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The Crown Estate sells part of Avonmouth distribution centre to AXA Real Estate

9 Sep 11 The Crown Estate has sold part of its Cabot Park site at Avonmouth to a client of AXA Real Estate for £10.5 million.

The deal sees AXA Real Estate, on behalf of its client, purchase a 33 acre site, which recently received planning consent for the construction of a major regional distribution centre for The Co-operative Group.

The Crown Estate retains the other 64 acres of the site, which are currently used by Honda for car storage, body works and valeting.

James Cooksey, Head of the Regional Portfolio at The Crown Estate said: “We are pleased to have concluded the sale of a third of our site at Avonmouth and delighted to have worked collaboratively with Midland property specialists Gallan and Stoford to achieve this.”

The Crown Estate’s Regional portfolio also includes shopping centres, retail parks, industrial estates and business parks across the UK. The Crown Estate is a leading UK property manager, developer and investor, which manages a highly diverse property business valued at over 7 billion. Its entire income surplus is paid to the Treasury for the benefit of the nation.

Rob Awford, Fund Manager at AXA Real Estate, added: “This acquisition is in line with our client’s strategy of investing in assets which benefit from a strong, long-term income stream. Having completed the acquisition and with planning permission in place, we will now work alongside our development partners to deliver a scheme tailored to the tenant’s requirements, which will bring tangible economic benefits to the local area.”

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Drivers Jonas Deloitte acted as agents for The Crown Estate, with Burges Salmon as their solicitors.

The joint venture between Gallan and Stoford, of which The Crown Estate was previously a part, will continue to implement the planning permission, with the centre having been pre-let to the Co-operative Group on a 20 year lease at a rent of over £2 million per year. Construction is now underway with completion of the facility planned for mid-2012.

Karen Wilson, who is leading the scheme for Gallan Group, said: “We are delighted that the project has reached this exciting stage in the delivery process.”

Dan Gallagher, Stoford Director, added: “This is significant step in the development of a centre that will be a tremendous boost for the local economy and employment. We are delighted to see it start to take shape.”

The new distribution centre will create around 900 new jobs in the Bristol area, worth around £25 million to the local economy in terms of construction works and jobs.

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