Icon Industrial, the new logistics-focused strategic joint venture formed by TPG Real Estate, the real estate platform of TPG, and Birmingham-based Stoford Developments, one of the UK’s leading property development specialists, has announced that it has acquired a 45-acre brownfield site adjacent to Manchester Airport from the Airport City Manchester joint venture. Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.
The site was sold by Airport City Manchester joint venture partners, to reinforce the growing commercial real estate surrounding the active public transport hub of the airport. The site, which benefits from outline planning permission for 952,000 sq ft of lettable logistics space, is the first investment made by the new joint venture and will be built into a prime asset, with a total development value of ca. £100mn.
Located within a key logistics corridor in the North West, the site boasts direct access to both the M6 and M56, with 12 million people living within a two-hour drive, making it a vital location for both regional and national distribution. Already established as a prime North West logistics site, the land also hosts operators such as Amazon and DHL, which have benefited from its current infrastructure, transport links and proximity to the airport.
TPG Real Estate and Stoford intend to build Icon Industrial into a logistics platform by acquiring and developing similarly attractive UK sites, as well as refurbishing existing prime logistics locations. TPG Real Estate has significant experience investing in logistics, having built and recently sold the highly successful European logistics platform P3, while Stoford has completed over 10mn sq ft of industrial development in the UK, mostly in the Midlands’ Golden Triangle and the North West logistics markets.
“The continued strength in occupational demand for UK logistics represents a compelling investment opportunity for TPG Real Estate,” said Krysto Nikolic, Partner at TPG Real Estate. “The formation of Icon Industrial leverages the combination of TPG Real Estate’s strong track record in European and US industrial investments and Stoford’s market-leading position in the UK. Icon’s first acquisition, near Manchester Airport, is of one of the highest-quality logistics locations in the country. We look forward to working closely with Stoford in building Icon Industrial into a leading development platform.”
Dan Gallagher, Joint Managing Director at Stoford, said: “The joint venture with TPG Real Estate is a new phase in Stoford’s business development. The support of our new partners will open doors for the acquisition of land and development of prime logistic opportunities within the UK. The combination of Stoford’s 21 years’ of development experience and TPG’s financial strength is a strong team in this market sector.”
Lynda Shillaw, CEO of Airport City Manchester Joint Venture partner MAG Property, said: “The sale of 45 acres at Global Logistics is a significant milestone. Airport City Manchester is a really exciting location for occupiers, located at the southern growth node of the region, an already well-established business location alongside the Manchester Airport campus.”
DTRE acted as advisers to the Icon Industrial joint venture.