Dorset-based industrial and commercial landlord DJ Property is forging ahead with a new strategy to improve two of its assets in Weymouth. However, it may need help if it is to convince tenants that the town’s business credentials are on a par with its seaside resort status.
DJ Property, a 50-year-old family business that holds more than 200 commercial properties in south Dorset, recently acquired another stake in Granby Industrial Estate, which it is the largest freeholder of.
The two-acre former Universial Engineering site features three buildings totalling 38,000 sq ft, which, equipped with high eaves and a five-tonne gantry crane, are well suited to manufacturing or industrial occupiers.
DJ Property’s chief executive Mickey Jones is in initial discussions with a potential manufacturing tenant as well as a leisure operator. But if suitable tenants cannot be found, Jones says he will demolish and fully redevelop the site.
An alternative use could also be an option. The site’s prominent roadside location would draw the interest of trade counter operators, for which there is strong demand locally, he says.
While DJ Property is still mulling over its options at Granby, it has firmer plans for another of its assets in Weymouth - the adjacent 10-acre Link Park business park, where, like at Granby, it aims to invest steadily in new infrastructure and amenities over the coming decade.
It has leased a site on the park to Aldi, which is due to open a new store there in September, and further down the line, it intends to add dining options and hotels that would serve both sites.
Instead of borrowing money to fund these developments, the company will reinvest profits, Jones explains. “We can fund most of this through retained earnings as long as we go about it in a controlled and proportionate way,” he says.
The two estates are growing well and have been particularly successful in attracting trade and construction services tenants, he adds.
And they could be more successful still, with a little help from the council. Steve Hoskins of local commercial agent A2A Consulting describes the Weymouth estate’s location as “superb” and adds that the future for both Granby Industrial Estate and Link Park is positive “if the council is a bit more commercially active and realistic”.
If Weymouth is to realise its full potential, Hoskins says that the roads south of the town will need to be upgraded and that the council must act on its development masterplan to help Weymouth shed its old-fashioned bucket-and-spade seaside resort image and attract wealthier visitors.
If the council pushes ahead with its planned improvements, Weymouth’s commercial ecosystem would receive a boost, and potentially make Jones’s decision about what to do with his new stake at Granby that bit easier.
24 July 2017