Hines buys near Heathrow

Hines has acquired a logistics park near to Heathrow Airport on behalf of the Hines Pan-European Core Fund (HECF). The park was purchased from Aberdeen Standard Investments for £80 million ($105.9 million).

Developed in 2013, the Dnata City site comprises three logistics warehouses that provide secure air cargo campus facilities. The 19,418 sqm complex is located just south of the airport’s southern perimeter boundary and is occupied by cargo operator Dnata.

Hines cites Heathrow Airport’s current cargo capacity and planned expansion as a key reason to acquire the park. 95% of the global economy is within reach of a direct flight from Heathrow, they say. The Airport has ambitious expansion plans to double its cargo capacity and become one of Europe’s biggest cargo airports, and a stated aim of increasing cargo tonnage by more than 4 million tons a year by 2040. While the majority of the Heathrow logistics market is dedicated to serving the airport, it also forms part of West London’s wider distribution infrastructure including other sub-markets at Park Royal, Feltham, and Poyle.

Peter Epping, Senior Managing Director and HECF Fund Manager at Hines, said: “The Dnata City site offers excellent proximity to Heathrow. Given the heavily supply-constrained location, we see strong long-term prospects for this prime asset beside one of Europe’s busiest airports, which will be a critical part of the UK’s travel and logistics infrastructure beyond the pandemic. This latest acquisition continues our strategy of leveraging our European platform and aggregating an urban logistics portfolio for HECF in European cities with the strongest long-term growth prospects.”

Greg Cooper, Director of Industrials and Logistics at Hines UK, said: “The Heathrow logistics market boasts defensive characteristics of restricted supply, limited new development opportunities and an acute shortage of Grade A fit-for-purpose accommodation. Dnata City provides some of the most modern cargo facilities within the cargo zone and critically is three to five minutes from the main airport cargo gate. The property is truly critical infrastructure and we look forward to working with Dnata going forward.”

Nick Smith, Fund Manager, AIPUT said: “In a near zero interest rate environment, coupled with a drive to own and build resilient global supply chain networks, the investment market for the best critical infrastructure and industrial property has never been stronger. This sale is in line with our strategy to adjust the AIPUT portfolio to facilitate new investment opportunities presented in the post-COVID, post-Brexit world, and leverage the economic recovery when it comes. We will redeploy the proceeds into strategic airport locations with the strongest potential to generate value, including those within our portfolio where we will secure higher returns for our investors.”

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