Prologis Hemel Hempstead is a perfect location for us, so we are delighted to have secured this building and we look forward to being part of the local business community
David Judge, Cormar Carpets
Dacorum Borough Council’s resolution to grant planning permission for our proposals at Maylands Gateway in June this year, marked a new chapter in Prologis’ involvement in Hemel Hempstead.
Over the past 20 years, we have invested around £100 million in four distribution buildings on the Maylands Industrial Estate, which we continue to own and manage. Now that we have acquired Maylands Gateway from the Homes and Communities Agency, we are planning to invest a further £80 million to develop a new Prologis Park, creating a high quality working environment that could attract over 750 new jobs to the town.
The delivery of Maylands Gateway is central to the Council’s Hemel 2020 Vision and Prologis Park Hemel Hempstead will provide up to 585,000 square feet of new industrial and logistics space, along with a £2 million investment in highways infrastructure. Our plans for the site will double our ownership in Hemel Hempstead, since our four existing units total 700,000 square feet. These buildings not only support around 1,000 jobs, they have also played a part in the town’s recent history.
In December 2005, the Buncefield Oil Depot exploded; a blast that has been described as the largest incident of its kind in peace-time Europe. As well as damaging many nearby homes, the blast destroyed much of Maylands Industrial Estate including two Prologis distribution centres. Working with the Council, we were the first landlord to gain planning permission to rebuild the units, one of which we pre-let to Keystone Distribution – now Martin Brower. The explosion had wrecked Keystone’s earlier premises at Maylands and the company needed to relocate.
The day after the blast, we started talking to insurers and to Gillette, the company then occupying our two facilities. Gillette had already decided to move its operation to Poland, so once the insurers approved the re-build and Gillette agreed to surrender its lease, we could begin redevelopment. As well as the original DCs 1 and 2 – 245,000 square feet and 122,000 square feet – we also built a speculative unit of 158,000 square feet, which is known as DC4.
Since its completion, DC4 has been a centre for ecommerce operations. The building was originally occupied by online fashion retailer ASOS, but by 2010 the company was expanding so quickly it needed larger premises. We helped ASOS relocate to our 582,000 square foot cross-docked distribution centre in Barnsley. Then, we refurbished DC4 and re-let the unit to Amazon, which is still in occupation.
The four buildings have proved consistently attractive to customers and when DC2 came back onto the market earlier this year, it was immediately snapped up by Cormar Carpets. David Judge, Managing Director at Cormar Carpets explained:
“Our business is expanding in south and south east England, so we are developing our supply chain to meet demand. Prologis Hemel Hempstead is a perfect location for us, so we are delighted to have secured this building and we look forward to being part of the local business community.”
As the town celebrates its 70th anniversary, we are delighted to be moving forwards with Prologis Park Hemel Hempstead. Close to Junction 8 of the M1, Hemel is an ideal location for logistics operators and there is already a great deal of interest in the new development. We hope the new Prologis Park will attract further investment and that we will be part of the town’s continuing success for the next 70 years.