Banana company secures North West pre-let

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UK-based fresh fruit and vegetable supplier, Dole Fresh UK, has pre-let a 61,000 sq ft warehouse at Barwood and Legal & General’s M6EPIC scheme near Wigan.

The company has agreed terms to take a new bespoke banana ripening facility on a 20-year lease. Dole Fresh UK is a subsidiary of Compagnie Fruitiere, the largest producer of fruit in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific region. Construction of the new facility has recently started on site with completion due in summer 2014.

Purchased on behalf of LGP’s Linked Pensions Fund earlier this year, the site has detailed planning permission for a further 515,000 sq ft of distribution warehouse units. LGP and Barwood are currently in discussions with a number of parties for large scale facilities on the site.

Will Edwards, Fund Manager at Legal & General Property, commented: “Following quickly on the heals of our successful planning consent at the end of October, the speed with which this pre-let has taken place is a clear testament to the strength of this market and attractive underlying fundamentals of the scheme. Located 1.5 miles from the M6, in a well established strategic distribution hub, this asset provides bespoke design and build opportunities for occupiers looking to service the North West region and beyond.”

Andrew Dickman, Director at Barwood, commented: “We are delighted to secure the first tenant on the scheme within such a short space of time which we believe was down to providing Dole Fresh with certainty over delivery timescale and by having detailed planning, infrastructure and funding in place. This certainty is proving attractive to other occupiers on the remaining 31 acres where we can accommodate bespoke facilities from 50,000 sq ft upwards”.

Joint agents on the scheme are B8 Real Estate, Moriarty & Co and CBRE. Doherty Baines represented Dole Fresh.

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