A HUGE new warehouse to be built on the edge of Swindon has just been sold for £200m.
And the developer’s agents said it will be used by the “worlds’ largest online retailer” – all but confirming reports it will be pre-let to Amazon for 20 years as soon as it is completed.
The deal is said to be the biggest single warehouse sale in British history and the leader of Swindon council says it’s a massive vote of confidence in the town.
Developer Panattoni was given permission in June for a huge new warehouse to be built at Symmetry Park – just off the A420 opposite the Gablecross police station – in what was described as a £400m investment in Swindon.
While the company is staying on the project as the developer, it has sold the warehouse to Legal and General Investment Management for £200m.
Amazon itself and Panattoni have not been willing to comment on whether the online giant has then the lease despite a leading industry publication reporting the building has been pre-let to Amazon. Property Week says Amazon has taken a lease for 20 years at £10m a year.
Swindon Borough Council leader David Renard said: “This is far from the only one, but this is another major vote of confidence in Swindon.
“It shows the belief and interest major companies have in the Swindon economy.
“The new warehouse will bring a lot of jobs to the town and it reinforces my opinion that Swindon will make a success of reinventing itself economically again.”
Coun Renard said he was not able to say which company will be using the warehouse on a 60 hectare site which will be 600,000 sq ft on the ground and three mezzanine floors each bigger than 500,000 sq ft.
The deal was confirmed by the London branch of law firm Ashurst.
The company said: “Ashurst has advised Panattoni on the £200 million forward funding of a logistics warehouse at Symmetry Park near Swindon to Legal & General.
“The sale is thought to be the largest ever single-asset logistics deal in the UK.
“The building at Symmetry Park in Swindon, a key location, received planning consent in the summer and is expected to complete late 2021 with Panattoni staying on as developer.”
Mark Webster, who works for DTRE and advised Panattoni on both the pre-let and sale to Legal and General, said: “The land was bought as a speculative deal to build 1m sq ft of space – but a client got interested in it, and the design was increased to 2.32m sq ft at their specification.
“That client is the world’s largest online retailer. It has taken a 20-year lease.”
He also confirmed the sale to Legal and General Investment management but the insurance and pensions firm itself did not return approaches for comment.
Pannatoni is the world’s biggest private developer of warehousing and its website lists clients such as Marks & Spencer, the Co-op, Black & Decker – and Amazon.
It built Amazon’s warehouses in Banbury and Bolton.
The new building would certainly be big enough to be used by Amazon – it is larger than both of those warehouses.
It is expected to be completed towards the end of 2021.