COMMERCIAL PROPERTY ACTIVITY IMPROVES

Walton & Hipkiss, established in 1929 is proud of its long family history, with many people remembering our offices in Coventry Street and Bridge Street, Kidderminster around the 1950’s. Walton and Hipkiss are still successfully selling and letting homes, commercial property and land in and around the Wyre Forest and West Midlands regions. Now well established in our offices and showroom in Oxford Street Kidderminster we are witnessing resurgence in activity in and around the town. The demolition of the old Glades leisure centre now nearing completion signifies a step change in activity in the town together with other new developments and the planned transformation of Severn House now on the way.

With the continued demand for commercial space whether it is offices, warehousing, manufacturing or logistics the available space in our region is at record low levels with demand outstripping supply. Fully let boards are appearing all over the Black Country and North Worcestershire as company’s secure accommodation to expand or start new business.

The lack of supply will have a knock-on effect on the wider economy with companies unable to expand promptly and the design and build process taking a minimum of 12 months to provide a building fit for purpose.  However, the most acute shortage appears to be within the multi-let industrial estate sector.

Retail is also improving within Kidderminster Town Centre. We are we are letting a number of retail units in the heart of the town, demonstrating an improvement in confidence. We are marketing a very exciting business opportunity in New Street; Smithy’s 2 a thriving café and catering business is available due to retirement offering a prime outlet in a very busy location opposite Kidderminster College, Tesco and the town centre. This is a great opportunity to acquire a substantial well established and successful business in the heart of the town.

In the wider area Marina Quays a mile up the River Severn from Stourport town centre has taken a major step forward with the full planning consent now granted, located off Sandy Lane and the River Severn, to the east of town centre, it is currently low grade agricultural land used for seasonal grazing.

The scheme represents an exciting opportunity for the new marina to provide leisure mooring berths within the Stourport area, for which a significant need has been identified. It will also create a new destination on the town’s Riverside walk. The scheme includes the creation of a new basin for 408 berth marina, a new footbridge across the marina entrance, 94 holiday apartments (1 and 2 bedrooms) a Club House, including a restaurant & bar, gym, boat sales & hire facility, chandlery, workshops and commercial space and a comprehensive landscaping scheme, including the creation of a wildlife and ecology zone, picnic areas and landscaped amenity and improvements to the riverside walk to Stourport town. Marina Quays will be supplemented by the adjacent development, now underway at Marina Point, a new serviced workshops and offices now under construction. This will make available much needed space for emerging industries, SME’s and new startup businesses and will be available this year.

Following the Mayoral elections for the West Midlands Combined Authority our biggest neighbour it not clear how the proximity to the “Midlands Engine” will fit into the West Midlands Combined Authority, and indeed the effect on Worcestershire. It is fair to say that the focusing of new investment the new positon will create together with the needs of Birmingham, as the region’s pre-eminent creator of employment and wealth, will have have a positive effect on other regional centres including Worcestershire.

I believe the new Metro Mayor Andy Street will replicate the leadership style he demonstrated as chairman of the Greater Birmingham Local Enterprise Partnership, where he proved very capable of bringing together different views to achieve consensus and deliver effective strategies.

On the industrial front across North Worcestershire with demand still strong from the manufacturing, warehousing and distribution sectors, prices are likely to head upwards, on average, industrial property has increased in value by more than 25% in the past 2 years and in some locations a high level of demand has driven these values upwards. This trend is set to continue whilst so little new development is taking place and the better second had accommodation now let or sold.

It is critically important that owners, occupiers and investors of industrial and commercial properties are aware of the real values, as these can have real impacts on sales, acquisition and investment strategies, and on insurance premiums, for both re-building and business interruption.

We have unprecedented demand for residential and commercial land in particular within the North Worcestershire area focused around Kidderminster and Stourport.

So again interesting times ahead and please remember to take professional advice on all aspects of your commercial properties, talk to us about a free property health check and look at the future potential of your ownership.

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