The facility may serve as a blueprint for other underground warehousing and logistics developments in high-value urban areas, said BIFA.
The 1.9 million square-foot facility will undergo construction in 2019, with the first area of the park opening in 2020 and the first underground warehouse space available for business use in 2022. The underground portion will encompass a 15-year period of extraction, construction and landscaping activity, said BIFA.
Samantha Smith, senior director at CBRE, one of the property agents for the project, said, “We are thrilled to be involved in such a massively pioneering project that will establish a new concept in the UK for a new resource for urban logistics. Whilst there is a lot of interest in multi-story, multi-level warehousing development, Rectory Farm’s underground approach is exactly right for its location."
In addition to warehousing and logistics space, the above-ground portion - 110 acres of disused land - will become a large new public park with “recreational space linking local communities” by including “full size grass and all-weather football pitches, hockey and cricket pitches, plus a variety of other facilities alongside fields and tree-lined paths for walking, running and cycling,” said BIFA.