Siddall Jones is rising up the office letting rankings

One of the West Midlands’ leading independent commercial property agents is battling it out with multi-nationals in the office market rankings.

Siddall Jones, which has offices in Birmingham and Dudley, is ranked fifth in the EG Radius Data Exchange office disposals league table.

The companies above Siddall Jones – Savills, JLL, CBRE and Avison Young – dominate the market but have both national and global reach.

Siddall Jones, which was founded by managing director Edward Siddall-Jones in 2012, has steadily risen up the rankings, finishing sixth last year.

In the latest report, Siddall Jones is ranked fifth, having achieved 33 deals and disposing of 62,940 sq ft with an average deal size of 1,907 sq ft.

The firm has pushed global giant Cushman & Wakefield, which came second in the West Midlands last year, into sixth place.

Ed Siddall-Jones said: “Covid-19 notwithstanding, it has overall been a good year for Siddall Jones.

“We have consolidated and built on our position as the agent of choice for the small to medium sized office occupier, and we expect to be busier still in 2020-21 as some of the larger office occupiers evaluate their space requirements in the light of the success of remote working and changes in employment practices.”

Siddall Jones has recently been appointed by a London investor to market Albion Court in the Jewellery Quarter, which totals 14,500 sq ft of air conditioned, open plan office accommodation across four levels. The development has ten covered car parking spaces, plus covered bike racks and shower facilities.

Other successes include helping South Wales-based office furniture company BOF to launch a Midlands and North England office in 1,716 sq ft at 101 Albion Street in the Jewellery Quarter.

Ends (283 words)

For further information, please contact,

Ed Siddall-Jones, Managing Director,

Siddall Jones, The Mint, 95 Icknield Street, Birmingham B18 6 RU.

0121 638 0500

www.siddalljones.com

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner, ASAP PR – 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978257.

Quartet of property professionals get back together with Nicol & Co’s latest appointment

The recruitment of an experienced sales expert by a growing Midlands estate agent has resulted in a set of four property professionals getting back together in Worcestershire.

Kevin Johnson has joined Nicol & Co as a senior sales specialist, once again teaming up with owner Matt Nicol, operations director Neil Randle and mortgage advisor Nick Marsh.

The four were all working together at an estate agent called The Property Centre more than ten years ago before Mr Nicol departed to set up Nicol & Co in 2009.

Since then, Mr Johnson has had seven years out of property working in the automotive industry, spending some of that time in Surrey, but knowing he was back in Worcestershire and available for hire Nicol & Co quickly snapped him up.

Mr Nicol, managing director of Nicol & Co, said: “Kevin brings a wealth of sales experience built up over more than two decades.

“I first met Kevin when I began as a junior negotiator at The Property Centre in 2004, working under his wing, and we were together for the duration of my time at that company where I rose through the ranks to branch manager before leaving to set up on my own.

“Neil Randle, my number two and operations director, and our independent mortgage advisor Nick Marsh also both worked with Kevin at The Property Centre, so this is very much a ‘getting the band back together’ scenario.

“One of Kevin’s appeals is that he is an old school estate agent, like Neil and myself, knowing the value of phoning out stock and keeping up a regular contact with customers.”

Mr Nicol added: “Kevin will immediately fit in with our client-focused team and will help the company with its expansion plans.”

Mr Johnson said: “I’m delighted to be joining Nicol & Co having been impressed by the progress the company has quickly made across Worcestershire.

“It will be a pleasure reforming the old quartet with Matt, Neil and Nick and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in as the company continues to grow.”

Nicol & Co already has branches in Droitwich Spa and Worcester, and its third office in Malvern is planned to be opening towards the end of this year.

Ends (371 words)

For further information, please call:

Matt Nicol, Managing Director, Nicol & Co, 46 Barbourne Road, Worcester, WR1 1HU

Tel: 01905 676000

Notes to Editors

Established in 2009, Nicol & Co is an award-winning estate agency offering advice on sales, lettings, new homes and land purchase. The company combines the latest in digital media with traditional high street courtesy and service to provide the perfect blend of old and new technology.

Prepared and issued by Steve Dyson at ASAP, 078108004575.

John Truslove wins battle for key Kidderminster industrial development site

Commercial property agents John Truslove have helped a Redditch developer to win a hotly-contested bidding war to acquire a 1.18 acre Kidderminster development site.

EDR Developments has purchased the site on Parker Place for £455,000 and will be applying for planning consent for a factory/warehouse of circa 20,000 sq ft.

Parker Place is located within an established industrial estate to the south of Kidderminster, just off the main A451 which runs between Kidderminster and Stourport-on-Severn. The recently-opened link road through the nearby Silverwoods site now links the A451 to the A449 Worcester Road, avoiding town centre congestion.

Ben Truslove, joint managing director of John Truslove, said: “Interest in this site was strong from the outset and so there was considerable competition to secure it. By being proactive and on the case on behalf of our client, we are successful in securing it.”

Darren Ellis, managing director of EDR Developments, said: “In these difficult times, it is crucial to have someone with a good reputation and their ear to the ground on your side. John Truslove’s knowledge of acquisition opportunities in Worcestershire and the wider West Midlands is second to none, and it was reassuring to have Ben Truslove in our corner.”

The site is already cleared for construction on the granting of planning permission, and John Truslove will be marketing both freehold and leasehold options on the completed unit which is scheduled for delivery mid-2021.

EDR Developments were represented by Andrew Jones of law firm Wright Hassall, and the seller was advised by Jim Roberts of Paarl Property, with legal advice from Trudie Nicholas of solicitors TA Matthews.

Ends (268 words)

For more information, contact:

John Truslove, Daralbee House, Archer Road, Redditch, B98 8DJ

01527 584242

Prepared by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 07990 978257.

Principality Building Society unveiled as first commercial tenant at Alban House

Principality Building Society has been unveiled as the first of two retail tenants at Alban House, the fire-damaged development in High Town, Hereford, which was restored by Elevate Property Group.

The society is moving its Hereford branch from 2 St Peters Square to 16-18 High Town with shopfitters moving in during August for an Autumn opening.

Alban House was brought back to life by Elevate after the property was gutted by a devastating fire in 2010, and it now provides 18 residential properties including a courtyard cottage and rooftop penthouses. It also has two retail units on the ground floor fronting on to the busy High Town shopping area.

The first has been taken by the Principality Building Society which was first established in 1860 and is the UK’s sixth largest building society. It was founded in Cardiff and now has over 70 outlets via a network of branches and agencies across Wales and into the neighbouring English counties.

Julian Owens, senior partner of Hereford sales and letting agents Arkwright Owens, said: “We are delighted to have secured such a prestigious tenant for Alban House and we are hopeful of securing a tenant for the second unit as lockdown eases and shoppers return to High Town.”

Joint agents Arkwright Owens and Connells will be holding an Open Day with appropriate social distancing and safety measures on Saturday 11 July, by appointment only, with the intention of showcasing the remaining residential units.

The rebuilding and renovation of Alban House, which is now 75% sold with only four units remaining, was undertaken by Hereford building contract C J Bayliss some eight years after the original fire brought the city to a standstill with over 100 firefighters battling through the night to save the site and stop the blaze spreading to neighbouring buildings.

The site had remained derelict and unloved until Elevate Property Group, the Birmingham-based independent housebuilder stepped in and bought the site with its Grade II façade in early 2017.

But the developers faced a series of hurdles to overcome, not least a long saga over power provision to the site after an electricity sub-station had been destroyed in the original 2010 blaze.

Then Saxon ramparts dating back to the late 9th century were discovered within the foundations, requiring careful archaeological assessment and chronicling by county experts.

And, in order to protect the site and their investment, Elevate bought the neighbouring pub The Booth Hall, which dates back to 1392 and became a public house in the 15th century.

Work on the residential units was completed in late 2019, and the first new occupants moved into Alban House in late January and early February 2020.

David Hofton, sales and marketing director of Elevate Property Group, said: “We are delighted to have secured such a prestigious tenant as Principality Building Society for our first retail unit and we are seeing increased interest in the second unit now that High Town is becoming increasingly busy with shops, pubs and restaurants reopening.

“High Town is Hereford’s main thoroughfare and we are delighted to have played a major role in restoring Alban House and bringing this property back into gainful use.”

“Alban House has been a labour of love for us. As responsible developers, we are very conscious of the heritage of the cathedral city of Hereford and we wanted to ensure that we respect the history of the site, while ultimately bringing to the market much needed accommodation in this popular part of the city.”

“At times it seemed as if this site was determined not to be redeveloped but we have been buoyed up by the support of residents and the council who were keen for us to make progress.

“We were particularly pleased to be able to award the contract for the redevelopment of this complex site to a local contractor in C J Bayliss and they have produced an outstanding result,” he said.

The project was overseen by development managers BACE Construction Consultants.

Invitations to view Alban House are available from agent Arkwright Owens in Hereford on 01432 267213, or Connells on 01432 267511. For more information, see https://www.elevatepropertygroup.co.uk/residential/alban-house

Elevate Property Group is building a national reputation for the quality of its residential-led schemes. Current high-profile developments throughout the country include Victoria Point (Ashford), Alban House (Hereford), Trent Bridge Quays (Nottingham), Princes Gate (Solihull), Assay Lofts (Birmingham), Sheldon Court (Sheldon, Birmingham) and Cliveland Street (Birmingham).

Ends (734 words)

For further information, please contact:

Steve Dodd, Managing Director,

Elevate Property Group, St Pauls House, St Pauls Square, Birmingham B3 1RB

0121 272 5729

http://www.elevatepropertygroup.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/elevatepropertygroupuk

http://instagram.com/elevatepropertygroup

Editors’ Notes

Elevate Property Group creates exceptional architectural spaces that respect how important your home is for easy living and wellbeing.

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 01789 490786 or 07990 978257.

Siddall Jones’ ‘funky office space’ to set the tone for the ‘new normal

The first sight of what the “new normal” in office working might look like has been unveiled by Birmingham commercial property agents Siddall Jones.

Siddall Jones has been appointed sole agent to market a new office development in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

Managing director Ed Siddall-Jones said: “We sold Albion Court on behalf of Seven Capital in December 2019 to a London-based private investment company specialising in the provision of unique commercial environments.

“We have since worked with our client and architects Space Studio to develop what we consider to be a new style of contemporary office accommodation within the Jewellery Quarter – funky office space, if you will.”

Albion Court is located at 18-20 Frederick Street and totals 14,500 sq ft of air conditioned, open plan office accommodation across four levels. The development has ten covered car parking spaces, plus covered bike racks and shower facilities.

Mr Siddall-Jones said: “The new designs have produced offices with the benefit of a stunning central atrium that will be a striking feature to the property allowing fantastic open plan working space across all levels.

“The offices will adopt more of a lounge feel and will certainly appeal to the digital and creative sector who appear to be making the Jewellery Quarter their location of choice.”

The property is being marketed on a floor by floor basis or is available in its entirety to a single occupier.

Mr Siddall-Jones added: “We are delighted to have been appointed sole agents on Albion Court and this is the latest in a series of instructions and completions that have kept us busy during lockdown, despite the restrictions.

For further information, see www.siddalljones.com, call 0121 638 0500 or email edward@siddalljones.com

Siddall Jones is one of the region’s leading commercial property agents with offices in Birmingham and Dudley.

Ends (292 words)

For further information, please contact,

Ed Siddall-Jones, Managing Director,

Siddall Jones, The Mint, 95 Icknield Street, Birmingham B18 6 RU.

0121 638 0500

www.siddalljones.com

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner, ASAP PR – 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978257.

Former army reserve centre snapped up for potential residential development

Commercial property agents John Truslove have sold a former army reserve centre in Waterloo Road, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent.

The long-established Redditch firm is retained by the West Midlands Reserve Forces & Cadets Association (WMRFCA) to advise on the organisation’s property assets.

The 2.15 acres site was sold on behalf of WMRFCA to Fenton Park Developments for £580,000.

The Hanley site is one of three that John Truslove has currently been marketing, with a site in New Broad Street in Old Town, Stratford-upon-Avon, sold subject to planning, and a further site in Leamington Spa also under offer.

Ben Truslove, joint managing director of John Truslove, said: “The Waterloo Road property comprises a former army reserve centre which had become surplus to requirements, having relocated to a smaller, newly-built facility to the south west of the site.

“The site is in a location that is deemed to be suitable for conversion or residential development and we understand that it is the intention of the purchaser to clear the site and seek planning permission.”

The property is in a level corner position, with further access from Stonor Street, and is on a main bus route in a mixed residential and commercial area.

Fenton Park Developments were advised by Butters John Bee.

Ben Truslove added: “Sites with development potential are much in demand and we are experiencing particularly strong interest in sites of this size.”

HCB Solicitors in Solihull acted for WMRFCA and the purchaser was advised by RJS Solicitors in Stoke-on-Trent.

Ends (247 words)

For more information, contact:

John Truslove, Daralbee House, Archer Road, Redditch, B98 8DJ

01527 584242

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner of ASAP PR – 01608 651203, mobile 07990 978257.

Bond Wolfe Auctions breaks the internet with record result

Bond Wolfe Auctions’ decision to cancel its May auction and hold its first remote bidding only auction in June paid off handsomely.

The 131 lot auction raised £17 million with an astonishing 98% success rate – breaking Bond Wolfe Auctions’ own record for the most successful Midlands auction ever.

But the auction held on Wednesday 24 June proved so popular it nearly didn’t start at all.

The start was delayed when the third-party site hosting the online bidding system crashed due to the sheer volume of bidders logging in.

Prior to the auction day there were 25,381 phone call inquiries and 107,513 legal documents were downloaded.  The auction had over 3,000 registered bidders on the internet, on telephone and proxy and on the day, 28,786 watched the auction live.

Gurpreet Bassi, chief executive of Bond Wolfe Auctions, said: “Having taken the very difficult decision to cancel our May auction, as we felt that it was the only responsible and safe action to take during the peak stages of the pandemic, this was our first ‘behind closed doors’ remote-bidding only auction.

“When the auction did finally begin, bidders were chomping at the bit and we achieved some fantastic results. The hosting company tell us this was a record number of bidders for any single auction that they have ever experienced!”

Highlights were many and included a three bedroom, semi-detached house in Sheldon, Birmingham, selling for £187,000 from a *guide price of £25,000.

A four bedroom, detached property in Oldbury sold for £250,000 from a £99,000 guide price. In the East Midlands, a three bedroom, semi-detached house in Leicester sold for £172,000 off a guide price of £60,000.

Investments sold well also, with a three bedroom property in Quarry Bank, Brierley Hill, which was offered with a guide price of £74,000 finally selling for £138,000.

In Warwickshire, a six bedroom, semi-detached house in Kineton realised £296,000 from a £150,000 guide price. Back in the Black Country, a three bedroom semi-detached property in Oldbury sold for £196,000 of a guide price of £50,000.

But the sharpest “virtual” intake of breath was reserved for a £1 million plus result when Church Garth, a six bedroom former gentleman’s residence in Bickenhill, Solihull, close to Birmingham International Airport and national rail and motorway links, sold for £1,010,000 from a £495,000 guide price.

Gurpreet Bassi added: “The hard work and commitment of the Bond Wolfe Auctions staff throughout this difficult lockdown period has been awe-inspiring and they all deserve the success that they achieved.”

Bond Wolfe Auction’s next auction will be another remote bidding event from 10am on Wednesday 29 July.

Anyone interested in the auctions or with properties for sale in future auctions should contact enquiries@bondwolfeauctions.com, call 0121 312 1212 or visit www.bondwolfeauctions.com.

Ends (455 words)

* Each property is subject to a reserve price which may be different from the guide price.

For further information, please contact:

Suzanne Randell, Head of Marketing and Communications,

Bond Wolfe Auctions,

1st Floor, 75/77 Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2AP

0121 312 1212

www.bondwolfeauctions.com, Twitter – @BondWolfeAuc

Editors’ notes:

Bond Wolfe Auctions has a record breaking and award-winning team with over 200 years of combined property experience.  They sell all types of residential, commercial and mixed-use property, investments and land/development sites for private individuals and corporate clients. They will hold six auctions in 2020 at Aston Villa FC as well as offering online auctions, selling properties nationally across the UK.

REI board backs the business with unanimous increases in shareholding

The entire board of Real Estate Investors (REI), the Birmingham AIM-listed property investment company, has backed the business by increasing their shareholding.

Paul Bassi, chief executive of REI plc, said: “Driven largely by market sentiment due to the Covid-19 pandemic, shares in REI have dropped from a high of 58p in July last year to below 35p recently.

“The fundamentals of the business remain solid, and unlike many, we are continuing to pay dividends, albeit at a reduced level which we anticipate will be temporary.

“We have therefore taken the decision, individually and collectively, to take this opportunity to demonstrate our faith in REI and our commitment to its medium to long term future, which we believe is very strong.”

Mr Bassi has purchased 426,936 shares at 34p taking his holding to 11,000,000 – 5.9% of the company. Finance director Marcus Daly has increased his shareholding by 200,000 shares to 2,256,304 and now holds 1.20%.

REI chairman John Crabtree, the former Wragge & Co senior partner, has bought a further 29,410 shares, and now holds 0.16%. Non-executive directors William Wyatt (145,000 shares, 0.12%) and Peter London (60,000, 0.08%) also increased their holdings.

Mr Bassi reiterated the points he made in a June trading update.

“Our diversified portfolio ensures that we have no material reliance on any single sector, asset or tenant, with our largest sector, by rental income, being offices at 38.12% and our largest occupier being the government at 7.98%.

REI is the UK’s only Midlands-focused Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) with a diversified portfolio of 1.59 million sq ft of investment property across all sectors.

Mr Bassi said: “Our portfolio consists of 58 assets and 277 occupiers, with £17.3 million contracted rental income and occupancy at 95.14% (December 31 2019: occupancy 96.3%).”

He added that the decision by all board members to back REI was not just demonstrating their support for the company, but also a massive vote of confidence in the West Midlands economy in general.

“With HS2 now confirmed, the Commonwealth Games creeping ever closer and the crane count around the city still rising, we believe real estate in Birmingham and the West Midlands is still a very strong sector, with huge potential.”

Ends (367 words)

For further information, please contact:

Paul Bassi CBE, Chief Executive Officer,
Real Estate Investors plc, 2nd Floor, 75/77 Colmore Row, Birmingham B3 2AP

0121 265 6406 or 0121 212 3446

www.reiplc.com

Prepared and issued by ASAP, 01789 490786, mobile, 07990 978257

About Real Estate Investors Plc

Real Estate Investors Plc (REI Plc) is a publicly quoted, internally managed property investment company and REIT with a portfolio of 1.59 million sq ft of commercial property, managed by a highly-experienced property team with over 100 years of combined experience of operating in the Midlands property market across all sectors.

The Company’s strategy is to invest in well located, real estate assets in the established and proven markets of central Birmingham and the Midlands, with income and capital growth potential, realisable through active portfolio management, refurbishment, change of use and lettings.  The portfolio has no material reliance on a single asset or occupier.

Siddall Jones helps Welsh workplace furniture company open Midlands and Northern hub

A South Wales-based workplace and education furniture company has opened up a Midlands and North England office in Birmingham, thanks to commercial property agents Siddall Jones.

BOF has taken the recently refurbished ground floor commercial offices at 101 Albion Street in The Jewellery Quarter.

The new workplace hub of 1,716 sq ft will be used by Midlands account manager Max Fowler and BOF’s support team to grow the company’s business in the region and the north of England.

Managing director Michael Parrish said: “BOF has over 30 years’ experience as a furniture specialist within the education, public and private sectors, and we decided in the latter part of 2019 that we needed a workplace hub in the Midlands.

“Birmingham, with its connections straight into the national motorway network, was the obvious choice for a new showroom and office and we were able to find the perfect premises through Siddall Jones.”

Ed Siddall-Jones said: “The letting to BOF further proves the insatiable demand for quality character space within The Jewellery Quarter.

“Siddall Jones was originally involved in the sale of the property to Raglan Homes and was subsequently retained by the developer to advice on the commercial agency.

“The letting to BOF was completed before practical completion and the finished project draws on the industrial heritage of the building, with exposed brickwork and exposed concrete pillars and conduits.

“We look forward to working with Raglan Homes on their forthcoming projects.”

Raglan Homes were advised by Hadgkiss Hughes & Beale while Berry Smith Lawyers represented BOF.

Siddall Jones is one of the region’s leading commercial property agents with offices in Birmingham and Dudley.

Ends (271 words)

For further information, please contact,

Ed Siddall-Jones, Managing Director,

Siddall Jones, The Mint, 95 Icknield Street, Birmingham B18 6 RU.

0121 638 0500

www.siddalljones.com

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner, ASAP PR – 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978257.

Paint the fence and keep the lawn cut if you want to sell your home

Top tips for selling your house used to include the smell of freshly made filter coffee and baking bread, but now your green fingers could be your most important asset, according to Worcestershire estate agents Nicol & Co.

The company, which has offices in Droitwich and Worcester, is reporting a huge increase in requests for properties with gardens and outside space in general.

Matt Nicol, managing director of Nicol & Co, said: “We always used to major on pictures of kitchens and master bedrooms as the key features in a property, but since lockdown people have clearly started to appreciate the outdoors.

“Now, the first question about a property is often ‘Does it have a garden’?”

His comments echo the findings of a Rightmove report produced for the BBC that lockdown had changed the priorities of many home buyers and renters.

Mr Nicol said: “When you are working from home, you appreciate the garden as somewhere to go and take an eye break from your computer screen or just let your mind settle. Previously you might have considered gardening and cutting the lawn as a chore that had to be tackled at the weekend.

“I think we will see an increased interest in country living. If you are not required in the office every day anymore, then you may consider living further away. If you only have to attend meetings once a week where you live and your home environment is likely to be more important.”

He believes being on the ball and being able to move swiftly enabled Nicol & Co to steal a march on the company’s rivals.

“While others went to ground as soon as lockdown was announced, we moved swiftly to remote working and we were able to carry on with virtual viewings due to our early adoption of the very latest technology.”

Nicol & Co was the first UK company to adopt the Gavl app for livestream viewings.

Matt Nicol said: “Our experience is that despite the challenges of the lockdown, a lot of people were wanting to view properties, in fact even more than normal.

“Being conscious of government guidance we decided to provide the opportunity for a virtual first before physical viewings. Since we introduced Gavl livestream viewings the results have been superb.

A snapshot provided by Nicol & Co shows that the company conducted 119 livestream viewings between 4 May and 7 June, viewed by nearly 1,400 potential buyers. These buyer engagements developed into 313 private viewings and resulted in a total of 30 sales in the same period.

Mr Nicol said: “What we’ve found is that supply is low and demand is high, and that despite COVID-19 now is the perfect time to sell your property.”

Ends (455 words)

 

For further information, please call:

Matt Nicol, Managing Director, Nicol & Co, 226 Worcester Road, Droitwich Spa, WR9 8AY

Tel: 01905 799072

Notes to Editors

Established in 2009, Nicol & Co is an award-winning estate agency offering advice on sales, lettings, new homes and land purchase. The company combines the latest in digital media with traditional high street courtesy and service to provide the perfect blend of old and new technology.

Prepared and issued by Andy Skinner at ASAP, 01789 490786, mobile 07990 978257.