In March this year, the steelwork started at the 404,000 square foot distribution centre we are building for the Arcadia Group at the new phase of Prologis RFI DIRFT. On the same day, the foundations of the first houses were dug at Urban & Civic’s and Aviva Investors’ neighbouring residential development at Houlton. Together, the two developments are regenerating the former Rugby Radio Station site and although the timing of the two construction programmes was coincidental, it was nevertheless significant.
At DIRFT, we are expanding the existing site by building 7.8 million square feet of rail-served logistics space and a new rail terminal that will bring around 9,000 jobs to Rugby and Daventry. At Houlton, the developers are creating a Sustainable Urban Extension for Rugby with 6,200 new homes. Against the background of the current ‘beds and sheds’ debate, this simultaneous development shows that with careful planning, industrial and residential schemes can work well together, even on so large a scale. For us at Prologis, the sight of the Arcadia steel frame taking shape was a milestone.
Taking the Long View
We first secured a holding in the Daventry International Rail Terminal (DIRFT) in 2006 when we acquired Severn Trent Properties Ltd. By this stage, the original 364 acre site had been developed, so we became owners of the rail terminal and a 130 acre expansion site, which we subsequently developed to provide rail-connected buildings for Tesco (840,000 square feet); Sainsbury’s (1 million square feet) and Eddie Stobart (420,000 square feet).