Prologis, the UK’s leading industrial property developer, has acquired a 17-acre site in central Luton, formerly owned by Vauxhall Motors and one other private commercial company. The multimillion-pound deal was agreed through Colliers.
The multi-use site, where current tenants include car parts manufacturer, BWI Group, will be developed in two phases, providing approximately 300,000 sq ft of purpose-built space suitable for warehousing, logistics, and manufacturing. The final scheme will comprise a range of unit sizes, with spaces suitable for SMEs.
Extensive landscaping works will be undertaken as part of the redevelopment project, including transforming the overgrown River Lea, which bisects the site, into a ‘green corridor’ with the potential for public access.
The site is located one mile from Luton airport and 30 miles from London, and in close proximity to major road and rail links, including the M1. However, plans for the scheme have sustainability at their core and will focus on providing new employment opportunities for the immediate local community in Luton.
Ollie Bycroft, vice president in the leasing and development team at Prologis UK, said: “This is an important investment both for Prologis and for the local economy; we’re pleased to be following in Vauxhall’s footsteps and continuing to provide employment opportunities in Luton. Because of the site’s location, we’re very conscious of the need to integrate the development into the local community and, alongside jobs, we’ll be ensuring that the scheme provides added sustainability and environmental benefits too.
James Burke, director in Colliers’ Land Development team, managed the sale. He said: “Due to changes in their business operations, both landowners were looking to relocate, which allowed for the two properties to be packaged together. Over the last 12 months we’ve seen a particular boom in demand for industrial land to cope with the increased consumer purchasing of food online, as well as ecommerce. Professional investors like Prologis recognised the opportunity of international cargo transport, alongside strong domestic links that this site had to offer.”
Lloyd Spencer, co-founder of Adroit Real Estate Advisers, who acted for Prologis, said: “Luton is an incredibly important location for businesses large and small who want well-connected sites for their logistics and distribution operations, in close proximity to key markets, such as London. The logistics sector is booming and Prologis is meeting that demand by providing buildings in the right locations, with the right connectivity.”
Jaspal Singh, Real Estate Manager for Vauxhall Motors added: “Our company has a long history with the borough of Luton, and we remain connected to the area with our manufacturing plant and new headquarters in Toddington. It is the end of an era seeing our former HQ site closing but we are equally delighted that Prologis will redevelop the site and it will attract further enterprise and employment to the area once their scheme is completed. We wish Prologis every success at the site.”