Fortress Income Fund has officially launched the Louwlardia Logistics Park, a R650-million, A-Grade logistics facility that is under development alongside the N1 in Centurion.

Speaking at the launch, executive director Andrew Teixeira said Louwlardia was part of Fortress’ plan to develop one square million metres of warehousing space over the next five years, equating to an investment value of about R8-billion in the logistics sector. The Louwlardia development, expected to be completed within 24 months, will see about 90 000 square metres of warehousing erected on a 16,7 hectare site.

Teixeira emphasised that, as long term holders of property, Fortress was focussed on delivering a quality product and was setting new trends in the development of logistics facilities in South Africa.

“In a tough economy where cost containment and efficiency are priorities, our goal is to provide A-Grade logistics facilities at lower cost,” he said. Fortress’ strategy was to offer high tech design that included the likes of solar power and natural light to reduce energy consumption; locations that made for more efficient distribution routes and properties that allowed easy access and better turnaround times. “Effectively, we lower the cost per pallet,” Teixeira said.

The first newly inaugurated warehouse at Louwlardia has a height of 13,5 metres to the underside of the eaves – which offers efficiencies of scale – and an FM2 floor which provides a solid platform for the erection of racking and easy movement of mechanised machinery.

Moreover, the development provides a secure park environment with 24 hour security, a central gate and electric fence as well as a fire system with central pumps and tanks that serve the entire park.

Additionally, green building best practice is incorporated via features such as low maintenance indigenous landscaping that is fully irrigated and buildings that can accommodate photo voltaic cells for the production of electricity.

One of the most prominent factors in the development’s success is perceived to be its ideal location, since it offers excellent accessibility from the highway. Further, it is situated close to road, rail and domestic and international air freight hubs.

“It is well situated adjacent to the N1 highway between Johannesburg and Pretoria with access from the N1 via Brakfontein and Nellmapius Roads. It is also well connected to two major alternative routes (the R21 and N14) and provides easy access to both OR Tambo and Lanseria Airports, as well as major centres,” Teixeira explained.