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Unipart’s site up for grabs at cool £37m
ONE of the biggest potential property deals in the city for years is on the cards...and you could have a slice of the action for just £37m.
Two warehouses in Garsington Road, Cowley, stretch to an enormous 935,939 sq ft and are owned by a private investor who wants to sell up.
The buildings are currently leased by logistics giant Unipart, which has been based at the site for 26 years.
Unipart bosses stress that the sale will not affect the business as they have a lease of almost 10 years remaining.
Property agents Knight Frank are dealing with the sale. Spokesman Ashley Hudson said: “He is a private client and often individuals trade properties in and out.
“It is very much an investment. What is for sale is an income stream as the shelf life of the building could be limited.
“What happens at the end of the lease will depend on what Unipart wants to do. But this sale would be a big deal for Oxford.”
The current rental income is £3.55m, which is due to rise to £4.1m in August 2017.
Unipart corporate affairs director Frank Nigriello said: “We have a long-term lease and there will be no change for us.”
The property details also reveal that Unipart House, the company’s office building, owned by the same investor, can also be acquired by separate negotiation.
Mr Nigriello said the company had plans to occupy half the office floor space with a new in-house development, although he declined to give further details.
Currently there are a range of occupiers in the offices. Unipart employs about 1,500 people on the Cowley site and is one of the city’s larger employers.
The potential sale follows hot on the heels of the Unipart Automotive business relocating to Bicester.
A majority stake in Unipart Automotive was bought by private equity firm H2 Equity Partners from Unipart Group in 2011 and it was set up as an independent business.
It completed the move last month with 100 staff relocating to the former Oxfam building in Murdock Road, Bicester.
Meanwhile, in another major property deal for the city, Kidlington-based building firm Kingerlee Holdings has sold Meadowside Retail Park, off Botley Road, Oxford to CBRE Global Investors for £11.48m.
The scheme comprises three newly constructed retail buildings occupied by Hobby Craft, Dunelm Mill and Halfords on 15-year leases.
Jonathan Kingerlee, chief executive of the Kingerlee Group, said: “This disposal concludes a long and successful association with this part of west Oxford.”
OTHER BIG DEALS
- Up to 500 staff at British Gas Business are moving into a building on the Oxford Business Park. The firm has taken out a £26m lease expected to run for 17 years.
- Planning permission has been granted for the redevelopment of the Seacourt Retail Park in Oxford for £15m.
- November 2011: University College, Oxford, bought 26 city centre flats in St Thomas Mews, Oxford, for £7m.
- March 2011: Blenheim Estates bought Windrush Industrial Park in Witney for a rumoured £10m.
- 2010: It was announced the Old Gaol site in Abingdon would be redeveloped into homes in a scheme worth £25m.
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