The rapid expansion of online commerce—boosted by the Covid-19 pandemic—has bolstered property fund manager Charter Hall's industrial portfolio.
Charter Hall has secured a $400 million deal with Coles for two new high-tech online customer fulfilment centres in Sydney and Melbourne.
The Sydney facility, will be located within a 14-hectare industrial estate at Wetherill Park while the Melbourne facility will be located at the Midwest Logistics Hub in Truganina and will comprise up to 30,000 square metres.
Also at its masterplanned Midwest Logistics Hub, Charter Hall has secured tyre company Bridgestone for a 25,000sq m warehouse and commercial store facility on a 10-year lease term.
Bridgestone will relocated from their existing premises in Derrimut to the state of the art 60-hectare estate, on the corner of Palmers and Dohertys roads.
The Midwest Logistics Hub, which is now over 65 per cent leased, is being developed by the $4.6 billion Charter Hall Prime Industrial Fund, the ASX-listed fund manager's largest industrial fund.
At the hub, Charter Hall has an under-construction 44,000sq m facility pre-leased to Toll and a recently announced 46,000sq m facility pre-leased by Uniqlo.
Charter Hall industrial and logistics chief executive Richard Stacker said high-quality tenants continued to be drawn to group's ability to deliver high specification, modern logistics space in strategic locations.
Stacker noted that all facilities would target a 5 star Green Star Design and As-Built rating and will incorporate various sustainability initiatives including solar PV systems, LED warehouse lighting and rainwater harvesting.
Construction at Bridgestone's new facility will commence early May 2020 and is expected to complete in February 2021 while the Coles facilities will complete the following year.
The Toll facility is due to be completed in September while Uniqlo will take up its new space from early 2021.
On completion, the new facilities will contribute to Charter Hall’s $2 billion industrial and logistics development pipeline, lifting its funds under management beyond $10 billion.
Those assets now look set to lift to $12.5 billion once the current development pipeline is completed, placing Charter Hall on par with Goodman Group's Australian portfolio.
The property fund is also in the running to build and own four distribution centres German supermarket giant Aldi is in the process of commissioning in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, valued at $700 million.
Charter Hall's Industrial Fund currently comprises 65 properties, valued at $4.7 billion with a weighted average lease expiry of 11.1 years.
The group currently boasts 98.5 per cent occupancy including resilient tenant covenants with 95 per cent leased to government, publicly listed or globally recognised tenants.