Oxford Properties and Logistics Capital Partners (LCP) have formed a joint venture to acquire a 734-acre site northwest of Birmingham, which they will develop into a new logistics hub with associated rail freight terminal, known as West Midlands Interchange.
Oxford and LCP will jointly invest around £1bn to bring forward the project over several years. Oxford will provide most of the money; LCP will act as development manager.
Planning consent has already been secured by the vendors, which allows for the delivery of around 8 million sq ft of logistics space and provides flexibility around the project timeline and scale of units. Infrastructure works are expected to start in the first half of 2022 with the first buildings starting on site later next year ready for occupation in 2023.
The site can accommodate new warehouses ranging in size from 200,000 square feet to more than a million square feet, with building heights up to 30 meters.
West Midlands Interchange is on the M6 motorway but as part of wider infrastructure improvements, Oxford and LCP will build a new link road to connect the A5 and A449.
In addition, the project will create a new strategic rail freight interchange, to provide intermodal access for occupiers.
John Pagdin, head of UK Logistics Capital Partners, said: “West Midlands Interchange is a fantastic opportunity to build out a uniquely positioned development scheme, allowing us to offer occupiers every possible size, scale, configuration and specification of unit with none of the usual planning delays or uncertainties often associated with schemes of this nature.”
Oxford Properties is a Canadian company. Last year it announced plans to put £3bn into the European logistics sector over the next five years. Its first move was the acquisition of a 15-acre site in Heathrow alongside LCP.
James Boadle, head of logistics and residential, Europe at Oxford Properties, said, “In recent years we have significantly increased our exposure to the logistics sector globally through several major transactions, including making our first direct investment into European logistics last year with LCP. Logistics remains one of our highest conviction calls globally, benefitting from substantial undersupply of prime new space while the growth of e-commerce and demand for expedited supply chains continues unabated, accelerated by the effects of Covid-19.”
The site was acquired from the shareholders of Four Ashes Ltd, a three way partnership including Kilbride Holdings and Grosvenor.