Massive speculative commercial development now under way

Panattoni, Europe’s largest industrial developer, has broken ground on a new 515,000 sq ft speculative development in Yorkshire.

The development, Wakefield515, is in partnership with AEW and is set to be the largest speculative warehouse under construction in the North of the UK. The unit is anticipated to be ready for occupation in the second quarter of 2021.

It is adjacent to TK Maxx Regional Distribution Centre on the junction of the M62 and A1(M), providing direct access to major cities and ports such as Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Immingham.

Panattoni will support up to 500 full-time jobs and introduce £5.5m into the local economy through employment alone as a result of the construction of Wakefield515 warehouse.

Andy Preston, development manager at Panattoni, said: “There is a lack of supply of large warehouse facilities along the M62 corridor, and despite tougher economic conditions as a result of the on-going pandemic, e-commerce remains strong and we believe the development of Wakefield515 will attract a high level of demand.”

Councillor Darren Byford, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for economic growth and regeneration, said: “We are delighted that planning consent has been granted for Panattoni to begin this construction which will bring further employment and skilled roles to our district.

“Panattoni have a pedigree in securing investment from some excellent brands and I am looking forward to welcoming such employers to our district.

“We welcome the investment into the area and look forward to seeing local workers benefit from future employment opportunities.”

Mike Haigh, of Dove Haigh Phillips based in Leeds, said: “Speculative development of large distribution units in Yorkshire have been scarce over recent years while demand has taken-up all existing supply.

“The pipeline of new development remains thin so Wakefield515 will be a key addition to the Yorkshire market.”

Richard Harris from JLL said: “The logistics sector in the UK has bucked a lot of trends in recent years as demand, particularly from online retailers has remained high.

“The growth of online shopping has only accelerated during the COVID-19 crisis and is fuelling demand for flexible space in the right location.”

Matthew Byrom, managing director at Panattoni, said: “This project demonstrates Panattoni’s utmost confidence in the continued strength of the UK market and underscores our strategy of building speculatively in all key markets to capture the acceleration of e-commerce and the upsurge in movement into online retail by many of our customers.”