Construction, property and development consultancy DBK Back has been appointed by St Modwen Properties as project manager, cost consultant and CDM co-ordinator for the redevelopment of a landmark 53-acre Coventry business park.
Whitley Business Park, off Abbey Road, is home to Jaguar’s Engineering Centre, where every Jaguar car is researched, designed and manufactured.
Surplus land next to Jaguar’s buildings will be redeveloped into 1.1million sq ft of high quality office and business space, with complimentary industrial/distribution units, ten per cent of the overall scheme.
DBK said the £130 million project has a masterplan, with work having started on site for the first phase ‘Lakeside’, designed by Birmingham-based Associated Architects.
The first phase includes the redevelopment of the roundabout into a new business park entrance to accommodate the additional facilities. This phase will provide four acres of Grade A office space, and is expected to complete in November 2008 after a 42-week build programme.
DBK Back principal director Duncan Berry said: "There is such an increasing need for high quality business park space in Coventry, this project is vital to meeting demand. By developing on surplus land next to Jaguar’s Engineering Centre, Whitley Business Park will provide ample future space for businesses planning to move. This setting is perfect due to its existing infrastructure and proximity to the Midlands motorway network.
"We are delighted to have been chosen to work on this scheme as a continuation of our existing partnership with St Modwen. It is very rewarding to be working on a project that will bring significant benefits to the surrounding community, such as ‘green’ links to the site and 2,000 new jobs."
St Modwen Properties purchased 40.5-acres of the Business Park from Jaguar, with the remaining 12.5 bought from Coventry City Council.
Paul Smith, St Modwen’s development surveyor, said: "As part of our plans, we are opening up an enclosed site by cycle and footpaths.
"These will link to neighbouring greenbelt land, next to the River Soar and provide safer access to the business park for those not wishing to drive. It will be a fantastic flagship development set in attractive grounds that will significantly augment the business space in Coventry.
"Following the decline of the city’s manufacturing base, we have recognised the need for this new business environment to facilitate the transition from manufacturing to Coventry’s flourishing business sector. We believe Whitley Business Park will act as a catalyst for further developments."
Whitley Business Park is the latest appointment for DBK Back by St Modwen, building on a 15-year relationship, which sees the two companies working across England and Wales.
Stoke-on-Trent Regeneration, the joint venture between St Modwen Properties and Stoke City Council, has sold two further investments on its 400-acre Trentham Lakes development to a local property investor for more than £750,000.
Chambers Estates, which looks to buy new stock let to high quality covenants, has bought a 5,050 sq ft industrial unit on Trentham Trade Park let to Eurocell Building Plastics on a ten-year lease.
It has also acquired a 2,300 sq ft office building in Trentham Business Quarter let to T&T Consultancy on a ten-year lease.
Andy Cox, development manager of St Modwen, described the deals as encouraging. "It is good to see that local investors are prepared to show confidence in the Stoke property market when we provide the right product at the right price."
Louis Taylor acted for St Modwen.