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Former scrap yard to be transformed by new industrial scheme creating 200 jobs

A former Black Country scrap yard is to be transformed into a new industrial creating 203 new jobs, thanks in part to funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

The site in Seven Stars Road in Oldbury will see a 121,175sq ft warehouse/industrial unit speculatively developed by Opus Land and Palmer Capital.

The scheme follows funding from the WMCA’s Collective Investment Fund which is part of a £750 million war chest to support new housing and commercial developments that stimulate jobs, opportunity and growth across the region.

Much of that funding is being allocated towards the remediation of former industrial sites in order to support the WMCA’s ‘brownfield first’ approach which is aimed at relieving pressure on the Green Belt.

The WMCA also provided funding earlier this year for another Opus Land scheme, in Cannock.

Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street said: “This is yet another example of how, by working collaboratively with partners in the public and private sector, we are able to unlock unwanted brownfield land, in this case a former scrap yard. This site will now no longer be a blight on the area, instead it will become a large industrial unit capable of supporting many jobs and businesses here in Sandwell.

“As demonstrated at Kingswood Lakeside in Cannock, and Prospero Ansty in Coventry, Opus Land are capitalising on these opportunities bringing successful and award winning schemes forward. We are working hard across the West Midlands to clean up derelict brownfield sites like this to prepare them for development, creating the jobs and houses our region needs.”

The new XPANSE 120 development by Opus is being brought to market by national commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH) and JLL.

Opus Land and Palmer Capital have acquired a rare site of scale in the West Midlands, comprising 6.35 acres in an established industrial location, just off Junction 2 of the M5. The site has been acquired with vacant possession and is funded by Palmer Capital Development Fund IV, a programmatic venture managed by Palmer Capital that is exclusive to clients of CBRE Global Investment Partners (CBRE GIP).

Opus Land plans to capitalise on the distinct lack of Grade A warehouses in this location by speculatively building a 121,175 sq ft B2/B8 unit and will market the scheme formally to occupiers. The unit will benefit from 10% office content at first and second floors, 125 car parking spaces, lorry parking and an oversized and secure yard.

This is the second scheme the WMCA has backed Opus Land on, after awarding the company funds from the Combined Investment Fund (CIF) to develop two industrial units covering 14 acres, which will provide a total of 283,000 sq ft of accommodation at the former Kingswood open-cast colliery, near Cannock.

Tom Edgar, development director of Opus Land, said: “We are delighted to be involved in bringing forward this fantastic site in Oldbury for much-needed quality industrial accommodation in the heart of the Black Country. We will start construction speculatively, with completion due in Spring 2020, knowing that units of this size and location are in very high demand. We will offer a rare, flexible approach to occupiers seeking either freehold or leasehold options in new-build Grade A facilities.”

Ed Bradburn, Frontier Development Capital, investment director for the CIF said: “The WMCA CIF previously supported Opus Land in December 2016 to progress a speculative industrial scheme at Kingswood Lakeside, Cannock, which resulted in the successful sale of a newly constructed warehouse unit earlier this year.

“We have every confidence that the Severn Stars Road site will achieve the same success. It’s a great example of the fund in action, as the scheme is bringing a vacant site back into use to meet an increasing need for industrial units in the Black Country.”

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