A former Basingstoke office block is to be demolished to make way for warehousing.
The move – an unusual about-turn in the long history of warehouse sites converted to other uses - will see a six-acre 1960s development at Houndmills Industrial Estate redeveloped as three speculative warehouses totalling 108,000 sq ft.
Today, the site is occupied by a substantial five-storey office block and additional single-storey office accommodation, along with an older warehouse. All are to be demolished by Kier Property.
There had been speculation the site might be acquired for residential or retail use. The vendor was HM Publishers Holdings.
Planning approval is anticipated in mid-April, with the site’s current owner occupier relocating to Chineham in June. Construction is then expected to commence in summer 2016, with practical completion in August 2017.
The quoted rental term is £9.95 per sq ft and freehold sale term £170.00 per sq ft. Units A and B will provide 36,059 sq ft and 49,514 sq ft of new space respectively with a 10m eaves height and unit C will deliver 22,604 sq ft, with an eight-metre eaves height. All units will include 50kN/sq m of floor loading, secure yard space, and dock level and level access loading doors.
Adrian Whitfield, director of industrial and logistics for Lambert Smith Hampton's Southampton office, and an advisor on the deal, said: “With a fundamental shortage of good quality industrial stock in the marketplace at present, this development will provide much needed space for local occupiers.
"We have already received expressions of interest from businesses currently based in Basingstoke, Reading, Andover, Blackwater Valley and further down the M3 to Winchester and Southampton, and we would expect this interest to only increase as we aim towards securing planning approval in April. Basingstoke is a major centre for commerce and industry and Houndmills Industrial Estate is a well-established site, with a number of existing major occupiers, including Sainsbury's, GAME UK, Debenhams and Plumbase.”
George Shepherd, senior development manager at Kier Property, describes the purchase as “a great opportunity for all parties involved. Basingstoke has a complete lack of stock for grade A warehouses and we expect all units to be let or sold prior to practical completion”.
Lambert Smith Hampton is acting as joint letting agent with Hollis Hockley.