In the zone for an enterprising time

Quality: Rebecca Schofield from Knight Frank
Quality: Rebecca Schofield from Knight Frank
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Continued interest from a high-profile retailers and the new Enterprise Zone are set to give South Yorkshire’s industrial and logistics market a boost in the first half of 2012, according to property consultancy Knight Frank’s Sheffield office.

Partner Rebecca Schofield says Knight Frank expects the creation of a Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone to stimulate enquiries from inward investors during the coming year.

“While large-scale speculative development is not expected to emerge in the short-term, a handful of local developers may undertake small unit schemes following recent land acquisitions at Shortwood Business Park, Barnsley and First Point, Doncaster,” says Rebecca Schofield. “Developers may also opt to speculatively develop a single unit alongside a pre-let, as and when a bespoke design and build development moves forward.”

Knight Frank says it expects healthy activity during the first part of the year, adding that the Hurricane building in Doncaster is under offer to retailer Next and manufacturers and metals recycling companies are also active in the market.

“Prospective occupiers are favouring modern second-hand space due to the quality of existing fit-out,” says Rebecca Schofield.

“Consequently, landlords of new stock are having to compete by offering generous fit-out packages. Third-party logistics providers are also back in the market but typically can only commit to five years.

“In the absence of new development, the supply of good quality small to medium-sized units is diminishing and buildings already fitted out with offices and lighting are proving most attractive.

“In terms of outlook for the region, the larger end of the market is expected to continue to generate very competitive terms, as supply of this type of stock remains elevated. However, incentives are expected to harden for good quality small to medium-sized units in the prime locations along the M1, as supply of this sort of product is tighter.”