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Delivering the UK’s largest warehouse for the world’s biggest online retailer

Panattoni is delivering a 2.3 million sq ft logistics centre in Swindon for a major internet retailer which will be the biggest single-asset logistics letting, and funding deal, ever negotiated in the UK.

The building in Swindon occupies a 68-acre site with dual carriageway access five minutes north of the M4 J15.

With a footprint of 625,000 sq ft, the building includes three internal, multi-level structural floors totalling 1,642,000 sq ft, 66,000 sq ft of offices on the ground floor and a further 70,000 sq ft of amenity areas.

Planning was awarded in August 2020 and the first of 3,500 steel piles were driven a month later. Practical Completion of the BREEAM Excellent rated facility is due Q4 2021.

A spokesman from Panattoni said: “The tenant requires the facility to be operational in Q4 2021, to achieve this demands a highly accelerated programme and complex phasing to facilitate fit-out of the MHE.

When we acquired the site it already benefited from an outline consent, by bringing forward a separate Reserve Matters application we were able to implement works to construct the development plateau and 45 acres of structural landscaping, wetland and ecological habitat concurrent with the detailed planning application, thereby saving several weeks on over-all duration.”

This deal follows on from Panattoni completing the biggest deal in continental Europe for the same client, at Gliwice in Poland. The Gliwice building is also 2.3 million sq ft, spread over four storeys, and boasts one of the most advance fit outs in Europe.

Panattoni is this internet retailer’s largest delivery provider in Europe, and currently have globally around 60 – 70 transactions with this party.

The need for buildings on the scale of these giants is only going to grow, driven by the demands of online retail. Panattoni are uniquely placed to meet the need for such buildings across Europe and in the UK, with development opportunities in strategic locations across the country, most, like Swindon, with the necessary planning in place to respond quickly to occupier demand.

The spokesman added: “The selection of these locations is key to attracting major international businesses, including the biggest retail brands. We acquire sites that offer easy access to the trunk road network and are easy to reach for locally recruited employees. This gives occupiers the strategic reach required for an RDC or NDC while making it easy to recruit the right people.

“While all our sites are available for bespoke warehouses, on many of them, we continue to roll out our spec build programme and we remain, by some measure, the biggest spec developer in the UK.

“Our proactive approach to land acquisition, combined with our ability to leverage global capital markets, puts us in a uniquely strong position to continue delivering the very large warehouses the modern economy needs,” he said.

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