Overseas Investor Snaps Up Shipley’s Waterfront

Posted on 24 November, 2014 by Cliff Goodwin

An anonymous foreign buyer has paid almost £6m for an iconic office development on the banks of the Leeds to Liverpool canal.


GMI Developments acquired The Waterfront five years ago following its construction by sister company, GMI Construction. The traditional mill-style building — close to the Salts Mill World Heritage Site at Shipley — recently reached 100 per cent occupancy with the expansion of one high-profile tenant.

Last month Macmillan Cancer Support signed a 15-year lease for the last 5,800sq ft ground floor suite, taking its total occupation at the canalside development to almost 45 per cent.

In February the professional advisory and support services company, AdviserPlus, doubled its office space within the building to 15,000sq ft. It also hinted future projects could well see its workforce at the complex increase by more than 80. The two other Waterfront tenants are technology firm, Red Embedded, and community energy specialist ENER-G Switch2.

“The Waterfront has proven to be a successful business location for flagship companies and continues to make a significant contribution to the Shipley area through the retention and creation of jobs,” said GMI Developments managing director, Chris Gilman.

“We are firmly committed to the long-term regeneration of Shipley and the sale of The Waterfront will enable us to continue to invest in the area.”

The 52,494sq ft Waterfront’s new owner, whose £5.95m acquisition was overseen by commercial property advisers GVA, has yet to be named but is known to be based overseas. GMI Developments will retain ownership of the adjoining site which sits in between The Waterfront building and Salts Mill.

That plot is occupied by a number of industrial units and GMI is currently negotiating with the local authority and potential tenants on the viability of a mixed-use development.

Businessman Peter Gilman originally founded GMI Construction in 1986. Since then the Leeds-based GMI Holdings has taken over as the main development vehicle for Gilman and his partner Chris Gilman who, between them, have more than 75 years experience in commercial and residential development. Two of their most successful projects are Thorpe Park, a 200-acre North-East business park, and Yorkshire’s tallest building at Bridgewater Place, Leeds.

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