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2018 has seen growing demand for commercial property in the town of St Ives reports Brown & Co Barfords. St Ives offers a wide variety of amenities alongside convenient transport links, including the guided busway into Cambridge and the soon to be completed A14 road improvement. It has become an increasingly popular centre for companies expanding within the local area or seeking to relocate from further afield.

The popularity of the town from a business perspective has been evidenced by numerous recent sales and lettings concluded by Brown & Co Barfords.

Associate Partner Phil Cottingham at Brown & Co Barfords said ‘St Ives has benefitted from a strong first half to 2018 with a flurry of commercial transactions having been agreed or completed. The demand from the industrial sector has remained particularly strong and the office market, is showing signs of greater levels of activity‘.

On the industrial front, terms have been agreed with a regional haulage company to lease premises of  c. 6,000 sq ft at Burrell Road. This follows news that cutting-edge technology company Paragraf, who leased 12,000 sq ft at West Newlands Estate, Somersham, near St Ives earlier in the year, are now committing to the adjoining unit in order to satisfy their ongoing growth plans.

The demand for offices, has seen an upturn in the last few months, with Brown & Co Barfords concluding two lettings at Compass Point Business Park at Unity House (1,226 sq ft) and Cabot House (1,783 sq ft). At nearby St Ives Business Park, a suite of approaching 1,000 sq ft has been let to Aseptica Ltd at a rent of £15 per square foot, indicating that for the best quality, grade A space, rents are moving back to levels last seen in 2007.

“We are witnessing a serious shortage of decent quality industrial buildings. Given the increasing levels of demand and with new commercial space in short supply, rents and values are inevitably going to continue to rise. Additionally, there is a limited supply of land in St Ives for new development to take place. The planning authority will no doubt be aware of this." continued Mr Cottingham.

One new scheme which is being constructed in response to the increasing demand is at Nuffield Road, St Ives. Brown & Co Barfords are both agent and planning consultant for this new project being developed by local developer Lexitron Ltd. The scheme known as Joiners Court is located in a prominent position on the corner of Somersham Road and will offer a total of 14,663 sq ft in sizes ranging from 1,485 sq ft to around 10,000 sq ft. Enquiries are being pursued from both companies with industrial requirements and those operating in trade counter and quasi retail sectors. Building work on the scheme started earlier in the year and completion is set for the end of this year. “With a plethora of other retail and trade outlets such as Howdens, Gibbs and Dandy and Superior Finish in this part of St Ives, we have good interest in this location” said Mr Cottingham.

The picture of success is also being seen in St Ives town centre. Despite the widely reported problems being experienced by some retailers in the national retail market, there is no shortage of demand when shop premises come to the market. This is evidenced by the recent letting of 2 Crown St, the former Piggotts Jewellers, to Leaders Estate Agents. In this case, the agents point to demand from at least four companies keen to lease the ground floor space. “It is always disappointing to see a good long-established family business disappear from a town like St Ives but from the owner’s perspective, the fact that a new tenant could be found so quickly was a major bonus” commented Phil Cottingham. “We are expecting to be appointed to let a couple of town centre shops in the foreseeable future with St Ives trading well as a retail location. The nature of town centre retailing is of course diversifying with differing sectors keen to take up space when it becomes available. More leisure and lifestyle companies are gravitating to market towns as the established grocer, butcher and baker continue to be affected by competition from out of town retailing.”

Other new instructions recently taken on by Brown & Co Barfords include:-

Harrison Way Retail Park – A modern unit of 2,500 sq ft (c.232 sq m) on a new roadside development. Adjoining occupiers will include Costa Coffee, McDonalds and Subway. The property benefits from A3/A5 planning use.

9B Nuffield Road – a self-contained light industrial/storage unit with an area of 8,121 sq ft (c.754 sq m). This property is available on a new full repairing & insuring basis.

The Old Court House – Town centre property of 1,289 sq ft (c.120 sq m) with 3 allocated car spaces.

First Floor, Magellan House – a modern first floor office suite located on the established Compass Point Business Park and close to the newly built Morrisons Superstore. The office totals 1,412 sq ft (c. 131 sq m) and benefits from eight car parking spaces.

For further information on commercial properties for sale or to let, please contact Phil Cottingham on 01480 213811 or email Phil.Cottingham@brown-co.com at Brown & Co Barfords.

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