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Commercial property developer, Stoford has completed the forward sale of a major warehouse at Icon Manchester, paving the way for a new speculative development at the strategic site.

Alpha Real Capital, a leading investor in long income real assets, has agreed to buy Unit 4, a new, state-of-the-art 102,500 sq ft industrial/warehouse facility at the Manchester Airport development, from Icon Industrial, a strategic joint venture by Stoford Developments and TPG Real Estate.

The £15.023 million sale comes just weeks after Alpha LSG, the largest inflight catering, onboard retail and logistics company in the UK, announced it will move to the highly specified industrial/warehouse building to secure its future in the region.

Alpha LSG will almost double its existing space when it moves its bonded warehouse operation to the £150 million Icon Manchester development. Construction has already started on the unit and completion is programmed for May 2020.

Daniel Gallagher, joint Managing Director at Stoford Developments, said: “Alpha Real Capital’s acquisition is the latest in Icon Manchester’s success story. The quick sale of Unit 4 to Alpha Real Capital is good news and demonstrates what an attractive investment Icon Manchester is.

“The development is situated in a strategically important area of the city region, close to the busy World Freight Terminal, which will provide ambitious logistics businesses with a golden opportunity to expand and be part of this exciting scheme.”

Roger Skeldon, Fund Manager for Time:Commercial Long Income, said: “The purchase of this property, like others recently completed by the fund, further enhances our strategy of acquiring robust good quality assets let to high quality tenants. This acquisition allows for our investors to receive secure rental income with inflation-linked growth over a long term. The strategic location of Icon Manchester means that this estate should continue to be desirable to both investors and occupiers.”

Stoford is now planning to speculatively build Icon 138, a grade A, 138,375 sq ft warehouse and logistics building. Work has already begun on the self-contained facility, which features a highly specified building. It is scheduled for completion in June 2020.

The facility will comprise a 128,250 sq ft warehouse with offices on the first and second floor totalling 6,750 sq ft and a ground floor amenity space of 3,375 sq ft. Bespoke features include 10 dock-level doors, two level-access doors, 15-metre eaves height, and there will be 85m secure yard with 185 car parking spaces and 17 HGV spaces.

Icon Manchester is a 45-acre build to suit logistics/warehouse development that forms part of the Airport City masterplan. It offers excellent road, air and rail connections with immediate access to junction 6 of the M56 motorway and Greater Manchester.

Icon Industrial has already announced the construction of a new logistics and global content creation studio for online beauty retailer The Hut Group. The site is also home to DHL, Amazon, a BP Petrol Filling Station, Costa Coffee and M&S Simply Food.

TPG Real Estate and Stoford Developments are building Icon Industrial into a significant logistics platform by acquiring and developing similarly attractive UK sites, as well as refurbishing existing buildings in prime logistics locations. TPG Real Estate has significant experience investing in logistics, while Stoford has completed more than 14 million sq ft of industrial development in the UK.

Real estate advisors, JLL advised Alpha Real Capital on the acquisition of Unit 4, Icon Manchester. Leading property advisory business, DTRE acted on behalf of Icon Industrial / Stoford Developments.