abrdn’s AIPUT fund (Airport Industrial Property Unit Trust) has today announced the completion of the second and final phase of construction of its state-of-the-art dnata City East warehouse campus, located opposite Heathrow’s Cargo Terminal. The completed 360,000 sq ft warehouse campus significantly strengthens the nation’s critical logistics infrastructure, ensuring high value time-critical products are moved more quickly, safely and sustainably from this gateway location.
Each phase of dnata City East has been specifically designed to meet the operational requirements of dnata, the largest independent cargo-handler serving Heathrow. The campus represents both the largest off-airport cargo handling operation at Heathrow Airport and one of the largest pre-lets in west London. The earlier 242,000 sq ft warehouse building – also built by AIPUT and pre-let to dnata – has been operational since late 2019, handling import and export throughput for Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo at Heathrow.
Occupier demand for the very best sustainable industrial space in gateway locations throughout Greater London has accellerated throughout 2021 and early 2022, driven by the Covid recovery but also in response to Brexit and global supply chain issues. West London is virtually fully occupied, with vacancy levels of Grade A industrial space in this area at historic low levels of less than 3%.
The lead contractor for the Phase 2 warehouse was specialist industrial and logistics constructor, McLaren Group, reporting to project manager, Avison Young. Throughout its design and construction, the building has incorporated the latest carbon reduction techniques, helping to future-proof both the operational and commercial value of the asset and to positively benefit the environment, local communities and the heath and wellbeing of dnata’s staff. Recycled and low-carbon materials have been widely used, together with the installation of solar PV panels, air-source heat pumps and electric vehicle charging points. This specification has already set new quality standards in the area, as well as achieving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ environmental rating.
Edward Amery, Head of UK Logistics at abrdn, commented: “The completion of AIPUT’s dnata City East marks the culmination of a four-year project to deliver a significant milestone in our strategy to drive the growth of AIPUT’s market-leading portfolio of prime industrial assets. dnata City East sets a new quality benchmark for industrial property investment, representing one of the UK’s very best critical logistics infrastructure assets.
“We are proud that this new ‘centre of excellence’ will play a vital, long-term role in strengthening the UK’s supply chain resilience and make a positive impact at a local level for the environment and for communities.”
Alex Doisneau, Managing Director, dnata (UK) Limited, commented: “The completion of Phase II of dnata City East marks a major step forward in our successful ongoing relationship with AIPUT, which has delivered a world-leading air cargo warehouse destination at the UK’s premier gateway airport.
“These two new state-of-the-art facilities serve to support and enhance our customer and operational needs in a constantly changing environment.”