Andrew Forrest’s Minderoo Group has emerged as the biggest partner in the $450 million Roe Highway Logistics Park, opened today. It is the Minderoo Group’s first foray into industrial property and its chief investment officer John Hartman said it was pleased to have “exposure to the recovering Perth economy”.
Minderoo Group is the 50 per cent partner. Ben Lisle’s Linc Property, Adrian Fini’s Fini Group and Gibb Group, a national leasing specialist and developer of quality industrial warehouses, hold the balance.
The park, in the strategic Kewdale-Welshpool area with freight rail access to the soon-to-be-finished Kenwick Freight Rail Facility, was launched by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti this afternoon.
It is between Roe and Tonkin highways at the centre of Perth’s arterial road network, will have freight rail access from next year and has optimal access for RAV7 trucks, or B-triple road trains.
The 56ha industrial park has already secured premium international logistics and industrial services occupiers including Northline, K-Trans WA, BP, Brady Corporation, Expro Group and FUWA K-Hitch.
Linc Property’s Mr Lisle said another three to four significant players had agreed terms for 14ha to 17ha. Civil works for the entire site will be finished by August.
“The State identified the site as part of the Maddington-Kenwick strategic employment area more than 20 years ago,” Mr Lisle said, adding that fragmented ownership, heritage, environmental and logistical considerations as well as managing the rail and road connections had made for a “really, really complex project”.
Linc Property took on the task of amalgamating more than 30 land parcels, rezoning and resolving “a range of complicated planning and traffic” issues to make the park — a major employment centre — a reality.
Mr Lisle said Mr Fini “came in early and shared the risk”.
Getting later finance, however, proved difficult. “It was at a weak point in the cycle and east coast investors were nervous about WA,” he said.
It was then, Mr Lisle said, in about mid-2017, Minderoo Group “saw the potential of the site and backed us”.
“We were pleased to bring capital to see this development proceed,” Minderoo Group’s Mr Hartman said, adding that it was a “strategically important investment” in the job-generating industrial sector in Perth.
Mr Lisle said, he was proud of the finished product, which had a high level of internationally recognised amenity and was the best place to have a logistics business in Perth.
Ms Saffioti praised the efforts of the Gosnells and Kalamunda councils, doing the “hard work on the planning front”, to get the project under way to create jobs for the local community.
“Having local jobs for local people and more opportunities for employment in this area is a really, really positive part of this project,” Ms Saffioti said.