Darlington’s Morton Park Way Business Park is set for further investment after being acquired for a figure in excess of £4m by property fund Rockspring in partnership with industrial asset specialist Caisson Investment Management.
The purchase comes as the partnership continues to build towards a £100m industrial portfolio across the UK. The site has been acquired from Morrisons Supermarkets.
Established occupiers on the popular estate include Laddaw, CG Fixings, Hopwells, Olivia’s Artisan Bakery, MicroSlat, Trendsetters and Sheers.
The site extends to nearly 10 acres, with 106,000 sq ft of existing industrial/workshop space, in 46 individual units. The scheme was built by Morrisons at the end of the 90s as part of a Section 106 planning agreement when the store was built.
With more than 70% of the units occupied, the acquisition represents an opportunity for the fund to drive value through enhanced occupancy levels. The site is suitable for both start-up and established businesses, with units ranging from 1,500 sq ft to 7,000 sq ft. The new landlord is planning to invest further, with a programme of refurbishment planned to commence in the New Year.
Chartered surveyors Connect Property North East (CPNE) have been appointed by the fund to market the vacant units. Jonathan Simpson, Director of CPNE said: “Having worked on the scheme for a number of years, the change of ownership comes at an exciting time in the local market where stock levels, particularly within Darlington, are limited.
“The enthusiasm of our new client is already evidenced by the fact that we have placed several units under offer in such a short time, which will be announced shortly. The key to the introduction of new tenants to the scheme has been a combination of the quality of space on offer and the speed of turnaround that we have been able to offer new tenants”.
James Ward, Head of Northern Region at Caisson Investment Management, said: “Morton Park represents a great opportunity, in that it is a site with potential to achieve full occupancy and become a strong hub for start-up and growth businesses, not only from Darlington, but from the surrounding area. There is real scope for new businesses to establish themselves at Morton Palms Way and to expand, due to the flexibility of the units. We are looking forward to welcoming new tenants over the next few months”.