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Poole: Merck House sold to Trinova Real Estate after successful lettings

By Dan Teuton
20 September 2018

South Coast commercial property specialist Lambert Smith Hampton has successfully let Merck House, Poole, achieving record rents in the process and negotiating a £11.8 million sale of the newly-refurbished premises.

LSH’s client Titan Property Developments speculatively acquired Merck House, an office building in Seldown Road, with a view to gaining consent for a residential conversion under permitted development rights. However, advice provided by LSH’s office occupational team encouraged a change of strategy that has delivered outstanding results and a boost to the local economy.

The accommodation at Merck House amounts to approximately 55,000 sq ft and a separate secure self-contained car park offering 184 car parking spaces. With limited competing space in the office market and strong demand locally, LSH specialists advised that a substantial refurbishment could deliver rental growth and quality long-term occupiers.

Following an extensive seven-figure refurbishment programme over the past two years by Titan, LSH has helped to secure a string of new tenants, including Sigma Aldrich, Mazars LLP, Dixons Carphone Warehouse and Utility Point. The building is demanding new record rents for Poole, of up to £18 per sq ft.

Andy Hodgkinson, director and head of office agency at LSH’s South Coast offices, said: “When we were approached by Titan Property Developments to provide advice on Merck House, we were confident that it would prove attractive to occupiers given the lack of good quality competing offices within the town centre. The quality of the work subsequently carried out enabled us to secure a long lease with Bank of New York on the lower half of the building and new leases to a number of well-known occupiers.”

He added: “The outlook from the upper floors is quite breathtaking with panoramic views across Poole Harbour to Old Harry Rock and even Corfe Castle. To have pushed prime rents for the town to new heights is testament to the strength of the Dorset economy, the quality of the building, excellent parking facilities and of course those amazing views! This will set the precedent for reversionary rents in the building.”

Following the success of the refurbishments and letting of the building, the Capital Markets team at LSH secured a sale to Trinova Real Estate at a price of £11.8m.

Jerry Vigus, director of capital markets at LSH, said: “LSH were instructed by Titan Property Developments to approach a select list of investors with this opportunity with Trinova Real Estate being successful. They were attracted to the property due to its strong tenant line-up, quality of the refurbishment works and the exceptional car parking capacity the property offers.”

Steve Summers, from Titan Property Developments, said: “We are grateful to the team at LSH whose expertise and commercial acumen were instrumental in the success of this project. I would also like to commend the professionalism of Trinova Real Estate.”

Sam Resouly, from Trinova Real Estate, said: “We are delighted to have acquired on behalf of one of our separate accounts a very good quality asset in a strong location with attractive fundamentals. The building presents very well and has demonstrated strong lease up since it was comprehensively refurbished. We are also very pleased to have worked with Titan, who have been very professional throughout this process.”

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