Orchard Street Investment Management (‘Orchard Street’), the specialist commercial property investment manager, has completed a complex asset management initiative to convert a former leisure operator into a thriving distribution unit, transforming Chelmsford Industrial Estate into a wholly logistics-focused asset. Orchard Street took early surrender of a 36,423 sq ft unit, obtained planning permission for a change of use, and undertook a significant refurbishment and reconfiguration of the unit for warehousing and distribution purposes in order to secure a new 10 year lease with DFS, the furniture retailer.
The multi-let Chelmsford Industrial Estate was acquired by Orchard Street in 2012 and offers 116,507 sq ft of prime industrial space comprising of 18 individual units ranging in size from 1,090 sq ft to 36,423 sq ft, set on a three hectare site. DFS’ new letting maintains the estate’s high occupancy (97% by ERV) and extends the WAULT to 5.8 years, while the 36,423 sq ft unit will be used by the retailer as a distribution centre to fulfil orders in the South East of England following its comprehensive refurbishment which included the addition of six new loading doors.
The asset is situated in a prime location within the Widford industrial area, two miles south west of Chelmsford city centre. The estate itself has excellent road connections and is approximately an hour’s drive from central London to the south and Cambridge to the north.
Helena Kolsaker, Asset Manager at Orchard Street, commented:
“This letting demonstrates the strength of occupier demand for industrial accommodation within this highly sought sub-market which benefits from a strategic south-east distribution location. Our efforts in reconfiguring this unit and ultimately repositioning the asset as a whole have clearly paid off, enabling us to secure long-term stable income streams from a strong covenant such as DFS.”
Orchard Street was advised on this letting by DTRE and Kemsley LLP.
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Orchard Street Investment Management
Established in 2004, Orchard Street Investment Management LLP is a leading specialist commercial property investment manager, focused on the UK market. It acts on behalf of institutional clients world-wide to advise on investing in and the active management of property assets, including industrial, retail warehouses, offices and shopping centres. Orchard Street currently has assets under management exceeding £5 billion.