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Old April 11th, 2005, 11:32 PM   #1
Skychaser 2005
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Thorpe Business Park- Yorkshire's Largest Business Park

Tonioghts YEP

What a mega business park this is turning out to be!

Partners take control in buy-out at city's thriving business parkTHE management team at Yorkshire's largest business park has completed a £30m deal to buy a controlling stake.
David Parkin
Business Editor
The move by GMI Property Company and Scarborough Development Group to buy out Severn Trent's 51 per cent share of Thorpe Park, near Leeds, will trigger £350m of speculative office developments on the 270-acre site, which will create up to 15,000 jobs over the next 10 years.
Thorpe Park, the biggest business park development in the North of England, will now be jointly run by GMI and Scarborough Development Group, which are run by Peter Gilman and Kevin McCabe respectively, two of the best-known and most successful property entrepreneurs in Yorkshire.
Since work began seven years ago, 500,000 sq ft of office space has been developed at the park, which has blue chip tenants including IBM, Taylor Woodrow and National Grid, and most recently has attracted the relocation from Hull of the corporate head office of Northern Foods.
Work is also due to start in 10 weeks time on a new David Lloyd Leisure Racquets Club at Thorpe Park, which is next to junction 46 of the M1.
The development has planning consent for a further 1.4m sq ft of office accommodation and will see the start of an £18m investment in a further speculative phase of 80,000 sq ft in three buildings in the coming weeks.
James Poskett, managing director of GMI Property Company, said the site would see £350m of investment over the next decade.
"There are currently 3,500 people employed at Thorpe Park, but that should rise to 15,000 over the next 10 years making it the second-biggest business park in the UK.
"It is certainly the premier location in the North of England. We have got a real head of steam at the moment with a new headquarters for Hewletts civil engineers finished in August.
"As well as the David Lloyd Centre in the pipeline there is also a budget hotel, medical centre and child day-care centre," added Mr Poskett.
The deal, backed by banking group HBOS, saw Severn Trent Property, the subsidiary of the quoted water utility Severn Trent, relinquish its 51 per cent shareholding in Thorpe Park (Leeds).
Kevin McCabe, chairman of Scarborough Development Group and also chairman of Sheffield United Football Club, said: "We see this as an opportunity to consolidate our position and invest further in a scheme which now has critical mass and forward momentum.
Peter Gilman, chairman of GMI, said: "Severn Trent has been a very supportive partner in the development process that started with the original land options back in 1990.
"Both Scarborough and GMI have been shareholders in Thorpe Park for many years. The moment has come for us to take control and drive the development forward for the benefit of the city and wider region."
Severn Trent Property sold its stake in the site following a strategic review and deciding to concentrate on wholly-owned sites.
Thorpe Park has forged a number of unique relationships with the University of Leeds, which has located its Centres for Industrial Collaboration there.
Contracts are also in place to develop a 45,000 sq ft building in conjunction with Yorkshire Forward and Innovate, to build a serviced office centre. This building will feature significant element of green technology both in its construction and operation.
The board of Thorpe Park (Leeds) will change to reflect the new controlling interest in the company, however, the key management team will remain.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 01:03 PM   #2
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always notice it when coming into leeds on way to ER, looks really good from the motorway
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Old April 16th, 2005, 07:20 PM   #3
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Posted twice by mistake.
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Old April 16th, 2005, 07:22 PM   #4
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This is a top business park. It's well worth taking a drive round. There are some really interestingly designed buildings. I think that at it's current rate of expansion it will need its own railway station soon. If you come in on the Selby line you can clearly see it from the train and it is expanding towards the tracks all the time.

http://www.thorpeparkleeds.com/index.asp
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Old April 16th, 2005, 07:54 PM   #5
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They should make a science park there to keep the people from the universitied in the area- that way the area will become more affluent in the long term.
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Old April 16th, 2005, 09:42 PM   #6
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Harrogate, why are you not responding to posts 823 and 853 in http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showth...63#post3869863 ???
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Old June 19th, 2006, 10:55 PM   #7
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Website now updated - claiming to be 3rd Biggest Business Park in UK News of a Carey-Jones Holiday Inn Express with Restaurant and more offices to come...

Not a big fan, don't hate it, glad it's not city centre though... Spose it's not grey atleast....

Last edited by LeedsLad; June 19th, 2006 at 11:30 PM.
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Old June 19th, 2006, 11:50 PM   #8
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IMO the biggest waste of space - 270 acres of 2 storey ugly offices! Could have built a few towers and leave the remaining space to housing/public places/parks etc. And after this we'll be saying that there's not enough land for developments! Of course there will be no land left if to waste it like this. Sorry to be hush, but I've been working there for 3 years and had the same question every day - WHY? The only worthy place there is Thorp Park Hotel which is sheer quality, world-class really. But the rest is just rubbish....
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Old June 19th, 2006, 11:53 PM   #9
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In itself, its OK however its living in the principles of the past- out of town additions. Businesses should be put into the city centre for regeneration; the only real way to access it is by car and it doesn't want expanding any more.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 12:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOliver
IMO the biggest waste of space - 270 acres of 2 storey ugly offices! Could have built a few towers and leave the remaining space to housing/public places/parks etc. And after this we'll be saying that there's not enough land for developments! Of course there will be no land left if to waste it like this. Sorry to be hush, but I've been working there for 3 years and had the same question every day - WHY? The only worthy place there is Thorp Park Hotel which is sheer quality, world-class really. But the rest is just rubbish....
I'm bit mixed about this one - originally this was greenbelt, so putting anything here is kinda bad enough - don't think they should put towers here - it's mainly residential around. I see you point on taking up less valuable land though!
There is pretty big park land to be given over to the public as part of this (almost a bribe to the council in return for planning permission)
I do agree most of the buildings are run-of-the-mill/plain/ugly/cheap which is a disappointment.
It is a good claim to have 3rd largest business park in the UK. Pretty impressive list of tenants - including the only Northern branch of a Belgian bank, IBM, Leeds Uni, 4* Hotel etc etc
Goes to show the impact that building a new motorway can have....
The M1 has spawned Thorpe Park, Sainsburys et al opposite, Leeds Valley Park and the new Leeds Link Road with it's 30,000 jobs....
Imagine the effect that a Motorway link road between the airport South to the M62 would have... Acting as Leeds East/Bradford West ringroad (my 'dream' road)
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Old June 20th, 2006, 12:16 AM   #11
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Agree with all you say there- maybe to stop expansion, but not to build tall- think radical and build 'subscrapers'! And then we can go down, build dense but underground so not to ruin the area- then we can keep the importance of the park, without ruining the area. Its probably the future for out of town developments- all it needs is an entrance outside.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 12:20 AM   #12
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Not so radical - it's been done before!:

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Old June 20th, 2006, 10:40 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeedsLad
Not so radical - it's been done before!:

And there'd be no rubbish problems in the vicinity
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Old June 20th, 2006, 01:20 PM   #14
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I was thinking more of CBBC Ghost Hunter (series 2) coz Im cool and watch that ¬_¬ (well when it used to be on anyway).
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Old June 20th, 2006, 01:37 PM   #15
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Where is the evidence suggesting Thorpe Park is the third largest business park in Britain I believe the largest is Slough followed by Aztec West in Bristol and I would have thought there would have been other large business parks at other locations along the M4 corridor such as Swindon and Reading (I know as I did this in Geography where the M4 is full of business and technology parks) and there is also a very large science park north of Cambridge. Im not really a fan of these though as they appear to reinforce car dominated spaces with souless dullitecture. However did I read on here that there is plans on building a train station to serve this development on the Leeds - York line?
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Old June 20th, 2006, 01:41 PM   #16
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There should be. I wouldnt be suprised if it was the 3rd largest business park- there are large ones on the M4 corridor though; but there are also large business parks on many other corridors- its a general convention.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 01:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JOliver
IMO the biggest waste of space - 270 acres of 2 storey ugly offices! Could have built a few towers and leave the remaining space to housing/public places/parks etc. And after this we'll be saying that there's not enough land for developments! Of course there will be no land left if to waste it like this. Sorry to be hush, but I've been working there for 3 years and had the same question every day - WHY? The only worthy place there is Thorp Park Hotel which is sheer quality, world-class really. But the rest is just rubbish....

99% of out of town business parks are 'ugly'. They do provide however what many businesses want, relatively cheap accomodation close to the M-way network. Yes the buildings are unisprining but prestige accomodation is not going to be built next to a M-way junction on the edge of Leeds, if occupiers want that they will pay for it in the CBD.

I think Thorpe park is an excellent development for Leeds, 10-15 years ago large scale business parks was the one thing our city lacked but this and the development in the lower Aire valley once the link to J45 of the M1 is built provide excellent opportunities to attract businesses to the city and boost the local economy.
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Old June 20th, 2006, 08:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon22
99% of out of town business parks are 'ugly'.
Firstly, not all, and secondly, why to follow the trend in building ugly offices? Do we want Leeds to become a second Slough? ... Why not to build something like this for example:



Would not cost much more, and would create something to shout about. As it stands, I see it creating more problems, than solving them (parking to name just one - not long till people will be killing each other over parking space there).
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Old June 20th, 2006, 11:10 PM   #19
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Carey Jones' Boxwood @ Thorpe Arch...



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Old June 20th, 2006, 11:11 PM   #20
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Part of their master plan for the 2nd phase:



Quote:
Carey Jones Architects are master planning the second phase of the 170, 000 sq m (1.8 million sq ft) business park at Thorpe Park, referred to as the Northern Sector, that will deliver individual offices, leisure and amenity buildings over 100 acres.

When the first phase was completed, this remit required Carey Jones to build on the park’s previous success and progress further, providing the flexibility to create office and research buildings of various sizes that were suitable for the modern occupier, and specifically to encourage inward investment.

The integrated design of the buildings into a new landscaped setting incorporates public art, cycle ways, and pedestrian routes connecting with the proposed extension of the existing public transport system. This is paramount in ensuring the success of the business park in the future.

Thorpe Park have commissioned Carey Jones to design a series of buildings that will utilise modern and attractive materials to create building types to suite office occupiers from a variety of backgrounds and industries who will have differing floor area requirements.

The design will include on-site leisure facilities, a new hotel, restaurants, cafes, a crèche and a leisure centre. Carey Jones Architects are working closely with Thorpe Park and Leeds City Council to ensure the integration of the business park with the surrounding area and incorporate new public facilities.
source
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