In 2003, Chris Musgrave acquired the former Samsung Electrics site in Wynyard, comprising 320,000 sq ft of vacant office and warehouse space and 500 acres of largely Greenfield land. Two years later, he founded Wynyard Park Limited, bringing in further investment via joint venture partnerships with major development companies.
In the following years he focussed on refurbishing, dividing and letting the vacant accommodation, and selling parcels of land for commercial development. Income was reinvested into key infrastructure to service the land, and into maximising the value of the retained land. A subsidiary development arm, Strategic Sites, went on to build over 100,000 sq ft of office accommodation onsite and further commercial accommodation on selected sites across the country. Even as the recession took hold, Chris adapted the business model and divided the commercial spaces into small serviced office spaces and leased on shorter more flexible terms to suit the unsettled financial climate.
The business park grew to become one of the most sought-after locations in the North East with more than one million sq ft of commercial accommodation, attracting over 65 companies, safeguarding over 2000 jobs and generating private investment of over £250 million.
Under Chris’s direction, resources were later invested into enhancing the value of the adjoining Greenfield site through changing the planning use from commercial to residential. The first residential planning permission was granted for 200 homes in 2012.
In the past few years, deals have been completed with Taylor Wimpy, Barratt David Wilson, Duchy Homes, Story Homes and Avant Homes for further residential development. Income from these land sales has been recycled back into Wynyard Park for operational and infrastructure provision, and also other trading companies and ventures funded by Chris.
Chris has also diversified the product offering at Wynyard Park by opening up a market for self-build properties, creating readily available plots of land for bespoke self-build homes in private gated communities onsite. Despite the significant upfront capital required to create such areas, a higher land value can be realised and this model has proved to be extremely successful with all 71 plots on Wynyard Park’s initial three phases – Manorside, The Beaumont and Duke of Wellington Gardens – sold out.
Plans are currently being implemented for the next phase which include further residential development along with retail, community and additional commercial uses.