US investor to acquire £20m Mersey development

A US-backed property investor has agreed a deal to acquire a £20m speculative property development in Liverpool city region, totalling more than 131,000 sq ft. Tony McDonough reports

Acornfield Industrial Park, a development in Knowsley totalling 130,000 sq ft


A US-backed property investor has agreed a deal to acquire a £20m speculative industrial development at Knowsley Industrial Estate.

4th Industrial (4i), a US-backed vehicle which is looking to snap up industrial schemes across the UK, will buy Acornfield Industrial Park for an undisclosed sum from Acornfield Properties which originally bought the site from Knowsley Council.

Acornfield has already started work on the speculative scheme which will comprise three detached units of 52,947 sq ft, 47,155 sq ft and 31,182 sq ft. 4i will complete the purchase once the scheme is delivered later this year. B8 Real Estate and CBRE have been appointed as joint lettings agents.

Investors are keen to capitalise on surging demand for industrial space in Liverpool city region and across the North West. In December LBN reported that imminent plans for a new Liverpool city region Freeport, to include multiple locations, was already driving up demand for industrial accommodation.

READ MORE: Freeport set for take-off at Liverpool Airport

Prime Property Consultancy acted on behalf of Acornfield and this latest deal follows 4i’s recent acquisition of Walker Industrial Estate in Blackburn. The company, which was founded in early 2021, invests in multi-let and light industrial property across identified target markets in the UK.

Baber Majid, managing director of Prime Property Consultancy, said: “Knowsley is a key industrial location and home to some major UK and international businesses. The willingness to forward purchase speculative developments such as this demonstrates confidence in the future of Knowsley as an investment and employment location.”

Knowsley Industrial Estate is the second largest industrial estate in the North West after Trafford Park and one of the largest in Europe. Recent  deals on which B8 Real Estate advised include the sale of the Alchemy development to CBRE Investment Management for £15.5m and the sale of an Amazon distribution unit to RTP Global for £29.6m.

Jon Thorne of B8 added: “This scheme will provide much-needed industrial stock into the mid-box sector following the record levels of take-up in the region across all size ranges over the past few years.

“It will also further establish Knowsley as one of the most important industrial locations in the region. We look forward to securing good occupiers for the units at strong rental levels.”

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