August 23, 2022
Fiera Real Estate (“FRE UK”) and Wrenbridge are pleased to announce the acquisition of a 2.3-acre site in Hemel Hempstead. The business plan is to obtain planning and speculatively develop a new 52,000 sq.ft Grade A industrial warehouse development with a GDV of £22m.
The site was purchased through the Fiera Real Estate Logistics Development Fund UK (“FRELD”) and represents the first acquisition for the fund which reached its first close earlier this year with £180m of equity committed.
The site is situated within the Maylands Business area which is a prime industrial location and is less than two miles from Hemel Hempstead town centre. The town is a one of the principal commercial centres of Hertfordshire and has a population of over 100,000. The property itself benefits from excellent transport links due to its strategic placement one mile from the M1 motorway and four miles from the M25 motorway. Hemel Hempstead also provides regular train services to London within 30 minutes.
The business plan is to demolish the existing office buildings and speculatively develop a 52,000 sq.ft Grade A unit which will benefit from 12m clear internal eaves, 50kN/sq m floor loading, PV panels, Electric car charging points and high efficiency HVAC systems.
All assets in FRELD’s portfolio will meet the rigorous environmental and social requirements set out by FRE UK’s Sustainable Design Brief, which align with its ambition to drive positive change and contribute to a low carbon economy. The scheme has had ESG considerations embedded at all stages of its design process and along with future projects for the fund, it will be targeting net-zero carbon construction, BREEAM Excellent and EPC A.
Despite the uncertainty in the UK market, demand for distribution warehouses has remained very robust across the UK, with the Southeast currently viewed as one of the strongest sub-sectors in the market. The market resilience has resulted in positive rental growth, fuelled by the combination of a demand/supply imbalance and the requirement to be located close to the customer. The new Grade A scheme will help fill the gap in the lack of existing Grade A mid-sized supply in the local area.
Chris Button, Fund Manager of Fiera Real Estate, commented “We are very pleased to have completed on our first acquisition for the fund and to be bringing forward yet another high-quality and sustainable scheme alongside our Operating Partner, Wrenbridge. The fund is targeting similar sites for speculative industrial development around the UK.”
Jamie Garrett, Director at Wrenbridge, commented “We are really pleased to be delivering much needed, sustainable high quality industrial space to the local area, which will meet demand for traditional warehouse occupiers but will also appeal to mid-tech, R&D and life science operators. The scheme will make a strong contribution to the local economy boosting local jobs. We look forward to delivering this with Fiera.”