A specialist private sector property company has been named as the development partner for a new council-led project to construct larger and quality offices spaces in Derby city centre.
The Hertfordshire-headquartered Jensco Group was selected in a mini-competition from a list of four developers who were invited to submit proposals. Judging was done by the council’s commercial advisory consultant Thomas Lister.
Under the agreement, the council will sell the land to Jensco who will design and build a high-quality four-storey 34,000 square foot Grade A office block, designed to be let as a whole or as single floors at Bold Lane in the Cathedral Quarter. The council will lease the property from Jensco under a long-term lease arrangement with an option to purchase the freehold at the end of the lease.
Grade A offices are recognised as quality premises for premier business users but these have been in short supply in Derby. The council had previously intended to build the office block as the demand was not being met by the private sector. Cabinet in March agreed to this course of action but the city subsequently made a call to the private sector at MIPIM, the international property show in France, and the private sector responded.
Cabinet will consider the proposals and financial details for the new developer-delivery model at its meeting on 8 August. If approved, a planning application will be filed in September with construction expected to start in the winter.
Due to the commercial sensitivities, Jensco financial details cannot be made public.
Deputy leader and Cabinet Member with responsibility for regeneration Cllr Matthew Holmes said:
“The key benefits of a developer delivery model is that it transfers the construction risks from the council. It also increases the speed of delivery which is something that local agents have told us is essential to release the pent-up demand for Grade A office accommodation. All eyes are also on this project and if it is as successful as our forecast indicates, then I expect that the private sector will start to deliver more Grade A office developments which is a key objective of Derby City Centre Masterplan.”
Nigel Bobroff of Jensco said:
“Jensco is delighted to have been chosen to deliver a modern, vibrant and beautifully designed workplace of tomorrow for Derby City Council. The development of this environmentally focused Grade A building will bring all the benefits of working in the City Centre and deliver an inspirational destination building in a prime location”
John Needleman of Jensco added:
“We have been active in Derby since 2007 culminating in two fantastic buildings that have kick started the regeneration of Friar Gate. We are truly excited to be continuing our relationship with Derby by developing Bold Lane.”
Jensco Groups specialise in the purchase, funding, planning, management and delivery of property development projects throughout the UK.
Its track record has demonstrated a thorough understanding of the town planning system underpinned by a wealth of experience in delivering the full potential of a site.
Their work included Agard Court – a 244 city centre student residences for the University of Derby and One Friar Gate Square – the award-winning BREEAM Excellent, city centre Grade A academic building for the University of Derby.
Other projects were delivered in London and Liverpool.