Martin’s Properties has announced the £12 million acquisition of three sites in Oxfordshire.

The deals include land in Abingdon Road in Didcot, Curtis Industrial Estate in Oxford (pictured) and a retail unit in Wantage.

Martin’s says the 3.3-acre Didcot site, acquired from National Grid Property Holdings, offers, significant potential for a variety of uses and has attracted several offers for pre-lets from a range of occupiers.

The 3.4-acre Curtis Lane Industrial Estate is attracting an average rent of around £5 per sq ft, in an area of very limited supply. The estate was acquired from a private investor.

The retail unit in Wantage, along with its own service yard, adjoins a Waitrose Store also owned by Martin’s Properties. The firm says that acquisition creates potential for a more comprehensive scheme in the long term.

Richard Bourne, chief executive of of Martin’s Properties, said: “We have been patient with the deployment of our capital over the past 12 months – instead focussing on developing and managing our current £400m portfolio, which now has close to zero vacancy rate and rental income up from £16m to £18m.

“We are now looking to harness our firepower and availability of cash by deploying  a further £30m into development, and lending opportunities in strong locations across London and Southern England.

“Our highly skilled in-house team has an impressive track record for development and asset management.  Most recently, we have refurbished, reconfigured and extended our 25,000 sq ft retail units at 33 King’s Road.

“As part of our long-term commitment to Chelsea and the King’s Road, the investment into these units has attracted exciting retail brands and new entrants to London and the UK.

“We are actively looking for further opportunities and JV partners as we seek to meet our ambitious growth plans through investing in strategic investment and development sites as well as lending and sourcing, managing and developing assets for third parties.”

Gary Sherwin, head of transactions, said: “The acquisitions in Oxfordshire reflect our focus on growth  locations with low supply.

“Curtis Industrial Estate in Oxford is situated in an edge of city location with easy access to the A34. We have identified multiple options for enhancing the asset in the short and medium term.

“Didcot is a key location for our investment into affluent areas with good transport links and increasing housing. The site is close to the town centre and the train station, offering significant development potential for a variety of uses.”

LSH acted for Martin’s Properties on the acquisition of Curtis Lane, Oxford and CBRE acted for the vendor.

Martin’s Properties now owns around £42m of mixed-use development and investment properties in Oxfordshire across 12.75 acres. The total has a projected future development value in excess of £70m.

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