In December 2005, the Buncefield Oil Depot exploded; a blast that has been described as the largest incident of its kind in peace-time Europe. As well as damaging many nearby homes, the blast destroyed much of Maylands Industrial Estate including two Prologis distribution centres. Working with the Council, we were the first landlord to gain planning permission to rebuild the units, one of which we pre-let to Keystone Distribution - now Martin Brower. The explosion had wrecked Keystone’s earlier premises at Maylands and the company needed to relocate.
The day after the blast, we started talking to insurers and to Gillette, the company then occupying our two facilities. Gillette had already decided to move its operation to Poland, so once the insurers approved the re-build and Gillette agreed to surrender its lease, we could begin redevelopment. As well as the original DCs 1 and 2 - 245,000 square feet and 122,000 square feet – we also built a speculative unit of 158,000 square feet, which is known as DC4.
Since its completion, DC4 has been a centre for ecommerce operations. The building was originally occupied by online fashion retailer ASOS, but by 2010 the company was expanding so quickly it needed larger premises. We helped ASOS relocate to our 582,000 square foot cross-docked distribution centre in Barnsley. Then, we refurbished DC4 and re-let the unit to Amazon, which is still in occupation.