LONDON-Gazeley Properties, the European property arm of Wal-Mart, has unveiled plans for the largest speculative distribution warehouse in the south-east of England. Jointly with Standard Life, it plans to build a 488,000-sf shed, called Ultrabox, on the site of a former Esso Oil Depot at Purfleet in Essex. The Purfleet site is situated on London Road near Junction 31 of the M25. Gazeley purchased the 28-acre brown field site in 2003 and development manager James Behrens says: “There are very few prime sites around the M25 capable of accommodating a single unit of this size and, as a result, we fully expect to attract strong interest from blue-chip occupiers.” David Paine, investment director at Standard Life Investments, says: “The industrial market in the South East is one that we have been actively pursuing and this opportunity allows us to gain exposure to the speculative market at the larger end of the scale, where we believe there will be strong tenant demand.” Letting agents FPD Savills and Holley Blake are quoting rents in the region of £7.50 ($13.80) per sf.

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