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The Range takes shape as an unprecedented year for Central Park draws to a close

Tuesday, 03 January 2017

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Central Park in Avonmouth has experienced an unprecedented year of activity as the region’s largest ever distribution warehouse – the 1.2 million sq ft building for The Range – begins to take shape on land acquired there earlier in the year.

Built on 55 acres, The Range is constructing the single footprint unit as its new South of England distribution centre. The distribution centre will support the store’s growth and is expected to bring over 1,050 brand new jobs to the area. Construction will be complete in spring 2017.

New aerial photos show the extent of the new development and how it is taking shape.

Central Park is one of the largest distribution development projects in the UK, situated alongside the M49 at Avonmouth. Since January 2016, the developers, Delta Properties, advised by Bristol property consultants GVA and Knight Frank, have signed up new logistics deals totalling nearly 2.45 million sq ft on 121 acres.

“This activity is unprecedented in the region,” says Paul Hobbs, director at GVA. “It puts Central Park on the map as one of the UK’s most successful distribution parks this year and its significance for Bristol and the South West should not be underestimated.”

Alongside The Range, Lidl acquired 33 acres of land to build 600,000 sq ft at Central Park in 2016 and have just started construction; Mountpark acquired land for a 410,000 sq ft three unit speculative scheme, and most recently, Davies Turner Logistics acquired land for a 260,000 sq ft distribution centre.

100 acres of immediately developable land remains available.

Paul Hobbs continues, “Central Park benefits from a unique planning permission which allows immediate development of B8 (storage and distribution) space. Together with the commitment of Delta Properties to invest in a major road, rail and utility infrastructure, this has resulted in a distribution hub of national significance which continues to attract major occupiers such as The Range.

“Plans for the new M49 junction promoted in support with the LEP, coming straight into Central Park, are almost finalised and will further enhance the scheme and lead to further growth.

“The 2.45 million sq ft of simultaneous construction in 2016 marks an unparalleled year for any national scheme.”

The new projects under development will provide 2,500 new jobs to the Severnside/Avonmouth Enterprise Area in addition to construction jobs.

Abdul Choudhury, Economic Development Officer at South Gloucestershire Council comments, “Prospective occupiers (both foreign and domestic) are looking to address changes in consumer shopping habits through hub and spoke distribution centres and are reacting to evolving regulations about HGV driving times. The former is addressed by Central Park providing a vast ready-to-go opportunity with extant permission in place and the latter by a new, imminent junction on the M49, due for completion in 2019. We are delighted with the pace of growth at Severnside, with Central Park providing economic benefits for the whole region (not just South Gloucestershire), from a retail, employer and supply-chain perspective.”

Talking about the market, Paul Hobbs continues: “We’re expecting 2016 to end on a high for industrial take-up in Bristol. The first six months of the year recorded a massive 3.217 m sq ft and 48.36 acres of development land – that is only 1% off the whole of grade A industrial take up in the core East Midlands hotspot. In contrast, the take-up for the whole of 2015 was 2.6 million sq ft.

“With record take-up, the declining supply of high quality space in the last 12 months has led to virtually no prime standing stock available at all, which is a common factor across most of the UK industrial markets.

“As a result, we are seeing the return of significant speculative industrial development with activity at several locations.

“We believe that the supply of vacant standing stock across all industrial markets in Bristol possibly stands at its lowest levels ever and 2017 will be a challenging year for occupiers who need to source growth and relocation opportunities against tight timescales.”

For more information, please contact Paul Hobbs, Director at GVA on 0117 988 5220 or Paul.Hobbs@gva.co.uk