Amazon Leases Axiare’s Mega-Warehouse In Tarragona

16 June 2016 – Expansión

The logistics market is gaining strength in Spain, thanks to e-commerce, the sector that is growing the most and has the most optimistic forecasts. Keuhne+Nagel (K+N) has leased a logistics complex in Constantí (Tarragona) where it will work almost exclusively for the US giant Amazon.

One hundred jobs will be created during the first phase, but once the complex is operating at full capacity, it is expected to employ 400 people, according to sources familiar with the operation. To these figures, we have to add the typical reinforcements required during certain periods, such as at Christmas.

The land is owned by Axiare, which purchased the two empty warehouses last year for €13.5 million from the French insurance company Axa. (…).

Twin warehouses

The two warehouses are almost the same size as each other and have a combined surface area of 42,253 sqm in total. This is the largest operation in the sector in Cataluña so far in 2016 and one of the most important in Spain. Both facilities were constructed in 2009, but have not been used until now.

Axiare has leased the warehouses to Huenhe + Nagel, a Swiss logistics operator, which will work for Amazon. The US company will not lease this land directly, unlike the 150,000 sqm plot that it is planning to buy next to El Prat airport (Barcelona). At the facilities in El Prat, for which Amazon will reportedly pay €30 million to the Generalitat de Cataluña, 1,500 jobs will be created and €100 million will be invested, according to the Generalitat, although Amazon has not confirmed those figures.

Sources in the sector explain that the logistics infrastructures of companies the size of Amazon need several types of warehouses. As well as a central space for Southern Europe – such as the one that will be opened in El Prat, in a prime area – they also require dispatch points to handle larger objects. That activity requires more affordable, but still well-connected locations. Constantí is very close to Tarragona and is situated next to the AP-7 and A-27 motorways, and close to the AP-2. ID logistics opened a 20,000 sqm centre not far away from the site, in Vila-rodona, where Privalia is its main client.

Although the warehouses are six years old, the customisation of them has been minimal. They have 38 loading bays, are almost 11 metres tall and have offices for administration. Activity is expected to begin at the new complex in Constantí this summer.

Strategy

Stuart William McDonald, the Director of RE at the Socimi said that Axiare’s strategy involves dedicating 80% of its business to the office sector and the remaining 20% to logistics. The company led by Luis Alfonso López de Herrera-Oria, earned €5.1 million during Q1 2016, up by 22%, after recording rental income of €10 million from its assets. Its portfolio is worth €900 million and 96% of its assets are located in Madrid and Barcelona.

In 2015, Axiare also purchased land without an end customer in Valls (Tarragona), which it ended up leasing out to Kelloggs. (…). Axiare’s share price rose by 0.49% yesterday and its market capitalisation amounted to €879 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Artur Zanón and Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

117