Germany Archives - Verdion

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.

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 and LIST GROUP bring forward new logistics centre for Dachser in Hof

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The LIST Group and Verdion have agreed to bring forward a new facility for logistics firm Dachser SE at Hof in the German state of Bavaria.

The 231,964 sq ft (21,550 sq m) logistics facility, which will offer space for around 39,000 pallets and includes a three-storey office building, is being built on a 458,546 sq ft (42,600 sq m) site on Hermann-and-Bertl-Müller-Strasse, close to an existing 269,100 sq ft (25,000 sq m) Dachser logistics centre.

From Hof, Dachser serves medium-sized customers from the DIY and garden centre sectors as well as from the industrial goods and food sectors. The company is expanding its presence in Hof and will employ around 500 people here once the project is complete. In addition, around 300 people work regularly for Dachser at the site through independent transport companies or as seasonal workers.

Verdion is developing the project with LIST Develop Commercial. Contractor LIST Bau Nordhorn is constructing the new logistics property on a turnkey basis.

André Banschus, Executive Director of Verdion, said: “We are pleased to be working with Dachser once again and bringing forward this project with the LIST Group to the highest standards. In addition to storage space, the new property also offers space for packaging and thus ideally complements the existing Dachser portfolio.”

Michael Garstka, Managing Director of LIST Develop Commercial added: “We are happy to have a modern property here in Hof with experienced partners like Verdion and LIST Bau Nordhorn at our side to realise this project for Dachser.”

“With the expansion, we are taking the next important step with one of our large DIY customers from the DIY sector in the region,” says Alexander Tonn, Managing Director European Logistics Germany, who is responsible for the German business with industrial goods at Dachser. “Together we are implementing a future-oriented, growth-oriented logistics concept in Hof.”

Sustainability is a key feature of the project with sustainably-sourced wood playing an important role, in the construction of the building’s roof structure. “Wood has a much better carbon footprint than concrete. Each cubic metre of laminated timber binds about one ton of CO2 and removes it from the atmosphere. The roof structure will absorb 1,198 tons of CO2 in the Hof facility. That’s as much as around 108 Germans emit in a year,” explains Andreas Brockhaus, Managing Director of LIST Bau Nordhorn. The wood that is used for the construction comes from sustainably-cultivated German forests.

Completion is expected in autumn 2020.