QPR lodges John Lewis shed bid

Queen’s Park Rangers Football Club has lodged a bid to buy the John Lewis distribution centre in Park Royal, west London, for a major new stadium.

The Championship club has offered around £21m to buy the 285,500 sq ft shed to satisfy its long-running requirement to replace its 18,500-seat Loftus Road stadium in Shepherd’s Bush, W12. Alternative uses for the site, including a training ground, are also being considered.

QPR is going head-to-head with shed developer Prologis to buy the 12.1-acre site at 41-44 Kendal Avenue, which was put up for sale in July through Aspect Property Consultants and Jones Lang LaSalle.

But a question mark hangs over the sale owing to uncertainties surrounding the route for the £43bn HS2 rail link.

HS2 Ltd has put safeguarding orders on several sites in Park Royal to be used for a ­construction storage depot during the development of the London end of the proposed high-speed line.

One such order has been placed on the Waitrose fulfilment centre on Victoria Road, prompting parent company the John Lewis Partnership to pause the sale of Kendal Avenue.

A source said: “It is a really good price on offer but John Lewis cannot rush into selling something without knowing what is going on down the road. HS2 has given them a lot to think about.”

QPR launched a search for a new stadium with a capacity of around 40,000 seats in 2011. In April, the club said a £15m loan secured from Barclays would go towards a new stadium.

In August, the club said it was considering a number of options, including a site at Old Oak Common.

QPR has played its home games at two different Park Royal grounds in its history – the 40,000-seat Royal Agriculture Society ground between 1904 and 1907 and the 60,000-capacity Park Royal Stadium between 1907 and 1915.

John Lewis put its Park Royal shed up for sale after striking a deal with Gazeley for a 675,000 sq ft mega shed at Magna Park in Milton Keynes to connect to its existing 650,000 sq ft warehouse at the park. It is due to open in February 2014.

Aviva Investors, on behalf of the Lime Property fund, bought the Magna Park shed in August for £74.2m – a yield of 4.9%.

All parties declined to comment.