Steven Hassel from developer Westfield which owns the Merry Hill Shopping Centre, is excited by the new development: “Daniels Wharf has a target completion date of Autumn 2007 but this is dependent on a pre-letting of 50% of the space. We held a launch event at the Copthorne Hotel, right alongside the site on 21st September, which was attended by local agents and prospective occupiers. Our appointed agents took this opportunity to present this scheme to a wider audience.”
The new development could be excellent news for local jobs too, both once the development has been completed and during the construction phase. As well as providing a brand new high quality office development and an associated residential development, the appointed contractor for the development will have to use ‘reasonable endeavours’ to source labour locally through the Job Centre Plus and the ‘BEST’ Construction College based in Brierley Hill – making the development even better news for the wider Black Country community.
The new development will provide a total of 112,444 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation over two buildings – one providing 60,444 sq ft (spilt between five floors of office space and a 2,600 sq ft restaurant) and the second 52,000 sq ft.
It is hoped that the first building, No1 Daniels Wharf – which offers more than 130 car parking spaces – will be available in Autumn 2007. The development which sits right alongside the Dudley canal has the advantage of being part of one of the most successful office and retail developments in the UK with other occupiers in the area including Egg plc, West Midlands Ambulance Service, HM Revenue and Customs, NHS Direct, Lloyds TSB Group plc, the department for Work and Pensions, and the Heath Lambert Group. Adjacent to the office will be residential scheme of around 140 apartments.
John Bryce of KWB, joint agents says there is already interest in the new developement: “We are aware of a number of companies and organisations looking to expand up or downsize into spaces that would be perfectly catered for by the two new buildings Westfield are planning to develop here. We have also had offers form Regional and National Serviced Office operators which are under consideration. Our role is to convert that interest into significant lettings and we feel confident tha the lure of the existing activites in the area will ensure we see this happening.”
The new office development contract is believed to be worth in the region of £25 million and the cost of office space in the new development is being advertised at £16-50 per sq ft.