Challenges

There were a number of issues facing our team of expert commercial property acquisition and disposal consultants:

  • The Thames Valley’s status as the 'UK’s fastest growing economic region outside London' means that the usual ‘stock’ of such properties associated with a region of this size is in very short supply.
  • The developer who had acquired the old REL site (Photon House) was keen to move quickly to start re-development and the lease was rapidly expiring.
  • REL has been celebrated as a top employer (5th in the large category list of UK businesses compiled by Great Place to Work® Institute UK and 12th across Europe). Having seriously outgrown their premises it was vital for them to get into the right property as soon as possible or risk losing the impact and goodwill from this award.
  • As ever, financial constraints applied, and the team of advisers at Vail Williams was very aware of this, on behalf of the client.

A team of specialist surveyors was appointed to understand the brief and become fully appraised of the requirements. The property search took 18 months – during which time the team were in regular daily/weekly contact with the client.

The search for appropriate premises was exhaustive – utilising extensive local knowledge to ensure we were able to get intelligence on properties before they came to ‘market’.

We faced many challenges including being gazumped on the initial choices of properties, so were forced to bring forward additional solutions to secure an alternative whilst negotiating an extension on the lease of REL’s existing premises to ensure a seamless transition.We assisted with other critical aspects of the project that were required to ensure smooth completion, notably:-

  • Full relocation strategy and implementation.
  • Project management of the new fit-out from start to finish.
  • Business rates advice to mitigate liabilities during the transition.

We applied creative solutions, awareness of change of use legislation and knowledge of modern refurbishment technologies to ensure that even in a very limited pool of properties, we were able to consider more ‘potential’ buildings by being able to ‘think outside the box’.

Expertise

  • Commercial property acquisition advice
  • Business rates advice
  • Real estate portfolio management advice

Result

We identified a solution for REL at Winnersh Triangle – the Oaktree Capital Management / Patrizia mixed-use estate, where we were able to acquire 13,000 sq. ft. of offices and a warehouse building of 17,000 sq ft.

We project managed the fit out of the offices to the exact specification of the client and to the warehouse to ensure high levels of security and efficiency.

The client was delighted with the final result, having been presented with a highly desirable solution in a great location, on time and within budget. Please see the accompanying video testimonial for more details.

For further information please contact our team.

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