Did you see the latest Leeds City Region Guide, published by Yorkshire Business Insider this month? The guide has been written to bring together in one report a summary of the region’s best sectors, key strengths, and importantly for us – opportunities for property investment. We at Towngate read with interest that, despite the disruption over the last 12 months connected with Brexit, an unforeseen General Election and now Covid – ‘the ambition of the Leeds City Region is as resolute as ever’.
Many don’t realise that Leeds has now been recognised as the UK’s largest regional economy outside of London, with the biggest manufacturing employment base – which must be good news for property and in particular the industrial marketplace?
So fast forwarding to Page 13 of the guide entitled ‘BRILLIANT BOXES’ – we were delighted that our latest development named Towngate Link – which is based on the industrial hub of Cross Green Industrial Estate in Leeds – gets a mention, alongside other key developments including Logic Leeds, Gateway 45, Wakefield Europort and Super G.
“What stood out most for me having read the report”, recounts Tom Lamb, Property Manager at Towngate Plc,“is the continuous flow of industrial development activity taking place throughout the Leeds City Region. In fact, within my 20 years of working in the sector, I have not known this level of development across our region, nor such a quick take-up of speculative space, as we are seeing at present.”
Towngate has made significant investment in their portfolio at Cross Green over the last two years, having seen this location rapidly emerge as the prime logistics and industrial epicentre of Yorkshire, with major occupiers such as Amazon, DHL, John Lewis and Premier Farnell sourcing premises in this location and making significant commitment to the area.
High demand for industrial property at Cross Green is due to many factors, each of which set this location apart including excellent accessibility with direct motorway connections, a varied and high quality labour force, good availability of development land and it’s centralised location both within Yorkshire and in fact within the UK – offering a central base for reaching all major cities, connecting those in northern England and Scotland with the South.
“Having just recently achieved practical completion on the last of our four new properties at our 190,000 sq ft development at Towngate Link, Cross Green, we couldn’t have predicted that this scheme would have been so well received by the market, or that demand would have been quite so healthy as it has proven to be,” continues Tom.
Three out of these four new-build industrial units were let prior to practical completion and significant interest has already been received for Unit TL5, the fourth flagship property belonging to this development. Featuring high spec Grade A office and welfare facilities with modern warehouse accommodation, the premises also benefit from renewable energy, high level security, yard & parking, plus direct access to the M1 / M621 motorways.
As with many other developments underway on Cross Green, there was quick take up of the other properties which were pre-let to London City Bond (Unit TL1), Beer Hawk (Unit 2) and Van Line Ltd (Unit TL3).
Other developers have seen equally favourable conditions at Cross Green such as Muse who are responsible for the Logic Leeds scheme, PLP who have developed Gateway 45 and Total Developments who are also building the Total Park scheme. The Leeds City Region guide highlights the 110 acre development named Logic Leeds, which now houses Amazon’s 361,000 sq ft distribution hub and was bought by Aberdeen Standard Investments for over £60 million – one of the highest value industrial deals recorded in West Yorkshire.
The activity we are seeing not just at Cross Green, but across Leeds and West Yorkshire shows a genuine confidence in the region and everything it has to offer.
Insider’s guide states that commercial property investment increased to £1.3 billion in 2019 in the Leeds City Region and the activity it highlights at Cross Green Industrial Estate shows a genuine confidence in this location and everything that it has to offer.