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FOUNTAINBRIDGE ACQUIRES MAJOR SITE


as Freer Street in the city centre location of Fountainbridge, Edinburgh from Real Estate Solutions, Royal Bank of Scotland. Fountainbridge Holdings is a joint venture company newly created by Amco Developments and Omni Developments. The former Fountain Brewery site, which extends to c. 1.7


A


acres, benefits from planning permission in principle to provide 78 private apartments and 140,000 sq.ft of Grade A offices. The masterplan has been designed by Michael Laird Architects and will provide a high quality environment adjacent to the Union Canal and the existing mixed use development of


Edinburgh Quay and the EDI-owned India Quays. Paul Heap, Director of Fountainbridge Holdings said: “This site


has been a labour of love for us, but now following over three years of hard work, together with our investment partners, we are hugely excited to have completed our purchase. We’ll now re-double our efforts and expect work to start on site during 2016.” DougraySmith are retained by Fountainbridge Holdings Limited,


acting as joint disposal agents. Cushman & Wakefield acted on behalf of RBS.


cting on behalf of Fountainbridge Holdings Limited, BNP Paribas Real Estate has acquired the development site known


EAST OF SCOTLAND INDUSTRIAL T


he East of Scotland is running out of quality industrial units. With demand for industrial space showing no sign of abating,


parts of the East of Scotland are starting to run seriously low on quality industrial units, and that looks set to increasingly translate into rent rises over the months ahead. Already we have seen Edinburgh rents, which had remained


fairly static at around £6.50 per square foot for a good deal of time, starting to rise. And the increases that are coming through are substantial, pushing through £7 and towards £8. This is hardly surprising given the lack of additional supply – there is simply nothing coming onto the market, and no developments in the pipeline. This situation looks set to continue with the abolition of


rates relief on large vacant sheds, dealing a further blow to investors considering a speculative industrial development. Up until the announcement of this measure in the last


Scottish Budget, developers had been dusting off plans as they saw the market was once again ripe for new properties. Now, at the very least it looks like we will enter a period of “wait and see”, which is a blow to Scotland's industrial sector, as the wider economy continues to improve and drive demand for premium quality units. Most of the properties in this category that we have seen marketed recently have attracted immediate, serious attention. They will not stay on the market for long. At the other end of the industrial sheds market, outdated


stock from the 1960s or even earlier, in sub-prime locations, is increasingly unpopular. These are the properties that will incur a 90 per cent rates liability when empty, and some landlords are already considering demolition as a means to mitigating such costs. Bryce Stewart is director, industrial & logistics for East of Scotland, with Colliers International


MODERN OPEN PLAN OFFICES


8 Bankhead Crossway, Sighthill Only £3 per sq ft Up to 29,670 sq ft


EMPTY UNITS SET FOR DEMOLITION D


ozens of older industrial buildings in Scotland could be demolished within weeks unless the Scottish Government


revisits its plans to slash the rates relief available on empty properties, experts at Colliers International have warned. From 1 April onwards, owners of industrial properties will be


liable for 90% of their usual rates after three months, where previously they enjoyed full relief. For those owning older units that are unlikely to find an occupier soon, the only option is likely to be demolition. Colliers says many are


Peter Muir


already seeking quotes from demolition experts, but it isn't too late for the government to find a compromise that could encourage some landlords to redevelop their dilapidated units into much-needed modern industrial space.


Peter Muir, a director and head of rating for Colliers


International in Scotland, said: “The changes to rates relief, which also affect smaller offices and retail premises, will have an enormous effect on the market. Not only will many older buildings be demolished, but developers are being put off from building industrial units on a speculative basis as they will be hit with a hefty bill should they fail to find a tenant immediately. The changes to rates relief were expected to produce windfall


of tens of millions of pounds for the Scottish Government, but Colliers believes the total could be considerably lower as many landlords will opt to demolish their properties, as happened when similar changes were introduced south of the Border.


72 COMMERCIAL PROPERTY MONTHLY 2016


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