Frustrated by its search for a new northern logistics hub, Amazon has taken a temporary lease on a Warrington warehouse.
The global online seller has been searching for a 12 million sq ft site for more than two years and is known to have examined and rejected at least a dozen locations. Among the areas it has looked at and rejected are Merseyside, North Wales, Manchester and Doncaster.
As a stopgap measure, Amazon has now signed a 12-month rolling lease on the former 90,000 sq ft Marks & Spencer warehouse in Warrington.
It’s understood the retailer will pay its Property Alliance landlords £5.25 per sq ft while it continues the search for a permanent home.
Amazon has refused to comment on its Warrington decision, but retail experts are certain the temporary move is to cope with increased internet sales and seasonal demand. “The supply lines to the north of England from its other established bases were just getting too long,” said one retail analyst.
And according to regional industrial agents, Amazon also looked at a number of temporary locations — ranging from 100,000 to 500,000 sq ft — before settling on the Kingsland Grange unit next to junction 21 of the M6 motorway at Warrington.
Manchester-based Alliance — which owns a £190m portfolio of industrial, offices, retail and leisure properties — will now postpone plans to add another 125,000 sq ft to the property and raise the roof levels.
Founded in 2003 by chief executive David Russell, Alliance has completed £43m of occupier-led developments in the past five years. It also specialises in repositioning troubled assets and, since 2011, has been involved in the management and sale of 64 assets at a total worth of £271m.
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