Speculative development

Verdion Airpark, Berlin

Climate ControlDistributionE-commerceLast-mile
Instinct, insight and a great location drive speculative development success
Verdion Airpark Berlin occupies an exceptional location thirty minutes from Berlin’s central Mitte district, close to Schönefeld Airport and directly opposite the new Berlin Brandenburg International Airport (BER Airport), with excellent transport links. It marks the second of three logistics developments undertaken by Verdion in airport locations, the first being Air Link Park next door, and the third being a logistics facility for UPS next to Prague City Airport. Verdion quickly understood this site’s potential and developed a design concept that would maximise its attractiveness for businesses focused on urban logistics. In partnership with Rockspring (which later became PATRIZIA), Verdion acquired the land for Airpark in 2015. Five years later the park was almost fully let, enabling disposal on the open market at record pricing.
How did Verdion add value?
Speculative development with specialist capabilities
We chose the site for its strategic location and because we knew the area and its markets well – we had already successfully developed and leased two units for freight company, Dachser, on the Air Link Park next door in 2012. Add to that the boom in e-commerce driving strong growth in the local logistics market, and everything pointed to this being the ideal site for development. From the start we knew that speed and location were key, and we decided to create standardised high-quality buildings that would respond to demand for B2C space and could be developed speculatively. During the first phase of construction, we leased a facility to Bringmeister, an online food delivery business. The company had specialist requirements for cooling and deep-freezing technology, and for clean areas for food preparation, which we incorporated while still delivering the building on schedule. Dachser leased a further building, expanding from its base at Air Link Park next door, and other companies quickly followed suit, some of them also needing specialist capabilities.
Attracting a broad range of businesses
Phase 1 completed in 2016, with a total of 29,500 sq m occupied by Bringmeister, Dachser, and metalworking company PUK. Phase 2 followed in 2018, with half of the 22,150 sq m space leased to DÜRKOP GmbH, an auto repair parts supplier, and the other half leased to Streiff & Helmold, a railroad services provider. Phase 3 encompassed a 10,000 sq m logistics facility leased to Dachser SE, as well as four assets each offering 5,000 sq m of space. One was leased to Werner Schulze GmbH, a wholesaler for printable merchandising, another to HOCO Online GmbH, a bicycle and spare parts shipping company.
Proof of a smart investment decision
All three phases at Airpark – a site that was empty and inactive for several years before we acquired it – were leased before construction was complete, demonstrating our ability to anticipate market requirements and bring forward high-quality warehousing at precisely the right time. The most important timing, though, was that of our partner’s exit. Airpark’s success had been a catalyst for the wider area, including the development of hotels and office buildings. With the park complete and the local logistics market booming, it was time for PATRIZIA to reap the benefits and return significant value back into its fund in one of the most notable logistics deals of the year. Michael Hughes, CEO of Verdion, said: “Against a backdrop of significant e-commerce sector growth, the fundamentals that originally made this site an attractive development opportunity still hold true. At the same time, Airpark offers very high-quality buildings designed to meet occupier requirements for years to come. The park’s potential is reflected in the pricing achieved, with the outcome for our partners, PATRIZIA, setting a record price in this market.”

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