Our Services - Landlords and Owners - Case Studies

Alexander House, Kings Road

The Challenge
Investra own this secondary office building in Reading. The tenant was due to vacate and it appeared the prospects of finding another tenant were slim.

The Solution
Campbell Gordon were appointed to interrogate and report on the office market. It was clear that there would be no viable demand to support the continued use of this property as an office building. Their assessment was documented in a report which was used as part of the planning application process to seek permission for a wholesale residential redevelopment.

The Result
Campbell Gordon were able to show that there was no demand for offices in this location which supported the planning application for new build residential apartments. Planning consent was granted for 56 units in March 2017.

Campbell Gordon are recognised as the 'go to' office specialists in Reading. I wanted to understand our options with this asset, ie whether to refurb for continued office use or redevelop into a residential scheme. They gave very valuable market and development advice that aided our assessment and planning strategy and I would certainly use them again if I required similar advice in the future.

Gerald Bishop
Investment & Development Manager, Investra

No.1 Forbury Place

The Challenge
M&G Real Estate and Bell Hammer developed this 186,000 sq.ft of prime office building in Central Reading speculatively.They wanted to let it as soon as possible, and on the right commercial basis.

The Solution
Campbell Gordon were appointed as joint letting agents to find a tenant. The team had been in discussions with SSE about their potential office requirement for a long period of time and introduced No.1 Forbury Place to them. This was significantly earlier than their requirement became known in the wider market.

The Result
SSE leased the building in its entirety. Possession was taken at the point of Practical Completion of its construction, meeting precisely the client's timetable aspirations. The transaction was the largest single office letting in the Thames Valley for over a decade, and awarded 'Deal of the Year' by CoStar for the West London and Thames Valley region.

We have worked with Campbell Gordon for over 35 years. We appointed them on this project because of their uniquely strong position in the Reading prime office market and their strong track record. This decision was entirely validated by the success of the campaign. They did a first class job in securing this tenant and we are pleased to have retained their services again as we move on to the next stage of the development with the construction of No.2 Forbury Place.

Aaron Pope
Director - Asset Management & Leasing, M&G

Pitmans

The Challenge
Pitmans Solicitors required the services of an expert in the Reading commercial property market to assist in a major litigation case. The case required an intimate knowledge of the office market, including demand levels, pricing and occupier behaviour. The case was complicated and fast moving, so an expert was required who had substantial market knowledge, sophisticated analytical skills and could respond quickly.

The Solution
Keith Wise, Director at Campbell Gordon, was appointed. He identified the key issues, pulled together and analysed the data and made appropriate recommendations.

The Result
A satisfactory out of court settlement was reached, which drew on the evidence set out in the Expert Witness report.

Campbell Gordon have been around a long time and we knew they were well regarded. We knew Keith Wise was an experienced professional, so we approached him. It was definitely the right decision to appoint Keith. His commitment was total and his expertise and integrity helped us get a better result for our client. We had a great experience of the Campbell Gordon service and I am sure we would use them again should the need arise.

Sue O'Brien
Head of Dispute Resolution, Pitmans Solicitors

Mabey Group

The Challenge
Mabey Group had a number of property assets that were considered non-core following a strategic review, and were therefore surplus to requirement. These included property in Twyford, Walsall, Stratford upon Avon, St Albans and South Wales. The Group owned two properties in South Wales, including a 360,000 sq.ft industrial unit in Chepstow.

The Solution
Campbell Gordon provided advice and asset management services in relation to the disposal of these properties. This included disposal method, transactional and commercial strategies and appointment of suitable consultants.

The Result
Campbell Gordon oversaw the disposal of these assets, including the large industrial unit in Chepstow, delivering returns in excess of the targeted values.

I first used Campbell Gordon to advise on the sale of an office property with development land in Twyford. They provided a great level of service and good quality advice. Following this positive experience I have used their services to advise on a range of projects across the UK, from Liverpool to Wales. If we have a property where we need to get under the skin of its real long term value in investment or development terms, or where we need brokerage advice and services, I know that I can get in touch with Campbell Gordon and they will react quickly and get me the answers I need. I was particularly pleased with the disposal of our large factory site in Chepstow, it was a high value but unusual asset. It required sensitive handling, whilst remaining commercially robust, which Campbell Gordon achieved.

Kate Beauchamp
Group Chief Legal Officer

Theale Commercial Estate

The Challenge
Aviva owned Theale Commercial Estate, a 20 year old industrial estate on the outskirts of Reading. The value of the estate had been falling, this was in part because most of the units were in a poor condition and also because the unexpired terms of the let units were diminishing.

The Solution
Campbell Gordon were appointed to work with Aviva to maximise the value of the estate. They worked with the tenants to regear the leases and refurbish the units to a high standard.

The Result
New leases are now in place with 7 tenants, with 8 units having been refurbished and 5 due to be refurbished. As a result there has been a substantial increase in the value of the estate, enhancing performance for the fund.

We have used Campbell Gordon for many years to help maximise value in our industrial and office holdings in the Thames Valley. They offer a depth of knowledge about the dynamics of local occupier markets and bring tenacity and attention to detail to negotiations. Their advice is pragmatic and tailored to understand the investment management requirements of pension fund clients.

Richard Peacock
Assistant Fund Manager, Aviva Investors

Kebbell Homes

The Challenge
Kebbell Homes were looking for development sites. They were particularly keen to find a site in Chiswick following the successful development of other sites nearby.

The Solution
Campbell Gordon identified this 1.5 acre off-market through research. The site owners were approached and a ‘subject to planning’ sale was agreed.

The Result
Kebbell Homes secured planning consent for 9 very high quality homes and the site purchase completed.

We were delighted to get hold of this site. We like working with Campbell Gordon, we are currently working with them on a number of other sites, mostly in West London. They have an eye for a good site, an ability to ignite dialogues with site owners and the persistence to push through and make deals happen.

Dudley Mills
Land Development Director, Kebbell Homes

Bracknell & Wokingham College

The Challenge
The College had a mission; ‘To enable all learners to achieve their full potential’, underpinned by ‘Maximising Income and Business Efficiency..’. Defining and implementing the correct property strategy was considered an essential part of this mission, and required the right partner. Campbell Gordon were appointed as the property partner.

The Solution
Campbell Gordon worked with the College to define the objectives of the property strategy and to implement it. The College had too many sites and it was agreed that it was appropriate to consolidate these in order to save costs and realise value for re-investment in core operations. This included the sale of a campus property in Woodley to a church, a 2 acre site in Bracknell to a school and the adjoining 3 acre site for residential use to Cala Homes, subject to planning.

The Result
The College has been able to save costs and realise value for investment, enabling it to deliver on its long term educational objectives.

I have found Campbell Gordon’s ability to listen, understand and then advise to be of an extremely high value. They took time to really understand our needs, which is quite unusual. They have demonstrated a sensitivity and deftness of touch that has been critical in getting the very best outcome. At that same time I have found their persistence and tenacity to be of great value in driving the best possible commercial arrangements for the College. It has been a pleasure working with Duncan Campbell and the rest of the Campbell Gordon team. They clearly genuinely care about the quality of the service they provide. I would not hesitate to recommend their services to another party.

Campbell Christie CBE
Principal and Chief Executive

Beacontree Plaza

The Challenge
Beacontree Plaza is an office park in south Reading. The long leasehold interest is owned by the Freshwater Group. As a long term investor Freshwater wanted to have the ability to maximise value through redevelopment.

The Opportunity
Campbell Gordon recognised that there was an opportunity to promote the site for redevelopment as part of Reading Borough Council's consultations in preparation for their Site Allocations Document. Campbell Gordon were retained as development consultants, and working closely with the planning consultants and Freshwater Group, they made the case for a mixed use allocation for the land.

The Result
The Reading Sites and Detailed Policies Document has identified an area, which includes the Beacontree Plaza site, as an area for redevelopment over the long term. This may include residential, an extension to the local retail centre and small scale employment & community uses. No final decision has been made as to the allocations. There are no current plans to redevelop Beacontree Plaza.

Beacontree Plaza is a great little office park, and we are not intending to redevelop any time soon. However as a long term investor, with the site allocations effecting the planning decisions right up to 2026, we felt it was important to give ourselves the option for redevelopment if we think that is appropriate in the future. Campbell Gordon are always right on top of these things and spotted that there was a window of opportunity to make our case last year. They also have a knack for seeing how to get the most out of a piece of land so I am pleased to continue to have their advice through this process.

Andrew Thomson
Commercial Manager, Freshwater Group

Kronos House, Wokingham

The Challenge
Aberdeen Asset Management owned this 14,000 sq.ft secondary office in Wokingham. The occupier had decided to vacate and so the Fund instructed Campbell Gordon to assess the office letting prospects and alternative disposal strategies, including residential conversion through Permitted Development.

The Solution
Campbell Gordon assessed the market and showed that the letting prospects were poor, but that the demand from developers for conversion would be strong. The firm undertook a controlled disposal campaign to the right target audience in order to achieve the very best outcome.

The Result
The building was sold to a developer for residential conversion at a price significantly in excess of the benchmarked minimum value required.

I have worked with Campbell Gordon for many years, so I knew they understood this market well. They carried out a number of key tasks for us including an office letting campaign, planning support and ultimately the sale for residential conversion. We were delighted with the outcome and price achieved.

Matthew Cunliffe
Fund Manager

Apex & Hayley House, Bracknell (development)

The Challenge
Apex & Hayley House were secondary office buildings on London Road in Bracknell. It became apparent that with the excess supply of office buildings in the local Bracknell market the best way to maximise exit value from the assets was to secure a sale to a residential developer through Permitted Development Rights.

The Solution
Campbell Gordon were asked to conduct a marketing campaign and find a buyer who would pay the target price.

The Result
Campbell Gordon found the buyer and oversaw the transaction to completion.

Campbell Gordon worked hard over a long period of time to ensure we secured the optimum price for this asset. Their position and contacts in this market meant they were able to find the best buyer. They also had the skills and patience to overcome a number of challenging circumstances that arose, and marshal the transaction through to a successful completion.

Malcolm McPhail
Managing Director

Apex & Hayley House, Bracknell (letting)

The Challenge
Apex & Hayley House were secondary office buildings on London Road in Bracknell. The intention was to redevelop them or refurbish them , but in the interim it was essential to maximise revenue returns.

The Solution
Campbell Gordon were appointed as letting agents alongside joint agents. A number of marketing initiatives were put in place and tenants were secured.

The Result
The very best lettings possible were secured within the framework of the building’s specification and market conditions.

When we bought these buildings we knew they represented an interesting redevelopment play. In the meantime we wanted to maximise our return. We bought in Campbell Gordon because we knew they would be great advisers on both aspects. They have a great applicant flow, and are proactive ,persistent and conscientious – which makes them ideal agents. They are also creative lateral thinkers which makes them great development advisers.

Malcolm McPhail
Managing Director