AEW agrees lease with Buy It Direct for 523,404 sq ft warehouse

AEW UK Investment Management has agreed a 12.3 year lease with Buy It Direct Ltd for its development of a 523,404 sq ft logistics warehouse, EMDC 525, in Castle Donnington, Derbyshire. The development forms part of the Allianz Real Estate segregated account managed by AEW launched in February 2019, focused on develop-to-core opportunities in prime locations within the UK logistics sector.

EMDC 525 is located at one of the most well-established and strategically important logistics sites in the Midlands, positioned on the A50 and with both the M1 and M6 close by, as well as being near to East Midlands Airport and the newly opened Maritime Rail Freight Terminal. The Grade A logistics site has been completed to the highest specifications, with 76 dock doors, parking capacity for 157 HGVs, and an 18m height clearance and has a BREEAM very good rating. EMDC 525 has a rainwater harvesting system and the roof is designed to accommodate solar panels. 

AEW manages the Allianz-owned separate account vehicle focused on funding speculative development of units of 200,000 sq ft or larger in prime locations across the UK. This is the second letting agreement for the venture, which has now let all of the portfolio’s constructed sites.

AEW partnered with Panattoni to construct the Castle Donnington warehouse. Panattoni is the UK’s largest speculative developer with a strong track record of delivering large, hi spec, energy efficient buildings at speed and scale.

Spencer Corkin, Director, Acquisitions, AEW commented: “This is the second letting for our logistics venture with Allianz Real Estate, and we are pleased to have signed another fast-growing British e-commerce business.  The size, prime specification and location of EMDC 525 is ideal for Buy It Direct’s growth ambitions and will provide the company with an excellent distribution base for years to come. 

This project and letting continues our strategy and reinforces our appetite for speculative development of high-quality logistics assets in core, established locations benefitting from robust occupational demand and low vacancy.”

Charlie Royle, Executive Director, Asset Management, AEW commented: “We are very pleased to have secured Buy It Direct at our newly-developed high-spec logistics warehouse, EMDC 525. Buy It Direct has ambitious growth plans for the coming years, and we are very happy that it has chosen EMDC 525 to be its central England logistics base.”

Andy Preston, Development Manager at Panattoni said: ”We are delighted to have secured the letting of this 523,404 sq ft facility to online retailer Buy It Direct, at such a strategic location near East Midlands airport and the M1, which we believe will serve them well. This lease demonstrates the demand in the logistics market for quality space, along with reinforcing the strength of Panattoni's speculative programme throughout the UK," he added.

Nick Glynne, CEO at Buy It Direct commented: “Due to the exceptional demand for online goods, partly as a result of Covid, we urgently required a large warehouse to support our increased stockholding of kitchen appliances, bathrooms and furniture. We didn’t have the luxury of time for a design and build and so the new shed at EMDC was ideal. It was the right size and right height and thankfully for us, AEW and Panattoni had the guts and foresight to build a speculative warehouse in a first class location. We are deeply impressed with the high quality spec of the building and the professionalism of both AEW and Panattoni ensured that we were able to do a deal very quickly.” says Nick Glynne, CEO of the online retailer Buy It Direct. 

“Our growth forecasts means we will need another large site within four years but in the meantime we have extra capacity to offer a pick, pack and despatch service to third parties, ideally for oversized goods that can be stored in bulk on the floor or within VNA. In addition we will be creating 250 new jobs, engaging with Invest in Leicester, North West Leicestershire District Council who work with DWP and the Leicester Employment Hub to assist us our recruitment needs.”

Savills, FHP and Gerald Eve advised AEW.

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