVP, where we’ve been leading the way on our approach to wellbeing, we’ve achieved 100 per cent occupancy rates, prompting us to speculatively refurbish 54,000 sq ft at One Blythe Gate.”
Wooldridge added: “We’ve also underlined our commitment to the region, with our imminent move to our new £30m purpose-built offices on Fore Business Park near Solihull and are fulfilling our ambition to create both an economic and social impact.
“A significant social value programme has already begun at Peddimore, with four community partners on board and the first round of grants from our Community Fund awarded before planning has been granted. “Taking a much more holistic approach to our major developments, we have some trailblazing plans coming forward, which we think the market is going to respond very favourably to.”