Verdion secures former RAF air base in western Germany for EUR500 million strategic logistics park
Pan-European logistics real estate specialist Verdion and the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) have secured the former RAF Brüggen site on the German-Dutch border for the creation of a 177-hectare logistics park.
The site was acquired from local development company Energie und Gewerbepark Elmpt (EGE). Over EUR500 million will now be invested in the project to create a strategic regional logistics hub.
The site – to be known as Javelin Park – is the latest in Verdion’s strategic site development programme, which sits alongside the firm’s investment management and specialist industrial and logistics development activity. It has already established the EUR580-plus million (GBP500-plus million) iPort logistics hub and rail freight terminal in Doncaster, UK, with HOOPP; and recently launched the EUR200 million E20 Park Copenhagen on Denmark’s main Germany-Sweden road corridor.
Javelin Park will be located directly on Germany’s A52 motorway, which connects the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region with Roermond in the Netherlands. The deep-water ports of Antwerp and Rotterdam can both be reached in two hours.
Around 567,000 sq m of logistics, business and light industrial space is planned over a 10–15-year period, with sustainability and energy efficiency central to the emerging concept designs and all new buildings targeting the DGNB Gold certification.
Preserving the site’s history is also a priority. Located in Niederkrüchten-Elmpt, RAF Brüggen served for many years as an important British air base in Germany, with several units stationed there between 1953 and 2001. In 2002 it was transferred to the British Army and renamed Javelin Barracks. It was finally vacated in December 2015 as the last remaining British forces withdrew from Germany, and has been out of use ever since.
Michael Hughes, CEO of Verdion, says: “This is a major strategic opportunity, and the EUR500 million investment planned represents our biggest single investment in Germany to date. As part of Verdion’s pan-European programme for large scale park developments, Javelin Park will become one of the best business environments of its kind in Germany, one that will generate considerable opportunity and growth prospects both locally and regionally.
“Our objective is a high-quality, flexible and sustainable design concept that meets the needs of all potential occupiers, both large and small. We’re looking forward to working with the local community to bring the site through the zoning process and back into economic use, and will do so in a way that respects its rich history.”
Dr Andreas Coenen, District Administrator and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of EGE, says: “One of the most important economic projects in the region is out of the starting blocks today. The business park will contribute positively to the economic and social development of the county over the coming decades.” Karl-Heinz Wassong, Mayor of Niederkrüchten, added: “The business park is a double opportunity: It attracts new companies to Niederkrüchten and offers those in the region new growth potential.”
Javelin Park is being funded by Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP), one of Canada’s largest pension funds and one of Verdion’s longstanding funding partners. Over the past seven years the partnership has created a specialist logistics portfolio valued at over EUR1.2 billion.