Panattoni invests £150m in Kent
Panattoni, the largest logistics real estate developer across the UK and Europe, has strengthened its portfolio after it announced its third acquisition in Kent, taking its investment in the region to more than £350m in the last 12 months.
The company has acquired a 644,549ft2 (59,882.2m2) last-mile logistics development in Swale, just 45 miles south-east of London. The development, to be named Panattoni Park Sittingbourne, is situated 4 miles from Junction 5 of the M2.
Acquired from Abrdn, the UK-based global investment company, the 10.56 hectare (26.1 acre) site has been earmarked for a state-of-the-art, net zero carbon development, thanks to a £150m investment by Panattoni.
Tony Watkins, Head of Development for the South East and London at Panattoni, said: “This third Kent acquisition exemplifies our dedication to a forward-thinking sustainable development plan in locations that offer direct access to the London market, facilitating robust rental growth.
“Panattoni will bring forward the development in the coming months, ready for practical completion next year, aiming to plug the gap in the lack of large logistics and distribution facilities.
“We will continue to selectively purchase key developments that offer value-added opportunities within core markets in London and the South East, where we can drive rental growth.”
The prime location offers unparalleled access to local and national distribution routes, facilitated by the M2, M20, and M25 highways. Moreover, it provides seamless connectivity to vital markets such as London, Europe via London Thamesport, Dover, Eurotunnel, and north via the Dartford Crossing to the Port of Tilbury and DP World.
The site has planning consent for two distinct units, spanning 439,228 sq ft and 205,320 sq ft respectively, which will be speculatively developed.
Distinguished by its enhanced environmental, social, and governance (ESG) features, the site has 5 Mega Volt Amperes (MVA) of power available with a further capacity of additional 1.35MVA from the solar PV provided as part of Panattoni’s specification for the buildings.
The two units will incorporate 10% electric vehicle charging infrastructure, 15% roof lights for optimal energy utilisation, and a dedicated cycle path with shelters. The development has been engineered to target a BREEAM sustainability rating of ‘Excellent’ and an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘A’.
Panattoni’s venture into Sittingbourne follows its success at the nearby 1.6 million sq ft Panattoni Park Aylesford. The level of demand in the region has resulted in the Aylesford scheme being 100% pre-let to major national and international occupiers in less than 24 months from acquisition. The company has also acquired an 8-acre site in Wrotham, near Sevenoaks on land between the M25, M26 and M20.
The announcement follows Panattoni’s acquisition of a prime west London redevelopment site near Heathrow Airport, where an 80,000 sq ft unit will be delivered for Q3 2024 on the site to be called Panattoni Poyle. The start of the third quarter also saw the acquisition of a site to deliver 800,000 sq ft in Milton Keynes, where the business will construct two speculative units of 350,000 sq ft and 450,000 sq ft. Panattoni also recently secured planning consent for a 200,000 sq ft logistics development in Crawley.
Panattoni’s other strategic acquisitions in the South East over the past six months have included a 12 acre site at Brighton City Airport, and 50 acres in Milton Keynes. These acquisitions are a vital part of Panattoni’s strategy of speculative development within areas characterised by space scarcity and strong occupier demand.
Panattoni was advised on the Sittingbourne acquisition by JLL and Abrdn was advised by Avison Young and Savills.