Fortress Logistics Real Estate’s commitment to developing over 1 000 000m2 of logistics assets over the next two to three years will transform the weighting of its portfolio to two thirds big box logistics.
Jason Cooper, Head of Development at Fortress REIT says this strategy equipped the group with a ready-built runway to support key clients’ new supply and logistics strategies in response to Covid-19.
Fortress Logistics Real Estate’s focus and commitment to developing quality infrastructure at prime locations close to the airport and the Port of Durban saw all its speculative buildings let.
“This high let ratio enabled us to accelerate our logistics pipeline at key nodes around the city throughout the pandemic,” says Cooper.
Increased roof heights and yard dimensions in state-of-the-art logistics parks meeting increased global fire regulation, security, and insurance standards underpinned the group’s success in signing new leases throughout the pandemic.
“Our signature development in KwaZulu-Natal, Clairwood Logistics Park, combines prime port access with best-in-class logistics infrastructure which concluded a large deal with Kings Rest Container Group for approximately 56 000m2. African Sugar Logistics took up a further 35 000m2 at Clairwood and will move in early May 2021” he says.
At Fortress’s Cornubia Logistics Park, close to Umhlanga, Fortress completed its first speculative building which is fully let to Upl and RetailAbility.
Looking ahead, Fortress Logistics Real Estate is about to commence on its next two speculative developments on Cornubia’s lower platform. The first building of about 10 000m2 and the second building of approximately 6 500m2. “We are in discussions with numerous other large users regarding pre-let contracts,” adds Cooper.
With tenants concentrating on consolidating operations, Fortress’s more efficient buildings at Clairwood and Cornubia allow the storage of significantly more product.
“Solar energy, 24-hour security and on-site utilities also provide clients the efficiencies and operational savings that new modern facilities offer“.
Clairwood Logistics Park in KwaZulu-Natal.
In Gauteng, Fortress’s EastPort Logistics Park, close to ORT airport, looks forward to welcoming Teraco’s JB4 data centre. As Africa’s largest data centre, the Teraco development will comprise 50 000 square metres of built space. The Teraco development is also equipped with 80 megawatts of utility power and 38 megawatts of critical power load. Fortress Logistics has also just finished developing a further 14 000 square metres at EastPort for Clippa Sales.
Another signature Gauteng lease recently concluded by Fortress was with USN. The global sports nutrition leader took up 14 000m2 of prime warehousing in December 2020 on a ten-year lease at Fortress’s Louwlardia Logistics Park in Centurion. The multifunctional facility is currently supporting the consolidation of USN’s Head Office, manufacturing facility (Globepak) and Distribution Centre. “All three integrated operations are custom-designed to improve customer service and faster market response,” said Cooper.
Fortress Logistics also welcomed two new tenants to Fortress’s LongLake Logistics Park in Linbro Park. In December 2020 Zest Weg took up 25 000m2 of warehouse space at LongLake. May 2021 will also see Cargo Carriers move into their new 12 000m2 facility at LongLake.
This phenomenal take up of quality logistics space right through a disrupted period in the commercial property sector “has delivered the lowest vacancies in the history Fortress’s logistics portfolio,” said Cooper.
“Moreover, ongoing demand points to the enduring appeal of Fortress’s strategy of developing state-of-the-art, accessible, and secure logistic parks in the right locations as we continue to deliver on our strategy to roll out a million square meters of logistics assets by 2023,” concludes Cooper.