Aberdeen Standard Investments’ AIPUT fund (Airport Industrial Property Unit Trust) has today announced the completion of two new lease transactions at Airport Gate, Heathrow, with Automania Garage Services (AGS) and PRS Distribution together totalling nearly 100,000 sq.ft. Now responsible for almost 30% of lettings at Heathrow Airport in 2020, AIPUT is widely recognised as the lead operator.
AGS, a leading provider of round-the-clock vehicle maintenance and repair support for the aviation and commercial fleet sectors, has signed a 20 year lease to occupy Units 2 – 4 (58,000 sq.ft) at Airport Gate. Previously let to inflight catering company, Alpha LSG (now dnata Catering), AIPUT agreed commercial terms with AGS last summer to pre-let the warehouse space, conditional on securing detailed planning consent and delivery. Planning permission for the comprehensive refurbishment project was granted in December 2019, and despite the impact of the recent pandemic, construction continued on site safely and with minimal disruption. The timely construction of Units 2 – 4 was maintained to ensure the tenants could be open for business coinciding with their new contract with Mercedes-Benz, whilst providing their staff with a high quality and safe working environment. The project team were respectful of the Government’s guidance and social distancing measures throughout.
In addition, Units 5 – 7 (40,000 sq. ft) at Airport Gate have been let to freight forwarding company, PRS Distribution, a distribution and storage organisation with multiple years of experience in freight handling and freight movement, on a 5 year lease. Previously a tenant at AIPUT’s Blackthorne Point, PRS is a long-standing customer of AIPUT.
Located in an off-airport location on Bath Road, a major arterial road for Heathrow and the Thames Valley and just north of the airport perimeter road, Airport Gate, which totals 140,000 sq ft, is now fully occupied. Although the UK has faced significant disruption and stress in recent months due to the impact of Covid-19, AIPUT’s portfolio has continued to prove resilient, revealing new purpose and value from airport industrial property by supporting the processing of critical air-cargo to get the nation back on its feet, especially medical supplies, food and e-commerce.
Fraser Green, Asset Manager for Aberdeen Standard Investments, said: “We have gathered momentum and achieved a number of impressive deals this year. We are looking forward to welcoming AGS and PRS Distribution to Airport Gate, who will join a growing and successful AIPUT portfolio. The scale of our latest lettings further demonstrate a very real appetite for high-quality warehouse units with the best location and access to Heathrow.”
Richard Holmes, Joint Managing Director for AGS commented: “This is a really exciting time in our company’s development, and the new premises has really raised the bar for us. We have a number of growth ambitions which the business will now be able to meet from our futureproofed new home.”
Paul Sawdon at PRS Distribution added: “PRS go from strength to strength in 2020 – we have just added 40,000 sq ft of prime warehouse space at Airport Gate for our Special Operations Division to support our current customers with additional bespoke services for 2020/2021. We are delighted to be taking on 40,000 sq.ft. at Airport Gate. Location is key to the day-to-day operations of our business and this well-connected, distribution premises is exactly what we require.”