Top News From The Week – Retail Drama, Latest Market Report and More!

Leisure – subterranean mecca!

A £300m hotel has been approved in Kensington with a secret tunnel to Harrods. It will also contain 23,000 sq ft of retail space, as well as a 11,840 sq ft health club, 4,736 sq ft restaurant plus a bar on the top floor.

We’re hearing more about creating an ‘experience’ in developments and this seems to be a prime example of using the resources already available with the site incorporating an old underground pedestrian and goods tunnel.

Being designed by Tim Hamilton of UK-based Hamilton Architects

Retail – more high street drama

Department store Beales have gone into administration. “With the impact of high rents and rates exacerbated by disappointing trading over the Christmas period, and extensive discussions around additional investment proving unsuccessful, there were no other available options but to place the company into administration.”

What will happen to their 23 shops? Re-purpose the space into leisure, co-working or even residential?

 The 139-year-old business is now in administration

Offices – Online Business Booming

Trafford Council is funding the development of online beauty retailer The Hut Group’s new 1 million sq ft headquarters at Manchester Airport and providing a £70m loan

It’s great to see a local authority supporting a business founded in the area and providing flexibility with a positive impact on employment.

Adding around 10,000 jobs to the area

Retail – opportunity knocks for the bold

Ikea’s sister company Ingka Centre has purchased Kings Mall shopping centre in Hammersmith and plans to redevelop it into a multi-use scheme with heavy investment in in technology, introducing services that it offers in other locations such as hands-free shopping and online committees.

Jan Kristensson, global expansion director at Ingka, says the aim is to move “closer to where people work, live and socialise”.

We’re excited to see how this redevelopment evolves with the use of technology and the smaller format of business that normally takes huge industrial spaces.

Unique new small store format in Hammersmith, West London

Warehousing – how long can the dream last?

B8 have released their popular bi-annual market report on the industrial property landscape across the North West. The market remains strong given the political and economic uncertainty providing a more profound effect on investment supply, whilst demand remained relatively robust.

There’s a continued shortage of >250 sq ft units which provides an opportunity for developers. Read the full report here.

We’re hearing a positive change in sentiment is already happening in the market following the result of the general election providing some certainty with a predicted investment bounce as the dramas of Brexit recede.

North West industrial market insights

Manufacturing – things always had to change

Jaguar Landrover is cutting 10% of it’s workforce at the Halewood plant near Liverpool which produces the Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport models admist falling sales.

It’s not unexpected with the news coming out of the company in recent years and further job cuts last year. It could now release land for re-use and create new opportunities.

The company is axing 500 of the roughly 4,000 positions at the site

RICS – new guidance

Newly introduced Technnical Due Diligence guidance on commercial properties has been published to bring further transparency to the purchase or sale of assets. It also helps improves health and safety reporting for commercial properties. Effective from the 1st April 2020, it includes a ‘traffic light’ risk rating highlighting to clients the areas that require appropriate action in order of importance.