Administrator to stalled scheme attracts investors for next two phases

Bristol's Glass Wharf

Glass half full: the shell-and-core Eye, Burges Salmon’s One Glass Wharf office, sites for Two and Three Glass Wharf

A £160m Bristol regeneration scheme that stalled after Castlemore Securities’ collapse has been brought back to life.

Castlemore’s administrator, PWC, has attracted several investors keen to build out parts of the scheme. One development agreement has been completed, an £82m investment deal is nearing completion and several more transactions are on the horizon.

Two Glass Wharf has been bought by Salmon Harvester Properties, which intends to develop a 140,000 sq ft £40m office scheme. The site was bought for £5m and marks the debut purchase for a £25m commercial land-banking fund. When a tenant is found, the property is expected to be sold into NFU Mutual’s Life Fund.

Salmon Harvester development director Rorie Henderson said: “We will be keeping close tabs on the general dynamics of the Bristol market. We may build out speculatively but that decision will be made next year.”

An existing 215,278 sq ft office at the adjacent One Glass Wharf has been placed under offer by Aerium.

The European fund manager is believed to have bid slightly above the £82.3m asking price, which reflects a yield of 6.75%. Law firm Burges Salmon occupies four-fifths of the building.

Three Glass Wharf has been placed under offer by private healthcare operator Circle. The site has outline planning consent for a 130,000 sq ft scheme but detailed permission will be sought for a private healthcare facility of 70,000-100,000 sq ft.

The offer is subject to permission being granted by the local authority.

The Eye, a 13-storey tower with ground-floor retail and 72 flats, has also been placed under offer by an undisclosed joint venture. The scheme is at “shell and core” stage but is expected to be completed and brought to the market by the new owners.

Alder King partner John Benson said: “The overhang of completed grade A office accommodation in Bristol is relatively low. It peaked at around 500,000 sq ft and that has started to steadily erode, and there have been a number of prelet enquiries around.”

Alder King and King Sturge are advising on the sale of One Glass Wharf; Alder King and Lambert Smith Hampton advised on the sale of Two Glass Wharf and are advising on the prospective transactions at Three Glass Wharf and the Eye; Hoddell Stotesbury Morgan advised Salmon Harvester Properties.