Development Securities acquires Bristol office block

Posted on by John Cronin

Commercial property developers Development Securities (Dev Sec) has purchased a Bristol office block in a joint venture with Ellandi LLP.

Colston TowerDev Sec and Ellandi have paid £7.6m for Colston Tower (pictured), a 15-storey office block in Bristol city centre. The pair have formed a new joint venture with Dev Sec holding a 75% share and Ellandi 25%. Dev Sec and Ellandi have previously joined forces to purchase the Crown Glass Shopping Centre in Nailsea, Bristol.

Colston Tower is a multi-let office block running at an occupancy rate of 85%. The building was completed in 1973 and offers some 90,000 sq ft of floor space. The building has retail and restaurant units on the ground floor with offices above. Colston Tower, one of the largest offices in Bristol, is a significant local landmark with a well-recognised clock that was added in 1996.

The new owners plan to increase the current rental yield of just over 10% by implementing a rolling refurbishment programme. Mark Robinson, partner at Ellandi, has comically suggested: “[Colston Tower is] bloody ugly / a masterpiece of brutalist architecture (delete as appropriate)”.

Currently, 30% of the rental income comes from the retail/leisure units. The building is currently occupied by 33 tenants and the average, unexpired lease term is just over 4 years.

Commenting on the transaction, Matthew Weiner, Executive Director of Dev Sec, said: “Colston Tower provides a high income return and significant scope to improve the property through intensive asset management.”

Agents Knight Frank are currently marketing suites within Colston Tower starting at rental prices of £10 / sq ft. There is also an estimated service charge of £5 / sq ft. Vacant office suites range in size from 1,119 sq ft to 10,091 sq ft.

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