J Smart & Co Plc, the self-financed Edinburgh-based family run developers and investors, have decided to take the bull by the horns and start the capital's first speculative commercial development for five years. The firm issued a profits warning at the half year because of the difficult conditions.

Faced with less outside contracting work, having already made some redundancies, and whilst lettings of it's recent developments have been disappointing,  their occupancy levels in their established developments have held up well, particularly so in the case of their small industrial units. So the firm has decided to go ahead with some more small units.

J Smart have a portfolio, valued at around £70 million, which gives it this perspective, and  it has sought planning approval for the first two phases of its West Edinburgh Business Park on South Gyle Crescent, with space for four terraces of industrial units. The site was formerly a plumbing merchants yard and part of the Pentad office development.

Edinburgh City Council approved this application last week.

Kirsty Palmer, associate director at Jones Lang LaSalle, joint agent for the site, said: “The speculative development is a good sign Scotland’s industrial market is in good health.”