LEADING regional commercial property agent Scotts has taken its expertise to the North East, where it has led the expansion of a growing and popular Hartlepool shopping facility.

The work, headed by Scotts' investment adviser and head of its Hull office Chris Mason, demonstrates the firm's ability to identify opportunities for expansion on existing sites and then work through the necessary covenant, development and land ownership issues to see the successful opening of new retail outlets.

The site in Hartlepool, which has been under Chris' guidance since 2009, originally had five retail units – three trading under the brand of anchor tenants Sainsbury's with a bookmaker's and local take-away in the other two.

With a car park serving the small development, Chris spotted the opportunity for expansion, with the area sitting alongside a busy road, future house building planned and Sainsbury's long-term presence established – it had 23-years' lease left to run.

As a result, world-leading pizza company Domino's replaced the local take-away business, which explained Chris, increased the site's covenant strength and income security.

Meanwhile, work started on a new detached unit which again was supported by the Scotts' team. A landscaped embankment was cut into and the new 1,000 sq ft development is now complete with an established pharmacy operator secured as a new tenant.

Delighted with the outcome, Chris said: “We drew our client's attention to the security offered by Sainsbury's and the prospect of attracting occupants to the smaller units was always thought to be strong. The ability to attract a covenant of the calibre of Domino's reflected the communication links, quality and extent of housing being developed.

“With clever design, an additional unit has now been created on land essentially acquired for nothing as the existence of this landscaped area had no material impact on the initial price paid.

“By adding an additional unit, there is increased attraction to the neighbourhood facility as a whole and the client has secured well in excess of a double-digit yield on the investment needed to create the unit, as well as enhancement to the wider investment value as a whole. It is an excellent all-round outcome” he added.

As a multi-disciplinary Commercial Property Practice, Scotts Property LLP with offices in Hull, Grimsby and Scunthorpe covers the Humber region and beyond with its property management division headed by Partner Ed Chisholm supported by day-to-day property management and accounting colleagues working closely in conjunction with Scotts experienced surveyors in all sectors.