Carter Jonas were instructed by Pitney Bowes to manage the relocation from a redundant office to a fit-for-purpose prestigious new office north of the M25, just outside London. The client was also looking to acquire a warehouse operation, logistics and new call centre within the same area. Additionally they asked Carter Jonas to market and sell the existing obsolete site.
The client’s wish was to comprehensively review all options available in the market for the relocation within a distance that was favorable. The client also wished to tie in relocations simultaneous to preparing a sale of the obsolete site to maximize the capital receipt. Working closely with the in-house real estate team at Pitney Bowes, the preference was to remain in the Harlow area, however stock of a high quality nature was limited.
The market was canvassed both on and off the market and we worked closely with the local economic development team to ensure all options were fully explored in the key home town. Once it become apparent that there was nothing deliverable within the timetable, we turned to looking at options in the surrounding area and identified a building in Hatfield which satisfied the key search criteria. Following a period of negotiations, terms were agreed on a new 40,000 sq ft solution at Hatfield Business Park with a sub-lease from EE.
Simultaneously, terms were agreed for a call centre option to remain in Harlow taking 15,000 sq ft at Harlow Business Park with a new lease direct from the landlord. Terms were also agreed for a new 15,000 sq ft logistics park, again remaining in Harlow, combining four units together creating a high quality facility.
During this time Carter Jonas also started preparing for the disposal of the existing site knowing that vacant possession would be delivered in a number of months. This involved pulling together branding and data of the 14 acre site with over 300,000 sq ft of industrial office space on site. Following a period of marketing, terms were agreed with Lynton Developments which involved a pre-let of a new 350,000 sq ft distribution centre for Poundland at the same time, which also involved acquiring the adjoining 7 acre site. This resulted in a site sale of £4.2M with the exchange and delayed completion following full vacation by Pitney Bowes in September 2013. Poundland subsequently took occupation of the new building in July 2014.
Our client successfully relocated from a dated facility into a prestigious office development in Hatfield. They also retained two operations in their existing home town of Harlow, at the same time we maximized the capital receipt from the disposal and ensured that the sale was under contract before vacation and the completion delayed until all full VP was granted.