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Sale of retail warehouse to Travis Perkins - Bridgwater

Posted by hatfield on October 7, 2015

A private pension fund client of Hatfield White has sold the former Focus DIY unit on Wylds Road in Bridgwater to Travis Perkins Properties.  The unit has most recently been trading as BUYology.  A new Wickes DIY will open in 2016 following refurbishment.

Nigel Hatfield comments “This transaction is a great example of the way we work at Hatfield White.  Through contacts in the London-based investment market, in 2000 we introduced our client to this property which offered a great opportunity to generate a healthy return on capital with the prospect of an uplift in value at the end of the lease.  15 years later and after 3 rent reviews, a tenant in Administration and a rare legal scenario that kept the rent flowing, the “end game” was won with an off market sale showing over 125% uplift in value.  A lot of hard work but a great result!”

The skills and resources we used:

  • Investment acquisition through industry contacts.
  • Research of historic use archives and liaison with environmental experts to overcome funding issues relating to the potential for contaminated land.
  • Rent review, using market data and settlement of a rent review dispute through Arbitration and use of a “Calderbank offer”.
  • Advising clients alongside their solicitor when Focus DIY went into Administration and enforcing “Privacy of Contract” upon the original tenant to maintain rental payments. 
  • Pension Fund Valuations.
  • Use of our knowledge of property requirements from national occupiers in the local area.

“The deal came very close to falling at the first hurdle.  As many will know, the Wylds Road area of Bridgwater is a series of clay pits and former brickworks.  No-one really knows what material was used to back-fill the pits so we looked at historical OS maps and even discovered aerial photos from 1946 which told us that the land in question was not an excavation site.  This information enabled our environmental advisors to quantify the risk of contamination and thus bank funding of the purchase could be obtained.”

The property will be given a new lease of life under the ownership of Wickes who will relocate from their store in East Quay.

 Nigel Hatfield 

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