Mirvac opens logistics hub in Western Sydney

Mirvac has celebrated the official opening of its logistics hub Calibre, in Eastern Creek, Western Sydney.
Calibre’s 22-hectare site includes a mix of flexible warehousing, A-grade office space and advanced specifications with 110,000sqm of floor space across five buildings. Ideally placed to cater to logistics, warehousing and manufacturing companies, Mirvac secured premium brands CEVA Logistics, Miele, Pet Circle, Sheldon & Hammond and ACFS e-Solutions at Calibre, with the Estate 100 per cent leased ahead of its practical completion.
“At Calibre we’ve elevated the standard for industrial and warehouse facilities in Sydney with our focus on quality, functionally and flexibility which will futureproof the estate for years to come. Mirvac drew on its uniquely integrated business model and cross-sector experience to bring the best of office and residential design to an industrial asset, to exceed customer and industry expectations,” General Manager, Industrial at Mirvac, Richard Seddon said.
Treasurer of NSW, The Hon. Dominic Perrottet MP, said the logistics hub was boosting employment in Western Sydney creating hundreds of jobs during construction and on a permanent basis.
Mirvac Group said approximately 450 construction jobs were generated during the development phase with 480 permanent jobs resulting.
Displaying best practice design and sustainability, Calibre has energy efficient lighting, rainwater harvesting, photovoltaic solar, cyclist and end-of-trip facilities and 100 per cent natural lighting to reduce energy bills and create savings for customers.
Operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Calibre is located at 60 Wallgrove Road, Eastern Creek at the centre of Australia’s national supply network within the Eastern Creek logistics hub.

New leader for industrial property L&SC division

Colliers International has appointed industry professional Monica Velez to head up the company’s inhouse logistics and supply chain consulting service.
Ms Velez is based in the Sydney CBD office and joins Colliers International from Asahi, where she was the company’s supply change transformation manager for just over two years. She spent the previous five years working at CEVA Logistics in a variety of roles.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ms Velez to Colliers International to lead our logistics and supply chain consulting specialisation, building on our extensive expertise for industrial occupiers,” said Doug Henry, managing director of occupier services at Colliers International.
“Over the past 18 months, the Australian industrial landscape has changed significantly, with increased real estate prices, upward pressure on rent and the entry of global players, such as Amazon, into the local market.  Now more than ever, organisations must look at their supply chain network and identify where the gaps and opportunities lie.”
“I am excited to join Colliers International and work with industrial clients to ensure they continue to achieve elevated portfolio optimisation and maximised efficiencies,” said Monica Velez.
“As the industrial landscape becomes increasingly dynamic, a strong logistics capability is essential for occupiers to increase optimisation, productivity and speed to market,” Ms Velez said.
 
 

$55m Hammond Business Park completed

Vaughan Constructions has completed the $55 million, 81,000sqm Hammond Business Park at Dandenong South with a deal worth more than $8.5 million to construct a new purpose-built facility for promotional products supplier Dex Collections.
The completion of the estate came with a flurry of design-and-construct deals negotiated by Vaughans over the last six months on the back of a critical shortage of industrial land and buildings in the south-east industrial market that has driven a significant escalation in land values.
Vaughan’s development manager in Victoria Chris Telley said the south-eastern market was experiencing the greatest lack of quality industrial buildings in a decade, a shortage that had been exacerbated by a lack of available land.
“As a stronger Victorian economy moves into a higher gear, driving manufacturing and logistics industries, and as residential demand continues to grow and take industrial land, we face even greater shortages – particularly around the key transport nodes and especially along EastLink, and that’s going to mean ongoing upward pressure on land values,’’ Mr Telley said.
He said Dex Collections would take advantage of the first rate road transport links that the estate offered with quick access to Eastlink.
“The location, together with the modern warehousing facility, should deliver significantly enhanced operating performance across the business,’’ Mr Telley said.
The purpose-built facility will comprise 4,905 square metres of office, showroom and warehouse space, concrete hard stand, a loading yard and 74 car spaces on a 13,031 square metre site on the corner of Hammond Road and Rodeo Drive.
 

Real estate downturn: what downturn?

Raine & Horne Commercial has released the Autumn 2018 edition of its Commercial Insights.
The report highlights the factors driving commercial property in Sydney’s CBD: low interest rates and a growing number of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF) chasing high yields.
Low interest rates – owning is now cheaper than leasing
Executive chairman of Raine & Horne Group Angus Raine said: “Continued record low interest rates are making it more cost-effective for many small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Sydney’s CBD to own rather than lease their premises. The commercial asset is often held within the proprietor’s SMSF providing a win-win for all parties – security of tenure for the business and a strong level of control over super fund returns.”
SMSF flee shares to commercial property
Mr Raine noted: “A volatile share market, low returns on cash and the combination of high prices and low yields for residential property are seeing SMSF turn to commercial real estate in droves.
“This is further supported by the escalation in SMSF numbers, with an average of 34,000 new SMSF being established each year. Commercial property is increasingly recognised as a highly desirable asset delivering strong capital growth, healthy yields, long term leases and low maintenance costs, all of which is extremely appealing to SMSF trustees,” adds Mr Raine.
Co-principal of Raine & Horne Commercial Sydney CBD Christian Cirillo is expecting commercial values in Sydney’s CBD to rise by as much as 10% over the year ahead.
At present retail yields are between 3.75-4.5%, though Mr Cirillo believes this yield will rise: “Confidence is down in this sector due to the Lowy family’s move to sell off Westfield. With this said, suburban shopping centres and neighbourhood shopping strips will remain strong till end of year.”
Industrial assets are recording yields of 5.5-6.0% and this is expected to sharpen due to stock withdrawal in fringe markets and a lack of new supply.
Mr Cirillo noted: “Demand is historically high for strata at present.” Across the office market, yields range from 4.5% to 5.75% depending on whether the asset is a premium or B-grade asset, though yields are expected to come off.
“We see yields on office assets increasing as demand is anticipated to remain strong until the end of the year. However, foreign investment is tipped to slow according to reports from our Asia Pacific partners, in Hong Kong, Singapore and China, and policy change in China is starting to have impact on enquiry rates,” explained Mr Cirillo.
Overall the CBD market is characterised by historically low interest rates and high rents, which are pushing owner occupiers to buy their premises, often using tax-effective vehicles such as self-managed super funds.
Vacancy rates vary from 3.0% for industrial property to 4.6% for office assets, and in this climate, Mr Cirillo regards industrial and office strata as being the pick of the crop.

MOVUS secures investment from Australia’s largest venture capital firms

Brisbane-headquartered company MOVUS, the developer of Industrial IoT (Internet of Things) sensor and machine monitoring solutions has secured $4.8M in Series A funding. The round, led by Blackbird Ventures, included Telstra Ventures and Skip Capital.
The investment will allow MOVUS to scale up to international markets, further refine its product, expand its Research & Development Lab, and grow its Brisband-based team.
“This Series A funding is critical as we are poised to scale with many new customer deployments which allow us to accelerate growth globally and pass on the benefits to customers via more rapid delivery of improvements. We’ll also be growing our engineering team and are particularly interested in people with a passion for hardware design and machine learning,” said Brad Parsons, CEO and Founder of MOVUS. “Our vision is to transform machines across their lifecycle to dramatically improve these industries for the benefit of the planet.”
With a track record of investing in high growth digital businesses, Rick Baker, Co-Founder of Blackbird Ventures said “Industrial machinery is the engine room of our economy and the FitMachine plays a crucial role in ensuring it runs smoothly and efficiently. We’re proud to join the journey of MOVUS.”

Newly-launched uTenant portal the Airbnb of commercial leasing industry

A new online platform called uTenant offers a cost-effective alternative to commercial agents for Australia’s freight, logistics and warehousing industry – drawing comparisons to services such as Uber and Airbnb.
“uTenant is intended to disrupt the commercial leasing industry like Uber has for taxis and Airbnb has for holiday accommodation. For tenants, the web-based portal will curate a list of available properties based on their specific size, location and preferred term of lease amongst other things, and connect them with landlords to arrange inspections, negotiate terms and sign a lease,” explains uTenant founder and director, Matt Sampson.
uTenant is an online commercial property portal that streamlines finding, inspecting and leasing warehouse space for tenants, whilst amplifying property visibility for landlords, helping them to source tenants and lease space cheaper and faster.
The brainchild of entrepreneur and former commercial leasing agent Matt Sampson, uTenant puts tenants and landlords in direct contact and provides a confidential, transparent, cost- and time-effective alternative to the old way of leasing space.
“With uTenant, we have reimagined how industrial warehouse space is leased, providing significant advantages and savings for the two most important parties to the transaction – the tenant and the landlord,” says Sampson.
How uTenant works

  1. Tenants enter their specific requirements into the uTenant portal
  2. uTenant curates a tailored list of suitable properties, which have already been validated as legitimate
  3. Tenants shortlist preferred properties and arranges inspections directly with the landlord or through uTenant
  4. Inspections take place and direct tenant-landlord negotiations commence
  5. On conclusion of a lease, standard fee payable to uTenant by landlord, with uTenant sharing a percentage of this with the tenant (fee sharing n/a in NSW)

 
 
 

Rockwell Automation acquires Odos Imaging

Rockwell Automation has acquired Odos Imaging, a Scottish technology company that manufactures sensing systems.
Rockwell Automation intends to apply the technology to sensing products to deliver solutions to a range of industrial applications, including automotive and general assembly, packaging and material handling, and logistics.
“This acquisition enables us to build on our portfolio of smart sensing and safety products, an important part of the foundation for The Connected Enterprise,” said Lee Lane, Vice President and General Manager – Safety, Sensing and Connectivity Business, Rockwell Automation. “It enables us to expand our existing capabilities by bringing 3D, time-of-flight sensor technology to industrial applications.”
Chris Yates, CEO, Odos Imaging added: “We are delighted to be joining Rockwell Automation and continue the development of 3D imaging solutions for industrial applications. Rockwell Automation is a company we have long admired for its ongoing commitment to innovation and substantial domain expertise. We very much look forward to playing our part in the ongoing strategy and helping to achieve the vision of a productive and sustainable future.”

Inland Rail project to impact industrial market: report

The Melbourne-to-Brisbane Inland Rail project is anticipated to transform the movement of freight around the country and significantly impact industrial property, its users and providers across regional Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, as found by research carried out by commercial real estate company, Colliers International.
According to the findings of the Colliers Radar: The Melbourne – Brisbane Inland Rail report, the 1,700km Inland Rail project – planned for completion in 2024/25 – is expected to result in potential creation of new intermodal facilities and transport and logistic hubs in key strategic locations; the relocation and/or emergence of inter-capital freight users to key strategic locations; potential uplift in industrial land values for precincts in proximity to the rail route (occupier-led demand); and higher importance placed around the existing Ports of Brisbane and Melbourne.
“From commercial property perspective, the regions which are most likely to benefit from the completion of the Inland Rail are Darling Downs, Acacia Ridge and Bromelton in Queensland, Tottenham in Victoria and Parkes in New South Wales,” said Malcom Tyson, Managing Director – Industrial, Colliers International.
“We are likely to see increased activity along the Inland Rail route from the inter-capital freight users such as Linfox, CEVA Logistics, Toll Holdings, DB Schenker, DHL, Woolworths, Coles, GrainCorp, Bluescope and Visy.”
Tyson noted that the benefits for these users would range from operating cost savings, time savings, improved reliability, improved availability and resilience to incidents.
“In line with this, providers of the intermodal transport and logistic hubs and industrial estates may also emerge to cater for the increased demand and relocation requirements from these users,” he added.
“These providers might fall into service industry sectors such as cold-store warehousing, grain and commodities storage, rail maintenance, container park, food processing facilities, freight handling facilities, distribution centres and inland container storage facilities.”
Matthew Frazer-Ryan, National Director – Industrial, Colliers International, added, “There is compelling evidence pointing towards the positive correlation between new infrastructure projects (i.e. when committed and under construction) and associated uplift in industrial land value in a region.
“The importance of these projects to improve accessibility of freight to the area is also likely to positively impact on the potential rental value of the industrial property in the region.”
Frazer-Ryan added that this has been evidenced Melbourne during the CityLink Tulla Widening project and the beginning of the West Gate Tunnel project – directly impacting transport and logistic operators in the region and leading to an uplift in values.
In Brisbane, he added, this was evident with the completion of the Gateway Upgrade, which saw land values in the Australia TradeCoast rise upon announcement of the project.
In Sydney, the Westlink M7 Motorway construction saw average annual land value growth in the M7 catchment area of around 22 per cent over the three-year period.
“As a result, we would anticipate that as firms begin to look to these middle suburban ring and outer regional areas supported by the completion of the Inland Rail, stronger demand should lead to increasing land values and overall industrial property performance over the long-term,” added Frazer-Ryan.

Rockwell Automation invests in AI for industrial automation

Rockwell Automation has announced that it has invested in The Hive, a Silicon Valley–based innovation fund and co-creation studio, in order to gain access to an ecosystem of innovators and technology startups with a focus on applications of artificial intelligence (AI) to industrial automation.
Rockwell Automation goals include co-creating to solve customer problems, accelerating innovation and identifying new emerging technologies that can help its manufacturing customers improve business performance by bridging the gaps between plant-floor and higher-level information systems.
“Smart manufacturing requires the use of new and disruptive technologies such as AI to create the future industrial plants and supply networks that are flexible, efficient, responsive and secure,” said Elik Fooks, Senior Vice President – Corporate Development, Rockwell Automation. “AI can help manufacturers unlock data, contextualise it and take action.
“We continue to create partnerships with leading innovators, such as this one with The Hive, to further advance The Connected Enterprise, our vision for realising unprecedented industrial productivity from the integration of plant and enterprise operations.”
“Rockwell Automation’s investment in The Hive will provide it with earlier visibility to AI technology from companies fostered by The Hive’s technology team,” said T.M. Ravi, Managing Director and Co-founder of The Hive. “These include AI-powered applications for the cognitive enterprise, edge intelligence, security, and smart machines.”

Optimistic outlook for Australia's logistics sector

Australia’s industrial and logistics occupiers are generally optimistic about the future and expect their businesses to be better off financially in the next 12 months, an inaugural survey carried out by commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE found.
The Australian Industrial and Logistics Occupier Survey was undertaken to gain a better understanding of decision-making drivers, occupier strategies and how changes in technology and automation are impacting real-estate requirements.
Kate Bailey, Senior Research Manager, CBRE, said the results reflected an engaged and optimistic industrial and logistics market, with 66 per cent of respondents expecting their business to be better off financially and 25 per cent expecting things to stay the same over the next 12 months.
The retailing, warehousing and distribution sector were the most positive, with 86 per cent of respondents expecting their business to be better off.
“Surveys of this kind have rarely been undertaken in the Australian industrial and logistics market, meaning there has been limited benchmarking of what drives occupiers’ decision making,” said Bailey.
Manufacturers were found to be the most likely to want a smaller occupancy, with 21 per cent preferring a smaller footprint. This was possibly reflective of the shift towards high-tech manufacturing, which was less floorspace intensive, Bailey said.
CBRE Senior Managing Director, Industrial & Logistics, Matt Haddon, said the survey also highlighted key trends and attitudes in relation to sustainability, e-commerce, new development practices such as multi-storey warehousing, and the drivers behind occupiers’ site selection criteria.
“It is likely that the drive to incorporate sustainable design elements in industrial and logistics assets will continue to be led by the owner-occupier sector, with this group most likely to amortise initial expenses such as solar panels and wind turbines and see the flow on benefits from sustainable demand first hand,” said Haddon.
When it came to e-commerce, one of the more surprising findings was that the impact was yet to be fully realised in the sector, with 42 per cent of respondents indicating that they had seen no change from the growth of e-commerce in the past five years.
In relation to multi-storey warehousing, the survey found that while there was a high level of awareness from respondents (90 per cent) only 25 per cent of respondents would consider this style of asset.
The level of appeal was higher amongst retail/warehousing and wholesaling occupiers (50 per cent appeal, 50 per cent consideration) and lower amongst manufacturers (20 per cent appeal, 17 per cent consideration) – possibly due to the high cost of specialised machinery and equipment.
Turning to site selection, the survey found that access to road networks, key transport infrastructure and skilled employees had the highest level of perceived importance when selecting an industrial or logistics property.

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