News - Verdion

Speculative development hat trick completes at Doncaster’s iPort

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Verdion has completed the final letting in its current round of speculative development at its iPort multimodal logistics hub in Doncaster.

A luxury homeware retailer has taken the 119,060 sq ft (11,061 sq m) warehouse iP2g, which offers space for up to 12,194 pallets with 12.5 m clear headroom and a 55 m deep yard.

This deal is the third and final unit in Verdion’s most recent tranche of speculative development at iPort. iP2c was let to local printing specialists Kingsbury Press, while iP2e was let to one of the UK’s largest, privately owned logistics companies Woodland Group. Other occupiers that also call the logistics hub home include CEVA, Fellowes, Lidl, Maritime Group and Amazon.

iPort is the UK’s most advanced multimodal facility, spanning 800 acres with 52 MVA power, close to junction 3 of the M18 in Doncaster. iPort Rail, its on-site rail freight terminal, takes daily services to/from Southampton, Felixstowe and Teesport, with more routes across the UK being planned.

Alongside its programme of speculatively developed space at iPort, Verdion’s masterplan also includes development-ready sites for units of up to 800,000 sq ft that can be built to suit specific occupier requirements.

John Clements, Executive Director at Verdion, said: “We’re pleased to welcome our newest tenant to iPort and mark the completion of our latest phase of speculative development. With demand for space continuing to increase, driven by our demographics as well as widespread demand for logistics, we’re also seeing much greater interest in build to suit opportunities too. Demand for our phase two development-ready sites is increasing which means we can offer speed to market as well as opportunities for specialist uses including ecommerce.”

www.iportuk.com

www.iportrail.com

 

Verdion secures former RAF air base in western Germany for €500 million strategic logistics park

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Verdion and the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) have secured the former RAF Brüggen site on the German-Dutch border for the creation of a 177-hectare logistics park. It was acquired from local development company “Energie- und Gewerbepark Elmpt” mbH (EGE). Over €500 million will now be invested in the project to create a strategic regional logistics hub.

The site – to be known as Javelin Park – is the latest in Verdion’s strategic site development programme, which sits alongside the firm’s investment management and specialist industrial and logistics development activity. It has already established the €580+ million (£500+ million) iPort logistics hub and rail freight terminal in Doncaster, UK, with HOOPP; and recently launched the €200 million E20 Park Copenhagen on Denmark’s main Germany-Sweden road corridor.

Javelin Park will be located directly on Germany’s A52 motorway, which connects the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region with Roermond in the Netherlands. The deep-water ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam can both be reached in two hours.

Around 567,000 sq m of logistics, business and light industrial space is planned over a 10–15-year period, with sustainability and energy efficiency central to the emerging concept designs and all new buildings targeting the DGNB Gold certification.

Preserving the site’s history is also a priority. Located in Niederkrüchten-Elmpt, RAF Brüggen served for many years as an important British air base in Germany, with several units stationed there between 1953 and 2001. In 2002 it was transferred to the British Army and renamed Javelin Barracks. It was finally vacated in December 2015 as the last remaining British forces withdrew from Germany, and has been out of use ever since.

Michael Hughes, CEO of Verdion, said: “This is a major strategic opportunity, and the €500 million investment planned represents our biggest single investment in Germany to date. As part of Verdion’s pan-European programme for large scale park developments, Javelin Park will become one of the best business environments of its kind in Germany, one that will generate considerable opportunity and growth prospects both locally and regionally.

“Our objective is a high-quality, flexible and sustainable design concept that meets the needs of all potential occupiers, both large and small. We’re looking forward to working with the local community to bring the site through the zoning process and back into economic use, and will do so in a way that respects its rich history.”

Dr Andreas Coenen, District Administrator and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of EGE, commented: “One of the most important economic projects in the region is out of the starting blocks today. The business park will contribute positively to the economic and social development of the county over the coming decades.” Karl-Heinz Wassong, Mayor of Niederkrüchten, added: “The business park is a double opportunity: It attracts new companies to Niederkrüchten and offers those in the region new growth potential.”

Javelin Park is being funded by Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), one of Canada’s largest pension funds and one of Verdion’s longstanding funding partners. Over the past seven years the partnership has created a specialist logistics portfolio valued at over €1.2 billion.

Major industrial development near Hamburg: Boeing expands footprint in Germany

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Major industrial development near Hamburg: Boeing expands footprint in Germany

In cooperation with the municipality of Henstedt-Ulzburg as well as Warburg-HIH Invest and logistics real estate specialist Verdion, Boeing is expanding its activities in Germany creating the new European hub for chemical and specialty material support for its aftermarket services customers.

Located in one of Germany’s top logistics hubs and major centre for the aviation industry, the real estate project marks a significant industrial development for the Hamburg region. The strategic investment will enable Boeing to build out its capacity and product portfolio, further strengthening its value proposition and growth strategy in the highly competitive aerospace market. With the construction work starting in March, the facility is expected to be operational by Q2 2022.

The 34,347 m² site is situated within a short driving distance from Hamburg and Hamburg Airport, offering an ideal location to supply a variety of global customers. The 19,254 m² building will include a 15,352 m² warehouse space with areas especially designed for Boeing’s needs as well as 153 parking spaces. 3,251 m² of office space will be connected to the warehouse facility. For the development, the project partners are targeting the Gold-level certification issued by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) in line with their commitment to minimise the environmental impact.

“This new facility underlines our continued commitment to further strengthen and support the German aviation sector and consolidates our leading position in the European distribution services market. While the aerospace industry is facing challenging times, we want to build on our presence in Germany to ensure long-term growth,” said Dr. Michael Haidinger, President, Boeing Deutschland.

John Clements, Executive Director of Verdion, commented: “This facility combines state-of-the-art storage, distribution and offices, setting the standard for Boeing’s regional distribution centre and making clear its commitment to the sector. It successfully addresses the twin challenges of secure storage for sensitive goods and ready access to the company’s locations across northern Germany from a growing logistics hotspot that offers an alternative to Hamburg’s undersupplied market.”

Warburg-HIH Invest financed the project and will lease the building to Boeing. “With the purchase of the property, we achieve an even broader geographical and tenant diversification of our portfolio,” said Hans-Joachim Lehmann, Managing Director of Warburg-HIH Invest. “In addition, we are further expanding the fund’s core orientation with the property, which is leased for the long term.”

“We are very happy that Boeing chose Henstedt-Ulzburg as its location,” said Mayor Ulrike Schmidt. “The company is already present in the region so that important skilled labour will be retained. The 15-year location guarantee underline Boeing’s plans to stay in Henstedt-Ulzburg for the long term and expand its presence here.”

Dr. Bernd Bösche, Managing Director of the Business Development and Technology Transfer Corporation of Schleswig-Holstein (WTSH), concluded: “Boeing’s decision to select Henstedt-Ulzburg as its location is proof of Schleswig-Holstein’s site advantages for international companies. In addition to a good transport infrastructure and the proximity to Hamburg Airport, the availability of qualified specialists is a particularly important location factor. We are pleased that we were able to support Boeing in finding the perfect business venue in Henstedt-Ulzburg. A warm welcome and good luck.”

 

 

Verdion strengthens Nordics focus with senior investment and development hires

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Verdion is significantly strengthening its commitment to the Nordics, with two senior appointments charged with increasing the business’s investment and development activity across the region.  

Since 2013 Verdion has created a €1.5 billion European logistics portfolio comprising new build and value-add redevelopment projects across Germany, the UK, the Nordics, Benelux and the Czech Republic. Highlights in the Nordics include specialist facilities for BMW and a pharmaceutical client of DHL as well as E20 Park Copenhagen, a €200m new logistics park development, which sits on the main Germany-Sweden artery south of the city. 

In addition to increasing this development pipeline, Verdion will be deploying substantial capital in support of its €300 million Verdion European Logistics Fund 1. VELF 1 held its final close in September 2020 and is focussed on core plus and value add urban logistics assets in edge-of-town or infill locations to fulfil last-mile requirements.

Head of Investment – Nordics: Peter Michael Tetzlaff has joined Verdion as Head of Investment – Nordics, following several years with CBRE’s Capital Markets Team in Copenhagen. Focussed on overseeing and growing Verdion’s investment management business across the region, his role will include identifying and acquiring investment opportunities and overseeing the execution of associated leasing and development activities for both VELF 1 and the wider Verdion business. He will join Verdion’s Investment Committee, alongside CEO Michael Hughes, CFO Paul Clarke, Director – Asset Management Simon Walter, and Florian Stöbe, Head of Investment – Germany. Peter is based at Verdion’s new offices in Copenhagen. 

Head of Business Development – Nordics: Johan Nihlmark today joins Verdion as Head of Business Development – Nordics after an eight-year career with Prologis in Gothenburg. He will lead on all Verdion’s leasing activities in the region, including build to suit and speculative development projects, and is focussed on developing the business’s pipeline – drawing on his strong network of brokers and occupiers to source and deliver new opportunities, primarily in Sweden and Denmark. He will be based at Verdion’s new offices in Gothenburg. 

Michael Hughes, CEO of Verdion, said: “The Nordics presents significant opportunities for growth, with a marked disparity between consumers’ expectations and the standard and volume of logistics stock currently available – especially in the ecommerce arena. Strong occupier demand for more space is complemented by institutional investor appetite for high quality logistics assets for long-term management.

“We will be targeting a wide range of opportunities as a result – from strategic sites for longer term park development to core plus and value-add assets that can be repurposed quickly to meet market demand. 

“Not only will these appointments provide an active presence in our primary targets of Denmark and Sweden, but Peter and Johan’s experience will be an enormous benefit to our business as a whole, linking into our teams in the UK and Germany to provide a broader perspective on the sector as it continues to accelerate.”

Verdion secures Bas Warehousing for strategic Netherlands site

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Verdion has leased 9,000 sq m at its newly-acquired site in Roosendaal in the Netherlands to Bas Warehousing for hazardous goods storage.

Verdion acquired the site for €17 million in an off-market deal in 2020 – its first asset in the Netherlands and part of a €300m investment programme focused on last mile opportunities in Northern Europe for its Verdion European Logistics Fund 1 (VELF 1).

The site already includes a facility for Imperial Group and an adjacent land plot with permission for a further 10,000 sq m of new build warehouse space, which Verdion will start developing speculatively later this year.

De Lobel & Partners advised Verdion.

Verdion brings Woodlands Group to iPort

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One of the UK’s largest, privately-owned logistics companies Woodland Group, has taken a 195,000 sq ft warehouse at iPort, Verdion’s multimodal logistics hub in Doncaster.

The new fulfilment and distribution facility will be the latest addition to Woodland Group’s existing footprint across five locations in Yorkshire and enables its growth of employment in the Yorkshire region by 35%. It is part of a strategic move to service the growing needs of existing and recently won new business in the packaging industry, will offer Woodland’s carbon-conscious supply chain solutions and deliver access across the UK and direct services into Europe.

iPort is the UK’s most advanced multimodal facility, spanning 800 acres with 52 MVA power, close to junction 3 of the M18 in Doncaster. Already home to CEVA Fellowes, Lidl, Kingsbury Press and Amazon, its on-site rail freight terminal takes daily services to/from Southampton, Felixstowe and Teesport with more routes across the UK being planned.

Alongside its programme of speculatively-developed space at iPort, Verdion’s masterplan also includes development-ready sites for units of up to 800,000 sq ft that can be built to suit specific occupier requirements.

John Clements, Executive Director at Verdion, said: “The combination of high-quality warehousing and on-site rail services is increasingly attractive to businesses like Woodland Group, who are successfully building their businesses while focussing on environmentally-conscious supply chains. Demand for well-connected, well-resourced logistics space continues to grow and the ability to make road and rail connections across the country and into Europe from this central hub is increasingly attractive.”

Kevin Stevens, CEO of Woodland Group, commented: “Our new Doncaster site represents our great commitment to Yorkshire and the surrounding area and our continued investment into environmental supply chain solutions to aid our clients in cutting cost and carbon footprint. Its fantastic location makes it an ideal international hub plugging into our global supply chain offering as well as a solid addition to our full domestic operations through our own sites and equipment across the UK. Our Doncaster facility boasts state-of-the-art technology and our full digital offering alongside its conscious and innovative solutions to domestic and international fulfilment and distribution, thus offering both UK and overseas clients full access to the vast opportunities emerging in the UK and surrounding markets post Brexit.”

Verdion European Logistics Fund 1 acquires strategic Kassel logistics park

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Equity Estate Group has sold a strategic logistics park on the outskirts of the German town of Kassel to Verdion European Logistics Fund 1 (VELF1) for EUR 28 million. The park is situated in the Lohfelden logistics hotspot just outside Kassel, strategically located on the  A7 highway in Central Germany – the country’s longest autobahn and an important north-south route.

The property was held by Equity Estate Group for almost 15 years, forming part of the Queristics portfolio which was raised in 2005. In 2018 Equity Estate recapitalised the portfolio. In 2019 a property in the Netherlands was sold, followed by the second divestment of a logistics building in Willebroek, Belgium in 2020. With the sale of the Lohfelden property the recapitalisation of 2018 will be fully repaid.

This transaction is the fifth and largest acquisition so far for Verdion European Logistics Fund 1 (VELF1) SCSp, which held its final close in September 2020 and is focussed on urban logistics assets in edge-of-town or infill locations that facilitate swift product delivery to major cities/towns, meeting the last-mile requirements. It is targeting value-add/core-plus investments in Germany, the Nordics, Benelux and other select markets across Europe.

The 58,307 sqm plot currently comprises 16,046 sqm of warehousing and 3,852 sqm office/ commercial spaces in three buildings. Two are leased for a commercial vehicle parts centre, agricultural dealership and central warehouse. The other tenant specializes in thermoplastic extrusion. The acquisition also includes additional land with potential for a new warehouse of around  6,000 sqm plus 500 sqm office space and a 1,228 sqm mezzanine creating a total lettable area of 7,920 sqm in line with current zoning plans.

Florian Stöbe, Verdion Head of Investment – Germany said: “This asset is exactly in line with our value-add/core+ strategy: a site with great potential in one of the country’s most important logistics hotspots, combined with long term commitments from existing tenants. The intention now is to commence speculative development to meet continuing demand for high quality space from ecommerce occupiers in particular– an approach the fund is adopting across other invested locations.”

CBRE and Baker McKenzie advised Equity Estate Group in this transaction. Verdion was advised by REC Partners and GSK Stockmann.

Verdion supports South Yorkshire Freeport bid

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Verdion is supporting the South Yorkshire Freeport bid, aiming to make the area the largest advanced manufacturing hub in Europe and putting it at the heart of world-class innovation.

If the bid – which was submitted on 5 February – is successful, South Yorkshire will become one of ten new freeports across the UK. Once established, the freeport would help build on South Yorkshire’s longstanding reputation for innovation and excellence, and further establish the region as a hub for global trade and investment.

The Freeport, backed by key industry figures and politicians, centres around Doncaster Sheffield Airport and Verdion’s iPort logistics hub – which have substantial plans for growth – major manufacturers including Sheffield Forgemasters and Liberty Steel, and more than 360 hectares of land primed for development (at GatewayEast, Junction36 and iPort).

New modelling suggests a Freeport in the South Yorkshire would:

  • Create 28,700 new jobs
  • Increase wages by at least east 19% (due to a focus on advanced manufacturing)
  • Add £169m to the South Yorkshire economy every year
  • Boost imports by £306m and exports by £410m
  • Unlock or accelerate over £500m of investment
  • Transform the Sheffield City Region into a net exporter of goods by 2029

Michael Hughes, CEO of Verdion – which is responsible for Doncaster’s iPort logistics hub – commented: “A inland freeport in South Yorkshire would be a huge boost – for trade, development, investment and jobs. Its location at the heart of the country with so much critical infrastructure and space for future growth already in place offers enormous potential.”

Robert Hough, Chair of Peel Airports Group which includes Doncaster Sheffield Airport said: “Ports and airports are well known as hubs for global trade and investment., Freeport status would only enhance that. By bringing together the UK’s first strategic rail port for a decade at iPort and one of the longest runways in the UK with capacity to grow at Doncaster Sheffield Airport. Peel, Harworth and Verdion have proven track records in delivering transformational projects, helping to create jobs and opportunities for local people.”

Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis said: “Establishing a freeport will help our region’s businesses and universities export ideas, goods and services across the world, supporting our ambitions for a new era of prosperity and a stronger, greener and fairer economy for South Yorkshire after the coronavirus pandemic. It will help to unlock our region’s potential and create opportunities for people, places and businesses.

“Our region has incredible strengths in research and innovation and businesses capable of substantial growth. Government must now back our bid to establish a freeport to generate the jobs, training and investment needed to deliver prosperity for people and businesses across the region and the North.

“This is an opportunity for government to show its commitment to levelling up and unlock South Yorkshire’s potential.”

South Yorkshire Freeport’s backers

Sheffield Forgemasters

Liberty Steel

McLaren Automotive

Hird Group

Peel L&P

Doncaster Sheffield Airport

iPort

Verdion

Hird Group

Advanced Manufacturing Park

Sheffield, Doncaster, Barnsley & Rotherham Chambers of Commerce

Harworth Group

Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority

Sheffield City Region LEP

Doncaster and Barnsley Councils

South Yorkshire International Trade Forum

 

 

 

Verdion expands asset management team to support growing portfolio

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Verdion has appointed Valerie Setz as Asset Manager to assist in managing its growing portfolio of real estate  assets. Setz joins from VGP where she was a property manager, and prior to that worked for Postcon Service GmbH.

Since 2013 Verdion has created a €1.5 billion European logistics portfolio comprising new build and value-add redevelopment projects across Germany, the UK, the Nordics, Benelux and the Czech Republic.

Based at Verdion’s new Düsseldorf office, Setz will manage assets across all these territories, excluding the UK, and report to Director – Asset Management, Simon Walter. Her role will include working closely with Verdion team members – from incorporating new assets into the firm’s portfolio through acquisition or transition of completed developments; to day-to-day business planning, management and reporting; rent renewals, lease renewals and regears, and overseeing larger projects.

Simon Walter, Director – Asset Management, at Verdion said: “The challenge of managing a diverse and growing portfolio such as this is the range of skills needed maximise investment returns. A thorough grounding in technical management, driving cash flow and reporting is essential, but we also place great importance on good relationships with our occupiers and value people who can see the bigger picture and the value of larger capital projects to this process. Valerie’s experience makes her a great fit for our business as it continues to grow and we’re delighted to welcome her to the team.”

Derby Cycle chooses Verdion for new North German headquarters and plant

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Verdion has been chosen by bicycle manufacturer Derby Cycle as the developer for its new 32,230 sq m headquarters and plant which will expand the company’s presence in northern Germany.

The new facility will be funded and developed under a venture between Verdion and Canadian pension fund Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP).

It will be located on a 63,000 sq m plot in the Ecopark Emstek industrial estate and open its doors in 2022, offering state-of-the-art production facilities as well as an inspiring work environment with open offices and working spaces.

Another highlight will be the new Kalkhoff brand world, where Germany’s leading e-bike brand will showcase new models directly at the factory with advice, test drives on a dedicated test track on site and information about the brand and history.

The new building will provide 26,500 sq m of production and storage, 5,730 sq.m. of office and communal accommodation and 510 parking spaces. Verdion is targeting a DGNB Gold sustainability certification for the building on completion. It will link to Derby Cycle’s existing 25,000 sq.m. logistics facility on the adjacent plot, which Verdion completed in 2015. Work has recently started on site.

André Banschus, Executive Director of Verdion, adds: “Even before COVID-19, bicycle manufacturers were looking for more ways to respond to demand. The global sustainability movement has accelerated green city infrastructure projects and sales have significantly increased in recent years.

“We are pleased to be delivering a second project for Derby Cycle, not only demonstrating our development expertise in complex manufacturing, but working closely with our partners to put in place the funding and lease structures needed to help Derby Cycle exploit this opportunity for growth.”

Ecopark Emstek is located directly on the A1 motorway linking the Baltic Sea to the French border near Saarbrücken via several North Sea ports as well as the Rhine Ruhr metropolitan area. The municipality of Emstek borders Cloppenburg, the county capital with over 35,000 inhabitants. It is located 60 kilometres south-west of the Hanseatic city of Bremen.

Verdion and HOOPP regularly partner on the financing, development and management of specialist logistics and production facilities across Europe, with a portfolio of over €1.2 billion GAV created over the last seven years.

On completion of the building, Verdion will continue to work with Derby Cycle as HOOPP’s asset manager. List Bau is the general contractor, Phase 5 the project architect.