Howard Group

Howard Group is an established and successful property and capital investment business based in Cambridge with interests throughout the South East.

Founded in 1935

Howard Group is an established and successful property and capital investment business based in Cambridge with interests throughout the South East.

The company’s principal activities are:

• commercial property investment, development & management
• residential property investment

• venture finance with a focus upon the technology sector

We are a market leader with a commitment to long-term stewardship, responsibility and purpose

STABLE AND GROWING BUSINESS
£120m property investment portfolio with just 17% gearing.
£150m development pipeline.
20% annual growth.

EXPERIENCED MANAGEMENT TEAM
Highly experienced executive team with strong track records in investment, development & regeneration.

A LEADING REGIONAL PROPERTY COMPANY
Invested in South East England & London

PORTFOLIO INCOME SUPPORTS OPERATING COSTS
£6.5m rental income. 225 tenants

A LONG HISTORY OF VENTURE FINANCE
£4.6m invested since 2003. £9m generated through exits


Products and services

Case study: Haverhill Retail Park

Howard Group identified the opportunity to develop a retail park on the Ehringshausen Way site in Haverhill, which created c 150 jobs and regenerated a former factory site near Haverhill town centre.

Following extensive public consultation and discussions with key local stakeholders, Howard Group submitted a planning application for its proposed development in late 2015. The application was approved in July 2016 and development commenced in September.

LOCATION: Ehringshausen Way, Haverhill
PROGRAMME: Completed August 2017
VALUE: £8m

The retail park offers high quality retail accommodation with large landscaped parking areas. Pre-let agreements were completed with Lidl, Pets at Home and Home Bargains, with a further retail unit marketed to national retailers. As part of the planning consent Howard Group funded a new pedestrian crossing on Ehringshausen Way as well as gifting a parcel of land to the St Edmundsbury Borough Council to extend the county wildlife site, alongside the old Haverhill railway line.

 

Howard Group has also secured an outline consent for employment uses on a further two acres to the rear of the retail park. This is now being actively promoted to potential occupiers in a bid to bring further jobs and investment to the town.

The Ehringshausen Way site in Haverhill is near the town centre.

Case Study: Elizabeth Industrial Estate, Lewisham

Currently Howard Group’s only major London assets, the Elizabeth and Juno Way Industrial Estates have been transformed over recent years through active asset management and award-winning development.

ACQUIRED: Elizabeth Ind Estate, 2000 Juno Way, 2004

VALUE: Total investment value c £40m New development value c £18 - £20m

AWARDS: Shortlisted for 'UK Deal of the Year' and 'Best Multi-let Industrial Estate' by IAS

In the acquisition of the Elizabeth and Juno Way Industrial Estates on the border of Bermondsey and Lewisham Boroughs, Howard Group identified one of the most exciting regeneration and growth areas in London. Historically seen as one of London’s less desirable areas, the Bermondsey/Deptford/New Cross regions have seen unprecedented levels of investment over recent years. The region stands to benefit from further large-scale regeneration and infrastructure improvements over the coming years. Over 12,500 consented new homes lie within walking distance of the site and the 'New Bermondsey' East London line station is just 75 metres away.

A lack of availability of industrial stock in central London has resulted in record rents and huge occupier demand. Howard Group is now investigating the potential for a second phase of development to include further commercial expansion.

Howard Group's Lewisham assets are home to a number of national brands including DHL, Topps Tiles, Screwfix and RS Components.

Combined with the quality of the scheme and the occupier line-up, the estates have been shortlisted for the IAS Awards 'Best UK Multi-let Industrial Estate' and the 'Deal of the Year' for the DHL pre-lets.

The Elizabeth and Juno Way Industrial Estates are located on the border of Bermondsey and Lewisham boroughs.

Case Study: Interchange Park, Bedford

Howard Group developed Interchange Park in Bedford on land acquired from the Southill Estate in 2010. This presented the opportunity to add to Bedford's out-of-town retail offering, creating further jobs in the community and adding value to the local area.

LOCATION: Ampthill Road, Bedford

SECTOR: Retail/car showroom

DEVELOPMENT VALUE: £18.5 gross development value

PHASE 1 SPECIFICATION

  • Purpose built retail accommodation
  • Customer car parking spaces
  • Dedicated service and loading areas
  • Impressive landscaped setting
  • Land for further development

PHASE 2 SPECIFICATION

  • Purpose built retail accommodation
  • Customer car parking spaces
  • Dedicated service and loading areas
  • Impressive landscaped setting
  • Land for further development

Howard Group acquired the Interchange Bedford site in December 2010 in an off market transaction from Southill Estate. Despite its allocation for industrial development, B&Q was identified as a potential pre-let occupier and the site was promoted through the planning process for a bulky goods retail consent. Following the successful first phase of development, M&S Simply Food, Costa Coffee and Motorvogue were all secured as occupiers for the second phase, resulting in further planning applications and the delivery of an exceptional out-of-town retail park. A third phase of industrial/trade counter units is now proposed on the remaining land.

Phase one of the retail development saw Howard Group pre-let c 57,000 sq ft of retail warehousing to the national DIY and home improvement company B&Q. Having secured the freehold of the land at Interchange from the Southill estate in 2011, B&Q entered into a new 20 year lease, subject to planning. The resultant investment was pre-sold to Highclere Investments and the construction of the building was contractor-funded with RG Carter. The building was handed over to B&Q for fitout in August 2013.

Following the pre-let of phase one to B&Q, phase two of the development at Interchange Park saw M&S Simply Food take a 15-year lease of a 16,000 sq ft building with associated car parking. The remainder of the park was pre-let to multi-brand car dealership Motorvogue who entered into a 20-year lease on a new showroom of 11,000 sq ft and an external display area for 120 cars. To the rear of the Motorvogue showroom is a vehicle preparation and servicing centre of 6,000 sq ft. Costa Coffee completed the line up by agreeing to a 15-year lease for a drive-thru unit of 1,851 sq ft GIA plus an external seating area and car parking.

This is the second drive-thru unit in Bedford constructed by Howard Group, coming approximately 12 months after the successful delivery of a drive-thru unit on St John's Retail Park which was also constructed by RG Carter. Subject to planning, the final phase of the £18.5m development will involve the construction of a new Renault showroom for Motorvogue as well as an extension to their existing premises.

Interchange Park is situated in the Kempston area of Bedford, approximately three miles south of the town centre. It lies just to the north of the A421 Bedford southern bypass and to the west of the A6. The property is adjacent to Bedford’s principal out of town retailing location, the Interchange Retail Park.

Case Study: Iconix Park and Langford Arch

Howard Group's acquisition of Iconix Park and Langford Arch provided an opportunity to harness the exceptional demand for office, R&D and laboratory space in the south Cambridge biomedical cluster, and to complement the adjacent development at Unity Campus.

SECTOR: Office and laboratory

ACQUIRED: Jan 2014

VALUE: c £12m

Sawston Trade Park was acquired by Howard Group in 2009 as part of the commitment to investing in and around the city of Cambridge.  It currently houses some 15 occupiers in 18 buildings comprising c 90,000 sq ft.

The adjacent Iconic Park was acquired in 2013 along with the development land between the two estates. Iconix Park consists of buildings 1, 2 and 3 which have been comprehensively refurbished and are now fully let to occupiers including:

  • Transforming Pathology Partnership
  • AQ Dot
  • Iontas
  • Telensa 

Iconix Park and the adjacent land were identified as an opportunity to create an asset of sufficient scale to enable a large scale redevelopment and master-planning process.

Demand for good quality premises on the southern fringe of the city has hit record levels in recent years, while supply has dwindled. Sawston's position just four miles south of the Cambridge biomedical campus and close to other leading research facilities offers a superb opportunity for Howard Group to address this demand.

Lying to the south and to the north of Howard Group’s “Unity Campus” development, Iconix Park and Langford Arch presented opportunities for Howard Group to acquire contiguous ownerships and to increase the asset management opportunities available. The strategy for the group was to retain as much of the existing income from the older-style office buildings, whilst refurbishing and repurposing the vacant space to provide affordable yet attractive business space.

This substantial investment, along with continual liaison with key occupiers means that the group's tenants are able to flex their operations within the estate, acquiring additional accommodation or moving to more suitable space without having to relocate completely.

Sawston Trade Park fronts London Road and is situated within a quarter of a mile of the A505 which links to junction 10 of the M11. Cambridge lies only five miles to the north.

Iconix Park is located seven miles south of Cambridge in the heart of the Cambridge Cluster.

Case Study: Spillers Mill

Howard Group acquired Spillers Mill from Hill Residential in December 2015. The historic flour mill has been redeveloped to create 19 luxury apartments adjacent to Cambridge train station, in the heart of the visionary CB1 gateway regeneration project.

LOCATION: Located in the prestigious CB1 area of Cambridge

RESIDENTIAL: Comprises 19 luxury apartments

ACQUIRED: From Hill Residential in December 2015

Howard Group identified a unique opportunity to add a piece of Cambridge history to its residential portfolio by acquiring the freehold of this iconic mill building. The unbroken freehold of 19 high-end and individually designed apartments sits directly opposite Cambridge train station.

Originally built for the Foster family in 1896 before being acquired by the Spillers bakery business in 1947, the purchase of Spillers Mill has particular significance for family-owned company Howard Group. The freehold acquisition is a key milestone in the company’s 80-year history and further supports the long-term strategy of developing and acquiring high quality assets in Cambridge and the region.

Howard Group's association with property developers Hill Residential presented the opportunity for Spillers Mill to be acquired off market, with a pre-sale agreement in place prior to completion.

  • 19 luxury apartments
  • Located in the prestigious CB1 area of Cambridge
  • Original and unique apartments, many with balconies
  • Positioned opposite Cambridge train station

Spillers Mill is located a stone's throw from Cambridge station in the prestigious CB1 area, and within a short walk to the city centre.

Case Study: St John's Bedford

The land on which St John’s Retail Park stands was the original headquarters of CAEC Howard in the 1970s and home to the block-making and haulage division.

The retail park was developed in the mid 1980s and sold to Schroders REIT in 2015.

LOCATION: Rope Walk, Bedford MK42 0DJ

RETAIL SECTOR: The development comprises 11 national retailers

END VALUE: The project value of these assets is £32m

St John's Retail Park was developed in two phases and extends to 129,452 sq ft. The first phase opened in 1989 and comprises four bulky goods retail units occupied by Homebase, Halfords, Tapi Carpets and Majestic Wine.

A further unit was constructed adjacent to Homebase, which was let to Maplin. The second phase of the park opened in 1995 and comprises six units. At the time of sale, these were let to Carpetright, Mothercare, Currys PC World, Wren Living, Hobbycraft and a Costa Coffee drive-thru unit.

In the years prior to disposal, Howard Group invested heavily in modernising the retail park to meet current retailer standards. A total of £2m was invested in the park to reconfigure units and install modernised fascias and building/estate signage.

This investment secured a number of new tenants and breathed new life into the estate.

The sale of St John's marks an important milestone for Howard Group as the site housed the CAEC Howard headquarters in the 1970s, sitting alongside the group's transport, warehouse and garage divisions.

Case Study: Lascar Works

LOCATION: 223-227 Staines Road, Hounslow TW3 3JL
SECTOR: Providing land promotion, residential and industrial space
VALUE: The end project value of these assets was £150m

In order to undertake this complex and highly sensitive process a joint venture was developed with Teesland IDG to form Howard Teesland Ltd.

Howard Teesland Ltd undertook remediation works on the 6.5 acre site to remove asbestos, hydrocarbons, Toluene and Japanese Knotweed.

Simultaneously, a project team including Hamiltons Architects and EC Harris was assembled to prepare a masterplan and a detailed planning application for a mixed-use residential and industrial scheme.

An application was submitted to the London Borough of Hounslow and planning consent was granted. A sale of the 4.6 acre residential site to A2Dominion was completed working in partnership with Hill Partnerships. The remaining two acres were acquired by Howard Group and subsequently sold to Ambit and Kames Capital for the development of the Hounslow Trade Park.

The key project objective was to secure the best possible return for the executors and beneficiaries of the estate, which included Corpus Christi College and a well-known independent school.

Stay up to date with Howard Group

Login or create a free user account to follow this company and see updates on your dashboard.

Create account