VSL announces sale of Abingdon Business Park to Rockspring


Oxfordshire commercial property consultants VSL & Partners has advised Rockspring Property Investment Managers and XLB on the acquisition of Abingdon Business Park - the first single estate purchase in Oxfordshire in over four years. 

Abingdon Business Park comprises 393,000 sq ft of office and industrial space across five buildings, as well as land for development.  The park is currently 72 per cent let to approximately 45 tenants including UK Mail, Orchid Cellmark and Taylor Wimpey.
XLB, which currently works on behalf of Rockspring at Cambridge Research Park, will also act as asset and development managers at Abingdon Business Park.

Rockspring Property Investment Managers, on behalf of its UK Value 2 LP fund, has acquired the business park from Standard Life Investments.  The purchase price of £36.4m reflects a net initial yield of 7.2 per cent.
Richard Bains, Rockspring partner and fund manager of the UK Value series said: “We intend to capitalise on the opportunity to modernise the asset, reduce vacancy and drive rental growth through re-gearing and extending existing leases and developing the remaining land.

“The addition of Abingdon to the UK Value 2 portfolio further broadens the fund’s exposure to the South East office market, which we believe continues to offer compelling market dynamics and rental growth potential.”

VSL director Tom Barton said: “This is notably the biggest investment sale in Oxfordshire for over four years and is yet another example of investors increasing their appetite for office and industrial accommodation in the county.  

“For Rockspring this acquisition adds another long-term asset to the portfolio with plenty of opportunity to add capital value through further development.  It also offers strong rental growth potential given the low supply and strengthening demand for commercial premises in the county. Following on from the sale we have now been instructed as joint letting agents along with Lambert Smith Hampton.” 

Kevin Wood, Director at Lambert Smith Hampton, management agent for the park, explains: “The acquisition of Abingdon Business Park by Rockspring is one of the most exciting developments to be seen in the South Oxfordshire market and offers a fantastic opportunity to create value and generate occupier demand. With a severe lack of existing accommodation in the office and industrial markets in Oxfordshire, this refurbished site will be highly sought after.
“As the management agent, alongside XLB, Lambert Smith Hampton will work with existing park occupiers to enhance the amenity offering and create savings on occupational costs.”

VSL & Partners acted for Rockspring jointly with CBRE, and Standard Life Investments was advised by DTZ.  

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