Frasers Pushes Forward with ‘Premium-Grade’ Sheds


Landscaped leisure areas, green space and sustainability initiatives are part of Frasers’ new “premium grade” strategy it is launching across its Australian industrial portfolio.

As the workplace landscape shift post-pandemic, Frasers said that it plans to deliver “healthy, sustainable and high-performing work environments” using sustainable materials, and employee-centric approaches not found in traditional warehouses.

Under its new modular building design guidelines, drawn up in partnership with BVN Architecture, Frasers said it was aiming to deliver the highest grade of developments in Australia’s booming industrial property sector.

Frasers said a central part of its “premium estates strategy” was the use of building materials that would minimise the environmental impact caused by developments of the scale typical for this sector.

The developer will be targeting 5 Star or 6 Star Green Star Design and As Built certified ratings on all logistics estates planned under its strategy.

Frasers Property Industrial general manager Ian Barter said developers in the logistics sector now needed to deliver projects that positively impacted employees as well as the wider community.

“Our new concept reflects our commitment to creating next-generation industrial and logistics assets that are ultimately more efficient, healthy and engaging workplaces for our customers to build their futures in,” Barter said.

Frasers Property Industrial
▲ ▲ Fraser’s "premium estates" concept has commenced roll out in NSW at The Yards, in Victoria at 4 Ten Epping and in Queensland at Vantage Yatala. Image: Supplied

At their exteriors, the amount of hardscaped areas will be reduced at the estates to minimise local heat island effects and improve thermal comfort for employees.

Frasers is also looking to increase green space in and around its developments with native flora and fauna to feature prominently through public areas while minimising water use and encouraging a regenerative approach to the often bleak industrial landscapes.

In March, Frasers, alongside Sydney fund manager Altis Property Partners, began construction on a $1-billion estate at 649-763 Mamre Road at Kemps Creek, Sydney.

The Kemps Creek site is located approximately 6km north-west of the future Western Sydney Nancy-Bird Walton Airport, 15km south-east of the Penrith CBD and 40km west of the Sydney CBD.

The logistics park, known as The Yards, is one of Sydney’s largest industrial developments and will span 70 hectares.

Frasers also has a state significant development application lodged for a 64,000sq m logistics building as well as a nine-lot subdivision for a 43ha site at 155-217 Aldington Road, also at Kemps Creek.

The site is partially bordered by Aldington Road to the east and existing rural lots to the west, north and south.

The development will include 1200sq m of office space, loading docks, parking and hardstand areas, landscaping, utilities and services.

▲ Artist’s render of Fraser's plans for 155-217 Aldington Road, Kemps Creek.
▲ Artist’s render of Fraser's plans for 155-217 Aldington Road, Kemps Creek.

As the industrial and logistics sector continues to grow, an additional 1.8 million square metres is forecast to be required in Australia each year to meet demand, which is 25 per cent above historical averages.

As well, employee numbers in logistics, industrial and trucking are expected to grow by 7.3 per cent by 2025 to around 700,000 Australians.

Frasers strategy is a change of approach for a rapidly growing sector that is often centred around Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, where reports of high-pressure targets and employee dissatisfaction are rife.

Amazon, which has been operating in Australia since late 2017, plans to bring the total number of Amazon fulfilment centres in Australia to six.

The e-commerce giant opened its first Australian fulfilment centre in Melbourne, followed by centres in Sydney and Perth in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

A number of workers told the media Amazon’s workplace had been built around a culture of fear where their performance was timed to the second; they were discouraged to use the toilet and sometimes pushed to cut corners including safety procedures.

Amazon is plotting a further expansion of its Australian operations with plans to build one of the country's biggest warehouses, a $500-million robot-run facility at Kemps Creek near Sydney, and another in Goodman Group’s Port Industry Park in Brisbane.

It also has plans for a fulfilment centre at Ravenhall in Melbourne’s west covering 37,000sq m and with capacity for up to 6 million items from its online platform.

Its growth and expansion, like many developers and investors within the sector, has been accelerated by Covid-19, forcing other retailers—both bricks-and-mortar and pure-play online retailers—to step up investment in digital and e-commerce.

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