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| scotland PERTH SHOWS MARKED RECOVERY


Jonathan Reid, of Shepherd Chartered Surveyors reports:


Jonathan Reid


town and city in the UK, saw its retail sector decimated as a result of the well-


P


documented recession. The High Street was littered with TO LET boards and occupier demand was almost non- existent. Lack of footfall and consumer spending, coupled with high business rates and property maintenance costs, were a poor mix. The last 18 months has witnessed a


marked recovery, however, and the city centre, whilst still not functioning at pre- recession levels, is improving with vacant units on both the High Street and surrounding retail locations slowly starting to fill. Yet high business rates and car parking issues remain a threat. St Johns Shopping Centre, the main


covered mall serving the city centre, recently completed lettings to JD Sports and CEX. JD has reported a ‘great start’ to its trading in the centre. On the High Street, recent lettings to Ness , Clydesdale Bank and Jojo Maman Bebe


BROXDEN BUSINESS PARK


A


development site in Perth is to be transformed after it was purchased


by Greene King. A family restaurant and Costa Coffee drive-through will be built on the 1.67 acre site, which was marketed by JLL on behalf of Perth & Kinross Council. The site sits within Broxden Business Park, adjacent to Broxden Roundabout. Planning and licensing have both


been granted, with work expected to start in April. The site was one of five serviced development plots at the business park, with two plots now remaining at 1.4 acres and 0.6 acres. Nina Stobie, associate director, JLL,


said: “With Broxden Business Park being in a prime position, we expect strong interest in the remaining two plots as businesses look to tap into the benefits of being located at the heart of Scotland.” The location benefits from unrivalled


access to Scotland’s road network thanks to its position next to Broxden Roundabout, which connects the M90, A9 and A93. It is situated close to the Broxden Park and Ride site, which serves the business park, the city centre and nearby bus and train stations.


86


erth, as with nearly every other


have increased the streets offering , whilst Paperchase has committed to another five years in the city. This is all good news, albeit landlords


still require flexibility when discussing terms with tenants. Off High Street locations continue to be popular with local occupiers, particularly where qualification for 100% rates relief exists. The last 18 months has also seen a


return of investment activity with sales being completed on a number of retail investment properties. These have been principally to local/regional investors with access to cash funds and include the Bank of Scotland building on King Edward Street and the new Chest Heart & Stroke premises on High Street. Other issues in the city centre include


the ongoing saga of the Perth City Hall, where it appears to have been saved from demolition and possibly converted to a Market Hall. Everyone will be pleased to see a resolution one way or another. The Council are also keen to


encourage a night time economy in the centre by returning vacant upper floor accommodation into residential space and a Vacant Property Loan Fund is to be launched alongside the existing grant initiatives. Gradual progress appears to being made on that front.


P T TOPPS TILES


opps Tiles PLC, Britain’s biggest tile and flooring specialist with over 340 stores


throughout the UK, has instructed Shepherd Chartered Surveyors to secure a number of new premises at various strategic locations throughout Scotland. The trade and retail supplier is seeking


premises offering around 5000 sq.ft of space situated within prominent sites across the target locations of Dunfermline, East Kilbride, Livingston and Stirling. Alternative locations will also be considered. Jonathan Reid, commercial partner at


Shepherd, said: “We’re delighted to receive this instruction to assist Topps Tiles’ expansion throughout Scotland. With a branch network of 33 offices throughout Scotland, our decades of experience and expertise, together with national resources and comprehensive local market knowledge, will enable us to identify and secure the prominent premises Topps Tiles is seeking within its target locations.”


INVESTOR SENTIMENT HARDENS AGAINST BREXIT


roperty investors have warned that the UK would be a less attractive place to


invest were it to leave the European Union, according to findings of a new survey by global property adviser CBRE. As part of a CBRE special report


Heading For The Exit? published today, the survey of investor clients reveals that sentiment has hardened against leaving the EU in recent years. CBRE has conducted this poll for three years. 2016’s results see a sharp reduction in those who think exiting the EU would make no difference to investment, from 33% in 2014 to 21% today. The proportion of respondents who think the UK would be a slightly worse place to invest has risen from 32% in 2014 to 46% in the latest poll, bringing the total that think the UK would be a worse place to invest to 73%, up from 69% last year. The UK will hold a referendum on


whether to remain in the EU on 23 June. CBRE believes investors and occupiers are likely to behave during the referendum campaign, in the same way as they did in Scotland during its 2014 independence referendum; by delaying decisions until after the vote. After the Scotland referendum there was a ‘catch up’ effect and CBRE expects the same for the UK, assuming that it decides to remain in the EU. Miles Gibson, head of UK Research at


CBRE, said: “According to our recent poll, property investors have, over the past three years, become increasingly gloomy about the impact of the UK leaving the EU. The UK has experienced record property investment in the last few years and the property investors we surveyed fear that a Brexit would adversely affect the attractiveness of the UK as an inward investment destination. “David Cameron’s reforms are likely to


be useful, but not decisive, in affecting public sentiment. The most important concession that the Prime Minister has secured is to ensure that non-Eurozone countries are not discriminated against within the EU’s single market. This aims to ensure that key parts of the UK economy, particularly financial services, can continue to operate from the UK rather than having to move to the Eurozone.” The report shows that the majority of


experts feel that the UK would suffer economically from exit, but estimates of the impact on growth vary substantially. The majority view is that the UK property market would suffer an adverse ‘demand shock’ were it to vote to leave the EU. Finally, the report argues that


reductions in labour availability arising from migration controls will vary substantially because some sectors are more dependent on migrant labour than other.


COMMERCIAL PROPERTY MONTHLY 2016


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