logistics 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 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 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.”

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.


Early handover for Verdion and Tritax EuroBox’s HAVI development

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Verdion and London-listed Tritax EuroBox plc have today handed over a specialist cold storage and logistics facility in Wunstorf near Hanover, Germany, to occupier HAVI Logistics GmbH.

The property on Adolf-Oesterheld-Strasse includes a 9,000 sq m (96,876 sq ft) cold storage facility for groceries, 6,000 sq m (645,584 sq ft) of logistics space and 1,000 sq m (10,764 sq ft) of office and community space.

Verdion started work on the asset eleven months ago and has handed the project over four weeks early.

Duisburg-based HAVI Logistics, a subsidiary of US-headquartered The HAVI Group, took out a 15-year lease on the asset. The food service logistics firm serves restaurants and convenience stores, with clients including McDonald’s, KFC, Nordsee and Vapiano. It will employ around 200 people at the site.

“A major focus of the development was the technical expertise needed to meet HAVI’s sustainability requirements,” said Stephan Dalbeck, Business Development Director at Verdion. “In addition to a low-energy and sustainable building design, we implemented the spatial and technical requirements for CO2-neutral cooling systems and waste heat recovery, for example, harnessing our longstanding experience in the built-to-suit market.”

The property received a sustainability certificate in Gold from DGNB, the German Sustainable Building Council.

Roland Schmidt, Chairman of the Board of HAVI Logistics Germany, added: “This distribution center is not only HAVI’s first location in Lower Saxony but also represents a major milestone in our sustainability strategy.” Verdion and HAVI also installed a liquefied natural gas filling station at the site to serve HAVI’s growing LNG-fueled truck fleet. The company plans to reduce carbon emission per ton delivered by 40 percent until 2030.

Tritax EuroBox bought this asset in a pre-let forward funded deal for EUR 27.5m at the end of last year. Nick Preston, Fund Manager at Tritax EuroBox said: “A core strand of our investment strategy is to focus on acquiring high-quality, sustainable logistics assets strategically located in established prime logistics locations in Europe. Let to the strong tenant Havi Logistics for the next fifteen years, we believe that this investment will generate an attractive income return for our investors.”

KLEBL GmbH acted as general contractor, tricer management GmbH as project manager and Büro Kühling as architect in the development. JLL acted as broker for the site and the project.

Verdion launches iPort Phase 2 with 731,000 sq ft warehouse deal

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Verdion has launched the second phase of its iPort logistics hub with a 731,000 sq ft (67,912 sq m) letting to a major online retailer.

Set to complete in Q2 2020, the new mega-warehouse will be the first building to start on site on the 300 acre (121 ha) second phase, which covers the southern part of iPort and includes landscaping and environmental buffer zones.

iPort spans 800 acres (324 ha) next to the M18 in Doncaster, with capacity for up to 6 million sq ft (557,414 sq m) of logistics space in total. Phase 1 occupiers include Amazon, CEVA, Fellowes and Lidl, with three smaller, speculatively-developed units of 195,000 sq ft (18,116 sq m), 119,060 sq ft (11,061 sq m) and 58,879 sq ft (5,470 sq m) currently ready for occupation.

iPort Phase 2 has capacity for a further 3 million sq ft (278,810 million sq m) of developable logistics space, including this first new mega-warehouse. Outline planning is in place, the site access road is complete, all services including access to 52 MVA power are available, and individual building plots are all currently being prepared for immediate development.

The site is also home to iPort Rail, a state-of-the-art rail terminal operated by Verdion. With capacity for the UK’s longest trains and storage for 1500 TEUs on site, the team expects to increase rail services and finalise government Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status later this year, meaning it can offer quicker access to simplified customs procedures on-site post-Brexit.

John Clements, European Development Director at Verdion, said: “iPort is already the UK’s most advanced multimodal logistics hub and it’s now shaping up to become the most successful. This latest letting reinforces both Doncaster’s position as an e-commerce location of truly national importance and our commitment to successfully delivering high specification logistics space on a very large scale.

“Launching Phase 2 means we can rapidly bring forward more major build-to-suit opportunities alongside smaller scale speculative developments for occupiers needing speed to market.

“This new warehouse will be a great boost for the area. But even with more space committed at iPort, the local workforce has ample capacity for the 2.7 million sq ft of logistics space still to come forward, and we’re pleased to be helping to create more employment opportunities both short and longer term.”

Leasing agents for iPort are Gent Visick, Colliers International and CBRE. The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) is Verdion’s funding partner.