Industrial & Logistics
Savills research has confirmed that the industrial and logistics sector is already the most popular commercial property asset class, with yields having fallen below those of offices and retail for the first time in history based in part in a fall in vacancy rates (down to a historic low of 4.3%, CBRE)
Occupier and investor demand remains strong across all the sub-sectors with which we and our clients deal:
- urban logistics
- out of town “big box” storage and distribution warehouses
- light industrial and industrial estates
- retail warehousing, retail parks and trade counters
- ancillary car showrooms and self-storage
Some commentators consider the big box sector might be at or close to oversupply. Together with other factors, this has resulted in a growing focus on urban logistics.
Despite the potential headwind affecting the entire property market and the rising cost of construction, our clients are expecting yields in the industrial and logistics sector to balance out yield shifts in the retail market:
Industrial Volumes Rebound as Retail Slumps
In terms of design there is an expectation that industrial developers will embrace building upwards in order to satisfy demand in the most constrained locations. Multi-storey is fairly well established in Asia and out of town locations in Europe, and seems to be gathering pace in the US. It therefore seems likely to become a more significant feature in the UK market, including in urban and suburban locations.
Maples Teesdale and our clients are key players in this vibrant sector. This includes developers, investors, funders as well as occupiers.
- Acted for an institutional investor on the acquisition of a portfolio of 5 distribution warehouses for a headline price of £85.4m. The assets are located on established industrial parks across the East and West Midlands, close to the M1 and M6 motorways.
- Advised an institutional investor in relation to a £22.2m forward funding of a Palletforce warehouse/ distribution centre at Burton on Trent.
- Advised on the set up of Bywater Warehouse, a joint venture between Bywater and Pears group to acquire warehouse-type sites for refurbishment and management
- Acted for Centurion Properties on its acquisition of Bretby Business Park, one of the leading business parks in the Midlands, comprising 320,000 sq ft of office, laboratory, industrial and warehouse space. Centurion acquired the park from a joint venture between TIAA Henderson Real Estate and Centurion for a price in excess of £25m.
- Advised Deutsche Hypo in connection with a £11.7m loan facility to HEVF Cribbs Causeway S.à r.l. to fund the acquisition of a 423,202 sq ft detached distribution warehouse close to Bristol city centre. The property itself occupies a site of 20.45 acres.
- Advised Henry Boot on a joint venture with the Crown Estate, Luton Borough Council and a local landowner to secure planning consent and deliver a substantial new office and industrial park of circa 700,000 sq ft at Butterfield Park, Luton.
- Advised Legal & General on the forward funding by Thames Water of a brand new distribution unit pre-let to John Lewis at Innova Park, Enfield for circa £20m.
- Instructed by PJN Properties in connection with the management of Uxbridge Industrial Park. The Estate comprises 62 units let on various lease terms, traditional long leases and shorter flexible tenancies at will.
- Acted for Patrizia (previously Rockspring) on the acquisition of 11 properties in the Greenridge Portfolio bought from Alderley Group. The portfolio totalled approximately 500,000 sq ft of warehouses and 200,000 sq ft of offices. The price was circa £48 million so an average lot size of £4.3 million. We subsequently acted on individual sales of the assets.
- Advised Salmon Property on the acquisition of a development site pre-planning in Havant, Hampshire from Homes England to develop 5 warehouses. Homes England, being a government agency, wanted to be sure that the units were actually built, so the acquisition was initially made by way of a long term building lease with a subsequent upgrade to freehold title for no further consideration once 2000m2 of buildings were built. The transaction involved special consideration of the SDLT treatment of building leases. As an additional complication, the transaction had to be co-ordinated with the sale of part of the site for development of an energy plant. That disposal also needed to reflect the two stage building lease-then-freehold process. Salmon have now also forward sold the remainder of the site.
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