Shepherd Chartered Surveyors

Developers sought to lead ‘ambitious’ expansion of John O’Groats

john o groatsAerial image with red outlineAgents have been appointed to attract new investors and developers to realise “ambitious” plans for expansion at the iconic location of John O’Groats.

Located on the far north coast of Scotland in the county of Caithness overlooking the Pentland Firth to the Orkneys, the popular tourist destination is famous for lying on the north-eastern point of one end of the longest distance between two inhabited points on the British mainland, with Land’s End in Cornwall lying 876 miles to the southwest.

John O’Groats has benefited from the Natural Retreats’ development and regeneration in recent years and the investment of other local operators. The area is also reportedly starting to see the economic benefits of Meygen’s long-term commitment to developing tidal energy within the Pentland Firth.

Outline planning consent is now in place for a masterplan development which proposes a structure formed around a series of six zones: harbour front and public realm; central core; natural retreats site; artisans and craftsmen; events field; and residential quarter.

Heritage GB and Natural Assets have appointed Shepherd Chartered Surveyors and Strutt & Parker as joint agents.

Sandy Rennie, partner in the Inverness office of Shepherd Chartered Surveyors, said: “Expressions of interest are sought from third party investors including developers, operators and any potential tenants. This is a unique opportunity to invest in an iconic location within the UK and capitalise on the tourist trade within Scotland, which has gone from strength to strength, particularly the success of the North Coast 500 route which has rapidly established itself as one of the most scenic driving routes in the world.”

Euan MacCrimmon at Strutt & Parker, added: “We are very excited about the appointment and opportunity, particularly given that John O’Groats is very much enjoying a surge in popularity, following the last five years of large scale new developments and the NC500 effect, which has created another wave of visitation to the area.”

The six masterplan zones are:

  • Zone 1 – harbour front and public realm– sea front with Last House, cafes, small retail, harbour and public areas. Buildings largely existing but scope for careful insertions.
  • Zone 2 – central core – mixed use development around a pedestrian square, including food and beverage, retail, small residential units, existing retail buildings retained and upgraded.
  • Zone 3 – natural retreats site– holiday accommodation and ancillary functions.  Public park and play area. This zone is largely developed except for landscaping improvements, park and possible insertions into gaps.
  • Zone 4 – artisans and craftsmen– small artisan industrial units such as micro-brewery, distillery, weavers, etc. Community buildings such as children’s centre, medical centre, etc.
  • Zone 5 – events field– green space at the centre of the village suitable for large scale community events as well as day to day recreation. Potential pavilion building.
  • Zone 6 – residential quarter– family housing, detached cottages, villas and terraced houses. Walled market garden/allotments and overflow car parking.

Inverness city centre office sold to hotel developer

bridge house invernessHotel development company Patio Hotels (Aberdeen) is planning to redevelop an office building in the heart of Inverness city centre after buying the property for an undisclosed sum.

The firm, which also operates the Kingmills Hotel in Inverness, intends to redevelop the 23,000 sq ft building, formerly known as Bridge House, into a 4-star hotel.

The four-storey and basement end terrace building is located on the west side of Church Street on a prominent corner position with Bank Lane close to High Street/Bridge Street within Inverness city centre.

Shepherd Chartered Surveyors sold the property on behalf of Threadneedle Pensions.

Sandy Rennie, partner in the Inverness office of Shepherd Chartered Surveyors, said: “This sale represents a very large disposal in the Inverness market and confirms the city’s growing reputation as a desirable location for hotel operators.

“The conclusion of this sale follows our recent sale of the adjacent building to Bridge House to Bar Revolution, formerly home to McEwen’s of Perth, and provides further evidence of a buoyant market for investment in Inverness’s buoyant hospitality sector.”

Artisan Real Estate Investors acquires Glasgow’s Custom House

PowerPoint PresentationThe Custom House development site in Glasgow city centre to has been sold to property development and investment company Artisan Real Estate Investors for a sum “significantly above” the asking price of £1.75 million.

The Grade A-Listed Custom House and adjoining land situated on Dixon Street and Clyde Street overlooking Glasgow’s waterfront has planning consent for development of a 14 storey new build 209 room full-service hotel development incorporating a restaurant and bar, conference and meeting facilities, and gym and leisure facilities.

Artisan CEO Jaco Jansen said: “We are delighted to expand our footprint in Glasgow. Securing another high-quality regeneration opportunity in such an excellent location fits our model perfectly. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to optimise the potential for this part of the city.”

The wider area, including Custom House Quay, Custom House Gardens and Carrick Quay, form part of a high-quality scheme to transform the waterfront with mixed-use development comprising hotels, designer retailers, luxury flats and a 24-hour promenade including restaurants and bars, the aim being to create an extension to the retailing and commercial activities within the city along the riverside.

Presently vacant, Custom House was once an operational customs office and was more recently occupied by the Procurator Fiscal. Located within an Outstanding Conservation Area, the building and its curtilage is category ‘A’ listed.

Shepherd Chartered Surveyors and Dougray Smith sold the site on behalf of Ashcap (CNC) LLP administrators A O’Keefe and E Mackay of AlixPartners.

Shepherd managing partner, Steve Barnett, commented that the level of interest generated by the opportunity was impressive, in terms of both the number and quality of the enquiries received.

“Our clients are delighted with the result of the sale.” he said. “This deal provides yet another example of the strength of demand for further hotel development within Glasgow’s city centre.”

Scottish property firms Shepherd and Hardies announce merger

George Brewster of Shepherd (left) and Derek Ferrier of Hardies

George Brewster of Shepherd (left) and Derek Ferrier of Hardies

Surveying practice Shepherd Chartered Surveyors has today announced its merger with multi discipline property and construction consultants, Hardies.

The two firms said the newly formed practice will be unrivalled in its delivery network of surveying and construction services throughout the country.

Established in 1880 and 1913 respectively, both practices share a long history with each having developed complementary but different disciplines around property advice.

Under the agreed terms of the merger, the two businesses will work side by side, complementing each other in order to achieve the best outcome for the extensive client bases vested in both businesses. Hardies will specialise in all areas around construction services with Shepherd specialising in its traditional areas of valuation [residential and commercial], property management and agency.

While each business will maintain its own identity, with Hardies being the construction arm of the business and Shepherd being its go-to valuation arm, the newly merged practice has a combined turnover of £25 million and employs some 350 staff.

The combined business will be led by Shepherd’s senior partner George Brewster and Derek Ferrier, managing partner of Hardies.

Derek Ferrier said: “This merger between Hardies and Shepherds establishes us as the country’s leading powerhouse in property and construction consultancy services with the largest number of building surveyors, valuation surveyors and related construction consultancy professional services in Scotland.

“Hardies multi-disciplined construction team currently delivers some of the largest and most prestigious projects in the country and this merger will provide Hardies with increased local resources to further increase our national coverage which will instantly develop our long-term goals.

“Our new merged practice will benefit from shared overheads which should reduce the operating costs and substantially increase the long-term future of both practices.”

George Brewster of Shepherd added: “We are delighted to announce this merger and look forward to working with Hardies as one unified firm which offers new and existing clients a fully comprehensive service. Like ourselves, Hardies has a long and proud history and excellent reputation for the services it provides. Mainly known for its work in construction services, project management, quantity surveying, building surveying and valuation but now with new services such as Dispute Resolution and an unrivalled working knowledge of Building Information Modelling (BIM), Hardies provides an excellent strategic fit with Shepherd.

“Our long-term business plan goal at Shepherd has been to provide a fully integrated range of services throughout Scotland, including developing construction services. We believe that we now have the right fit in Hardies LLP where the partners and staff have similar cultural values and work ethic in looking after client’s interests.”

Hardies currently has 14 offices throughout Scotland whilst Shepherd has 33.