Hull’s largest multi-let industrial park has changed hands in a multi-million pound deal between two of the city’s leading companies.
Kingston International Business Park on Hedon Road has been purchased by J.R. Rix & Sons from Wykeland Group, ending almost three decades of ownership and investment by the commercial developer.
Wykeland purchased the site in 1991 from the administrators of engineering business Priestmans after the historic Hull company folded with the loss of hundreds of jobs, leaving the site vacant.
Over the past 28 years Wykeland has completed new buildings, refurbished existing facilities and invested in the infrastructure across the 30-acre site to create a thriving 500,000 sq ft business park where close to 1,000 people are now employed by a range of well-known local companies including Crestwood Fittings, Paneltex and Harrison Solway Logistics.
Wykeland Managing Director Dominic Gibbons said: “When we put Kingston International Business Park on the market in late 2018 we did not anticipate the site would be purchased by a local operator, so we’re delighted the new owner is a Hull company.
“We know J.R. Rix well as a long-established and highly-respected Hull business which will build on the long-term relationships we have created with the primarily locally-owned businesses on site.
“Kingston International Business Park is 100 per cent let and we have made a strategic decision to divest this asset as the market conditions are right for the sale.”
The acquisition is the biggest single investment in the 140-year history of Rix Group. The company also owns Tower House Lane, which borders the business park to the east, and Stoneferry Ltd – a company which shares the same directors as J.R. Rix & Sons Ltd – owns Unicorn Business Park directly to the west of the site.
Tim Rix CBE, CEO of J.R. Rix & Sons, said: “Acquiring Kingston International Business Park is a great move for us because it joins together the two business parks which we already have an interest in on either side of the site.
“Together, the three parks total more than 70 acres and that gives us more flexibility to provide commercial premises that fulfil our operational needs and our tenants’ space requirements, particularly on the Tower House Lane side.
“Kingston International Business Park is already home to many high-quality businesses and we are looking forward to forming long-term relationships with them that are beneficial to all parties.
“We’re delighted to complete this deal and add another great site to our portfolio.”
Wykeland is one of Yorkshire and the Humber’s leading commercial developers with a development pipeline of almost £400m within the region. Flagship schemes include Bridgehead business park; @TheDock, which is home to C4DI; Melton West business park; G@Glasshoughton; Europarc in Grimsby; and Treadmills in Northallerton.
The company is also driving forward the £80m regeneration of the Fruit Market, working with joint venture partners Beal Homes and Hull City Council.
Mr Gibbons added: “The sale of Kingston International Business Park releases the value of a fully-developed asset to focus on our many, exciting new-build schemes.
“Funds from the sale will be reinvested into our growing portfolio of projects, creating new development opportunities and jobs across the region.”
J.R. Rix & Sons Ltd has a wide range of national and international business interests including property, fuel distribution, shipping and warehousing, retailing cars and commercial vehicles through its Jordan’s brand and manufacturing lodges and holiday homes under the Victory Leisure Homes label.
Mr Rix said he was delighted the company’s largest single investment was in its home city of Hull.
“Hull will always be an integral part of our success,” he said.
“We have been serving the business community, maritime community and the region’s farms and villages for nearly 140 years and they have repaid us with their loyal support.
“This city, this region, is our home.
“As a result, we have always tried to invest here even in times where others have not, to help create a strong economy and strong communities.
“I’m very proud to continue this tradition with the acquisition of Kingston International Business Park. It is the biggest single investment in the company’s history, and I’m extremely pleased to be making that in Hull.”
J.R. Rix was advised on the deal by legal practice Rollits LLP and commercial estate agent Garness Jones. Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP and Carrick Real Estate represented Wykeland.
[John Meehan – Meehan Media & Comms]