The Merlin Centre, St Albans
Client: Aberdeen Standard
Location: St Albans
Services: Acquisition and marketing
Air Business Plc had grown significantly whilst a tenant at The Merlin Centre, eventually occupying 3 of the 5 units, all of which they modified quite extensively to suit their business as it evolved, to the point where they simply outgrew the estate and had to move to accommodate their growth. The option arose to have a unit constructed to their specific requirements on The Hatfield Business Park and this then left their Landlord at The Merlin Centre with the opportunity to carry out a comprehensive refurbishment of not only the vacated units, but also the external elements of all units on the estate and the common parts. It was universally agreed that these works would significantly lift the estate and assist in re-positioning it in the local industrial market.
Most obviously, all elevations were treated and then re-sprayed in a more contemporary shade of grey, further enhanced with a contrasting darker shade for all capping details and window frames, and in addition new, electric loading doors were installed. The end result was an estate with an altogether more modern feel. Internally the units were stripped back to their original base specification which entailed the removal of significant mezzanine floors previously use for storage, processing and office purposes. The office elements were re-carpeted and redecorated and new ceilings with motion sensitive LED lighting installed. All WC’s were completely re-fitted with new sanitary wear, new floor coverings and wall tiling, resulting in a quite remarkable transformation.
COVID then reared it’s head, but with the changes that this brought to the distribution market the first letting was perhaps unsurprisingly to Hermes who took Unit 5 (7,800 sqft) , followed quite swiftly by CEVA Distribution taking Unit 4 (16,000 sqft) and most recently GFS Flex, a Turkish owned manufacturer of gas fittings taking Unit 2 (9,000 sqft), completing a healthy hattrick.