Commercial property: Seven Hills sets out speculative stall

Next week sees the official launch of what is believed to be the largest single industrial speculative build in Edinburgh in the last 20 years.

On Wednesday, 8 May, a drinks reception at The Edinburgh Grand in St Andrew Square will be hosted by the owners of Seven Hills Business Park in Sighthill.

Located to the west of the Capital, the park will provide a total of 76,000sq ft of industrial and trade space, with completion due this autumn.

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Some 11 more units, ranging from 3,360 to 14,700sq ft, are being built at Seven Hills to sit alongside buildings already home to Napier University and Amazon.

Three of the largest units will have office space on the first floor and all will be set within a secure site with a communal yard and security gate.

Previously owned by Peveril Securities in a joint venture with Citivale, Seven Hills was sold to UBS Asset Management’s Triton Property Fund in a £15M deal in March.

The site spans Neil McAllister, a partner at Ryden, says: “Seven Hills is well placed to take advantage of the severe
shortage of high-quality, new-build industrial space throughout Scotland but particularly around Edinburgh.

“Collectively, we are very supportive of Peveril’s decision to build speculatively; the market needs developments like Seven Hills to satisfy current and future demand.”

“The diversity of the unit sizes will suit small, medium and large market requirements.”

Niall Burns, a partner at Burns and Shaw, says it is the mix of sizes that will give a broad appeal: “So far we have had interest from national trade counter operators, and those looking at the units for secure document storage and food production.

“We expect a whole variety of potential tenants. Traditionally, 
you would have been looking at logistics, trade counter or manufacturing but with this we will get a much wider spectrum.”

Burns believes that a speculative build has its advantages: “For the owners, it can de-risk a development if you have a pre-let in place, but it does mean that you have to build to a defined specification and size.

“For a speculative build, planning and building will have already been carried out, so taking occupation
can take two to three months for a tenant, where commissioning
a building could take 18 months
or longer.”

Andrew Veitch, agency partner at Montagu Evans, is convinced that the location will be attractive to tenants: “It’s on the Western periphery of the Capital, linking to the bypass with the M8 and providing direct access to the M9 and M90.

“Just ten minutes’ drive from Edinburgh Airport and with excellent train and tram links nearby, we are confident that it will attract significant interest from both regional and national occupiers.”

Steel construction of the units at Seven Hills is complete, cladding and flooring is currently being installed, and potential tenants will be able to survey aerial views of the site and photos of the buildings at the launch event next week.