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Image credit: Vastint United Kingdom

Despite wider economic uncertainty, commercial developers building out office and warehouse projects still comprise 11 out of the top 100 construction clients according to Glenigan’s latest contracts leagues.

The biggest spending commercial developer in the latest leagues is Vastint, Owned by Swiss group Intergogo Holding, Vastint placed a dozen contracts in the 12 months to May 2018.

These contracts are valued by Glenigan’s construction market analysis as worth £450.1 million-worth and rank Vastint in 10th place.

Construction contracts let by Vastint range from the £55 million Strand east Plot on the Sugar House Land development in east London to the £117 million Dane’s Yard Development, also in the east of the capital at Newham. Henry Construction is building both projects.

With Legal & General mostly developing residential projects, the next highest commercial developer is Roxhill, which let £276.2 million-worth of work in the latest year according to Glenigan’s construction industry research.

Roxhill typically works on industrial and warehouse projects and can develop work in joint venture with other developers, such as SEGRO. The two companies are working together at the East Midlands Gateway development zone on projects including a 46,450 sq ft unit warehouse for Amazon.

Argent is in 28th position after letting £217 million-worth of commercial work including the £90 million S1, Handyside office block at King’s Cross Central, which is being built by BAM Construct.

Land Securities, British Land, which is behind the £53 million Drake Circus Leisure scheme in Plymouth, MEPC and Prologis are also in the top 50.

More commercial developers

Other commercial developers are inside the top 100 construction clients, including IM Properties, which has let £132 million-worth of work including the £55 million Nobel Way scheme in Birmingham.

Bruntwood, SEGRO and Prudential are also in the lower reaches of the top 100 clients according to Glenigan’s construction market data.

Overall, all this work, which is solely office and industrial related and excludes retail and residential work, is valued at £2 billion. By value, this total is 7.4% of the total spending by the industry’s top 100 clients.

Commercial development work rising at underlying level

After a weak period, commercial development activity grew for a second month in a row in May 2018 according to the IHS Markit/CIPS index and Glenigan’s contracts leagues back up this rise in activity.

A year ago, although there were also 11 commercial developers amongst the top 100 construction clients only three were in the top 50.

Total spending by the 11 commercial clients in the latest top 100 is down 13%, but that is partly because of one major scheme, the £850 million St James Quarter project in Edinburgh.

At an underlying level, activity is rising with 94 commercial construction projects let in the latest leagues. This excludes the rising number of projects awarded by main contractors turning to commercial development as also highlighted by Glenigan’s recent construction research into this area.

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