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The Scotsman: Oil and gas industry fuels Aberdeen land rush

Aberdeen hit by land shortage

Aberdeen has been hit by a land shortage Picture: Ian Rutherford)

ABERDEEN’S success as a global hub for the oil and gas industry has led to a major shortage of land and commercial property for firms looking to expand.

Ken Shaw, investment partner at property firm Rydens in Aberdeen said the city now has a severe shortage of stock.

He said: “To say the market is busy is an understatement. The take-up of office space has been significant over the past 18 months and, as a result, there is virtually no Grade A accommodation available in the city centre or west end of Aberdeen.

” The demand has led to rental growth and stimulated speculative construction projects, although most will not be available for occupation until 2008.”

The strong market, says Shaw, has boosted the city in terms of investment. Rental growth and speculative development have become features and property funds are returning to share the spoils.

His firm has completed £148 million of investment transactions in the city last year and has £70m under offer this year.

Rita Stephen, development manager of ACSEF, the local economic public and private sector forum, said:

“The public and private sector need to work together to make sure we can supply what companies need.

“Aberdeen is not a big place but companies like BP, Shell and Chevron are already investing millions in their buildings. There is a strain and demand on land but we need to find a quick response to the problem.”

Steve Judge, managing director of architecture and space planning business Space Solutions, is working on a £7m redevelopment of an existing office space for industry giant Maersk.

He said: “There is high demand for space but a shortage of supply. The challenge has to be to redevelop what is already there. There are limited options.

“For longer-term needs, development is taking place in the periphery, in industrial estates and commercial parks, but not everyone wants it.”

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