Advanced manufacturing activities require hybrid buildings that sit somewhere between industrial and office space, which can be challenging for some investors.
Suitable buildings can include mezzanine floors, can be one and two storey, or have other non standard dimension.
“It is a challenge, but generally these occupiers are invested for a 25-year period in a location, so it means that for any commercial cost effectiveness review, the buildings are almost bespoke,” says Avison Young sales and leasing director Paul Broad.
And he adds that most such companies are well financed.
However, smaller, new-start companies do face more of a challenge. “They don’t have the financial strength and are going to have quite specific property requirements, but then they would go out to the market to look for investors,” Broad told Real Asset Insight’s Richard Betts. “It’s definitely not one-size-fits-all and you have to keep an open mind, but there’s always a way,” he added.
“A lot of these companies are going to evolve all the time. So we need to be flexible and engaging with them, and help that evolution as well” Broad explained. “That could be designing flexibility into property, making sure it can be subdivided or extended over a period of time.”
The pace of change is fast he said. “My favourite phrase is ‘every day is a school day’, because we’re engaging with lots of very different people in the market.”
Click on the video to watch the full interview or listen to the podcast below.