When we first met Dwell in 2016, we knew that the new building – which would be the company’s national distribution centre - had to be complete and fitted out by early February 2017 to co-incide with Chinese New Year. Chinese businesses close for two weeks over the New Year period and since most of Dwell’s stock is made in China, the company had arranged for 150 containers of furniture to be shipped before the celebrations for the Year of the Rooster began, to make sure that there was no disruption to stock availability.
So, we had a hard deadline. Practical completion was scheduled for 3 February and the new building had to be ready and fully equipped before 150 trucks drove into Marston Gate to make their deliveries on 4 February.
Fast-track to Completion
Before we met Dwell, the company had considered taking an existing building so that it was ready for the Chinese New Year. But, if it had taken this building Dwell would have had to compromise on building specification and incur double overheads. However, because we had de-risked the Prologis Park site and prepared it for development, we could reassure Dwell that the building at Marston Gate would be delivered on time.
The only variation to our existing planning permission was that Dwell needed a higher building, so we applied to Central Bedfordshire Council to increase the height to 15 metres. Over the many years that we have worked in Central Bedfordshire, Prologis and the Council have developed a good working relationship.
The Council took a positive approach to the Dwell application and we were able to secure the necessary consents, ahead of normal statutory timescales, to meet Dwell’s timeline.