Amazon’s Rise Boosts Logistics Leasing In Madrid

12 July 2017 – Cinco Días

Amazon has become the indisputable star of the new wave of expansion being seen in the logistics real estate sector in Spain. By way of example, in the last six months, the US e-commerce giant has starred in two of the largest operations in the sector. The first, involving a warehouse measuring 34,000 m2 in Martorelles (Barcelona) and the second, the largest during H1, in Getafe (Madrid), where it has leased 58,125 m2 of space in total (…).

According to the consultancy firm JLL, the volume of space leased in Madrid, including this deal, has doubled in one year in terms of square metres, to exceed 380,000 m2. Meanwhile, Barcelona continues at the same high rate seen in 2015 and 2016.

“In Madrid, a significant amount of demand has been contained in the market – it was forecast in previous years and has now flourished”, explained Pere Morcillo, Director of Industrial and Logistics at JLL. “All of the large users of logistics space were aware that their warehouses had very high occupancy rates and that the need for new space was imminent”, he added. Another reason is the economic dynamism in the country, after the hard years of crisis, together with the new models of consumption.

“The record level is due to the growth of the Spanish economy, which is based on the growth of exports and domestic consumption, as well as on imports and the growth of online businesses”, said Luis Lázaro, Director of Logistics at the Socimi Merlin Properties.

It is precisely these listed real estate investment companies (Socimi), created from 2014 onwards, and international funds, that have provided the sector with the necessary investment to undertake new projects to construct logistics warehouses. (…). According to the head of JLL: “We have seen Socimis such as Lar and Axiare, and in particular, Merlin, enter the market to buy land. Their logistics investment objectives are so ambitious that they are having to create the stock that didn’t exist before to be able to incorporate it into their portfolios”.

Besides the Socimis, funds such as P3 Logistics Parks, Rockspring, GreenOak, Logicor (sold by Blackstone to China Investment) have starred in the majority of the transactions and new developments seen in Spain in recent months.

Indeed, P3 Logistics will be responsible for Amazon’s macro turn-key project in Illescas (Toledo), a plan that should see the light within the next few weeks with the award of the work tender.

Data from the consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) also reflects the record investment in Madrid. “Logistics operators are responding to a general climate of major activity in consumption and industrial production”, says the report issued by the consultancy. “The new lease contracts are focusing on the first and third rings (around Madrid). Parcel distributors are active in the first ring, primarily in Getafe and San Fernando. Meanwhile, in the third ring, operators are looking for large spaces (spanning more than 20,000 m2) with good locations for high volume logistics. In this segment of the market, the rental price plays a key role”.

This ring contains several key sites, such as Cabanillas del Campo, on the A-2 motorway close to Guadalajara. Similarly, Illescas, on the A-42, which is starting to establish itself through the Amazon project and other warehouses, such as those leased to Toyota and Michelin. In Cataluña, C&W highlights the sites at Camp de Tarragona and Vallès Oriental, which account for two-thirds of the space leased in Barcelona’s area of influence.

In terms of forecasts, the director at Merlin believes that the trend in the logistics sector will continue to be positive. (…).

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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