M&G invests £81m in Latest Birch Coppice Warehouse

Posted on 30 January, 2015 by Cliff Goodwin

One of the world’s largest property investors is pumping £81m into a new distribution warehouse at Birch Coppice Business Park. The deal is the third major pre-let on the Tamworth estate in less than nine months.

Two Businessmen With Digital Tablet In Warehouse

The latest 777,929 sq ft build-to-suit warehouse is being planned and built by IM Properties Development and will be leased by M&G Real Estate to Euro Car Parts (ECP), the UK’s leading distributor of components for all makes of cars and light commercial vehicles. It already has a facility on the 400-acre West Midlands site.

The pre-let takes ECP’s overall letting at the 400-acre West Midlands site — where it already has a facility — to more than 13.5m sq ft.  The firm has agreed a 20-year lease on its new warehouse with five yearly rent reviews.

Andrew Windle is an associate director of logistics and industrial at M&G Real Estate. “There is very strong investor demand for new, prime distribution assets in the Midlands,” he explained. “This will be a prime development in a core location and is reflective of the fact we are currently seeing more relative value in longer dated prime assets.”

His colleague, M&G property portfolio manager Fiona Rowley, added: “At a time of increasing competition for good quality buildings, undertaking development projects is an important way of sourcing assets for the portfolio. Including Birch Coppice, M&G now has four projects under construction, including offices in the City, Reading and Aberdeen.”

Birch Coppice is located next to Junction 10 of the M42 motorway. It has rapid access to the M1 and M6 and is linked to Britain’s rail network through the estate’s Birmingham Intermodal Freight Terminal. Among the site’s long-term tenants are online supermarket Ocado, courier UPS, the Volkswagen Group and Roadways Container Logistics.

Last summer IM Properties let an 169,000 sq ft unit to DAU Draexlmaier Automotive UK, a supplier of electrical components to the automotive industry. It will be using the new premises to service an existing contract with care maker Jaguar Land Rover.

In a statement the German-headquartered company said: “We are delighted to have secured our new facility at Birch Coppice. This West Midlands location works perfectly for us and is integral to us servicing our existing and future contracts.”

And last September the global delivery and logistics company UPS signed a deal to open a new 152,000 sq ft warehouse on the former pit site. The speculative build will include 7,500 sq ft of offices with UPS taking a 15-year lease at £6.15 per sq ft.

“There was strong demand for this unit as demonstrated by the agreed rent, which we believe to be one of the highest achieved in the region, driven by both the quality of the location and lack of availability,” commented IM Properties senior development director, Kevin Ashfield.

A former colliery site, Birch Coppice once employed around 800 at the height of its mining days. As a warehousing and distribution hub it already provides work for more than 5,000.

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