Westgate (Midlands) Ltd - 19A Forester Street, Netherfield

This one is close to home as the property is owned by my parents and is the headquarters of our family business 'Westgate (Midlands) Ltd'. To the rear of the main warehouse is a two-storey building the first floor of which has been let to tenants for years. Since my parents bought the building, they’ve been fortunate to have had only two different tenants, who between them occupied the space for over 20 years.

When the space came vacant in 2017 it was time for a re-think in terms of how to maximise the return from the property. We marketed the property through Fisher German as I was working there at the time and subsequently moved the listing across to Harris Lamb when I took on my role there in October 2018.

Initially there was little interest in the property, which led us to rethink the target market. Historically, the space had been used for light manufacturing, but we decided to target alternative sectors, including sports and fitness, serviced offices and education.

Utilising my network of contacts in those sectors and an effective marketing campaign we generated a number of enquiries, one of which came from Venture Learning (VL), a new start up in the education sector providing education to students who had struggled in mainstream schools. Their focus was to rebuild a youngster’s relationship with learning and bring them back into mainstream education.

The negotiation process between myself and VL was positive, with landlord and tenant both keen to be reasonable to accommodate the other’s needs. The property needed a substantial refurbishment to make it a fit environment and also a change of use. VL agreed to lease terms which reflected the landlord’s commitment to providing a suitable space for their business.

Case Study - 19A Forester Street
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Once landlord and tenant had agreed to a new five-year lease term, works commenced and a planning application for a change of use from B1 (light manufacturing) to D1 (non-residential institution) was submitted. The application was approved and works completed, shown by the included photo, allowing the tenant to take occupation of the property in January 2019.

This was a hugely satisfactory outcome, not simply because of my family ties to the building, but also because when we first started marketing the property, it wasn’t immediately clear who would be interested in taking the space and at what level of rent. The landlord had previously enjoyed long term occupiers and hopefully, by thinking outside the box in terms of potential occupiers and applying a pro-active and targeted marketing campaign, they’ve been able to create a space which will enable VL to thrive for years to come.

September 2020 on behalf of RH Chartered Surveyors

 

Case Study - 19A Forester St - Additional Text

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