Russbrit show enterprising spirit at the heart of Manor Royal - From the Manor
In 1984 Virgin Atlantic was founded and made the princely sum of $25 from its first flight. At about that time Richard Branson, as part of a joint venture, bought a 17 acre site that became the Crawley Business Quarter and went on to build “The Office”, which served as Virgin’s HQ until 2016.
In April this year Russbrit successfully acquired 6 acres “The Office” once stood on, with plans to breathe new life into the long vacate site.
In this article we interview Egor Shestakov, owner of Russbrit to find out more about them and what they plan to do now they have knocked down the huge office building that once dominated the landscape of the Crawley Business Quarter, which remained virtually empty since Virgin relocated to premises nearby.
Who are you?
Russbrit Limited are the investment arm of a larger, privately owned group of companies with a very entrepreneurial and commercial culture. Our group has developed and managed numerous international investments across retail, residential property, fast food, offices and hotels. Whilst our groups business is broad and diverse, Russbrit specialises in property investments within the UK.
What have you done and planning to do?
We were aware the former building had been marketed as offices-to-let since 2017 but had failed to attract tenants. We knew a different approach was required to ensure the sites future.
Working with our development partners Arcus-PCD, we have now demolished the existing building with plans to build an 85,000 sqft warehouse suitable for storage and distribution. It will include high specification ground and first floor offices, a large yard and over 20 docking bays.
Why have you invested in Manor Royal?
It is well known that Manor Royal is one of the most significant employment hubs in the Southeast and the largest business park within the Gatwick Diamond. Its location is superb with Gatwick airport on its doorstep, immediate access to the M23 and A23 and only 15 minutes to the M25 or 25 minutes to Brighton and the south coast.
It provides in excess of 9 million sqft of commercial floorspace attracting many blue-chip companies, such as Boeing, Amazon, Tesco, Virgin and Hermes to name a few. Working with local agents we are aware the requirements remain strong and there is a need for further development.
How confident are you in the economic outlook for Manor Royal?
We believe Manor Royal has exciting times ahead. With the huge demand for warehousing, its excellent location and Gatwick’s intention to bring the Northern Runway into routine use to significantly increase capacity, Manor Royal will reinforce its reputation as a strategic location for many companies and fulfil its ambition to become the leading employment hub in the Southeast.
What are your future plans?
We are actively targeting the logistics market to build a pipeline of investments over the next 5 years to satisfy tenant demand. We have family offices from Europe and Asia ready to commit to co-investing with us, giving us a very strong financial position. It is great to see that despite Brexit and the pandemic the economy is showing signs of a recovery and we hope for a bright future and strong economic growth at the end of the tunnel.
Russbrit are clearly ambitious with a positive outlook and confidence in the local area. Matched with the investment and commercial expertise, it seems the spirit of enterprise associated with Richard Branson hasn’t been lost – if anything it’s being re-built in the heart of Manor Royal.
Find out more about the development by emailing [email protected]
Find out more about Manor Royal at www.manorroyal.org