Acting as joint agent on behalf of private clients, Cooke & Arkwright has sold an 85,250 sq ft unit on five acres of land at Treforest Industrial Estate to Hutchings, Griffin Mill and Blog Properties Ltd for £1.5m. The site has been vacant for a number of years after Cameo Sofa Company, a subsidiary of Christie Tyler, moved production to Lithuania with the loss of over 150 jobs.
Hutchings is to open a new Hyundai franchise, and Griffin Mill will open a new Nissan franchise as well as relocating its expanding Skoda range to the site. It is anticipated that the three new-car-sales showrooms will create around 30 jobs between them over the next 18 months. The surplus freehold space on the residual part of the site not occupied by the dealerships is owned by Blog Properties, a new joint venture between Hutchings and Griffin Mill, and will be leased and managed separately by the new company. Cooke & Arkwright and DLP Surveyors have been appointed joint letting agents.
Jeremy Symons of Cooke & Arkwright said that the available space was a blank canvas and offered lots of flexibility. “We are very pleased to continue our 25 year relationship with the building by acting as joint agents going forward. The vacant accommodation provides excellent warehouse facility of 45,000 sq ft, with seven tailgate loading doors, but can also be split into smaller trade counter units fronting Severn Road. We are very positive about the future and are already in discussions with a number of potential tenants.”
A three month programme of intensive refurbishment works is under way with a target completion date of the end of July. The new showrooms are expected to open in August, in time for the key new registration-number month of September. Anthony Griffin, Managing Director of Griffin Mill said, “The premises at Treforest are good quality, ex-WDA, with a big open space which is easily adaptable for car showroom purposes. There is plenty of room for parking and storage, and it fronts onto a busy road. Its proximity to our head office, just half a mile away is ideal.”
John Hutchings, Chairman of Hutchings and Partner in Blog Properties said, “We are excited about the prospects for the project and the combined service offering the two businesses will provide. This is a significant investment between the two parties at a time of economic difficulty and we are delighted that we will be providing new jobs in the area. I’ve lived through three recessions and you learn from each one. Our philosophy has been to provide the best possible value, which is not necessarily the cheapest. Customer satisfaction is key and I think part of the success of both businesses is that customers know they can talk to us personally; they value dealing with a traditional and privately owned business.”
There has been a synergy between Griffin Mill and Hutchings for many years. Both have been family run businesses for several generations, with an established presence in the area for at least 50 years. Their dealerships are complimentary - Hutchings is the main Vauxhall dealer for the area and Griffin Mill also has three franchises with Peugot, Kia and Fiat. Their combined ranges will now provide seven car dealerships and establish the area as a new-car ‘destination’. They also sell a wide range of used cars.
Pictured left to right: Steve Hutchings, Hutchings; Anthony Griffin, Griffin Mill; John Hutchings, Hutchings; Michael Bruce, DLP Surveyors; Jeremy Symons, Cooke & Arkwright