Investment in “Last Mile” Logistics Platforms Takes Off  

14 October 2019 The boom in e-commerce is sparking a revolution in the logistics markets as industry players seek to increase the speed of deliveries. The ability to deliver goods quickly in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona is leading firms to acquire logistics platforms that are located close to city centres. Market watchers refer to the “last mile” – the final delivery of goods to the customer’s home. Thus, the industrial estates that surround Madrid and Barcelona are slowing being repurposed as logistics platforms. The most sought-after are less than 10 kilometres from the most central neighbourhoods.

In an example of the tendency, the Spanish real estate group Allegra recently finalised the sale of a logistics park in the Marconi industrial estate, to the south of Madrid in Villaverde. The logistics platform consists of two warehouses measuring 9,798 and 7,676 square meters, respectively. The US-fund Hines, one of the four most important real estate management companies in the world, acquired the asset for 22 million euros. It was Hines first investment in the logistics sector in Spain.

According to data from the real estate consultancy JLL, though the price of logistics assets in Barcelona are currently higher than in Madrid, €7/m2 on average, compared to €5.5 in the capital, Madrid is seen to have major potential. The allocation of such platforms soared from 185,000 square meters in the third quarter of 2018 to 290,000 m2 this year, an increase of 48%. JLL also estimates that developers are working on another half a million square meters of platforms in Madrid, compared to 182,000 square meters in Catalonia.

Original Story: ABC – Adrián Delgado

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Nuveen Buys Amazon’s Logistics Warehouse in Bilbao for c. €17M

18 September 2019 – Idealista

Nuveen Real Estate (formerly TH Real Estate) has purchased the logistics warehouse that Amazon occupies 10km from the centre of Bilbao for almost €17 million, according to sources close to the operation. Until now, the warehouse had been owned by Vusa, the real estate group led by the heirs of Valeriano Urruticoechea.

The asset has a surface area of 9,000 m2 in total, of which 8,000 m2 is dedicated to storage and almost 1,000 m2 to offices. Amazon has signed a 21-year contract to occupy the property, of which 11 years are mandatory (until 2030).

Amazon started operating from the logistics facility in June. It is a modern platform in terms of its design and construction, suitable for cross-docking and with parking for small vans to serve the last mile distribution market.

This is the third logistics asset that Nuveen has purchased for its European Logistics platform in Spain. It acquired the other two in Madrid and Valencia in 2017.

Nuveen, which is led by Marta Cladera de Codina in Spain, is not only active in the logistics market. It also holds stakes in several shopping centres on the Iberian Peninsula, specifically, Islazul and 50% of Xanadú, as well as in retail parks, including Meixuerio in Vigo.

Nuveen Real Estate is one of the largest investment managers in the world with USD 130,000 million in assets under management.

Original story: Idealista – Custodio Pareja

Translated by: Aura Ree

Azora Launches a Vehicle to Invest €250M in Last Mile Logistics Hubs

9 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Azora is launching itself into the last mile logistics sector. The real estate manager has launched a vehicle to invest €250 million in premises located in the centre of cities with the aim of facilitating urban distribution and responding to the boom in e-commerce.

According to the company’s plans, the first investments will take place during the first quarter of this year. Azora will be responsible for the vehicle and will hold a minority stake in it. Meanwhile, the consultancy firm CBRE will be responsible for designing it and for supplying the real estate services, according to Expansión.

Until now, Azora and CBRE have identified almost thirty assets that fit their investment objectives until 2021. Currently, both companies are holding negotiations to purchase those properties, which include disused furniture stores, parking lots, dealerships, workshops and shopping centres inside the M-30 in Madrid and within Las Rondas in Barcelona. The properties must also have a surface area of more than 800 m2.

The assets will subsequently be leased to major logistics operators and to other transport companies, as well as to merchants and distribution companies under long-term lease contracts.

With more than €4.5 billion in assets under management, Azora is continuing to back the real estate sector after breaking its alliance with Hispania. Since then, the company has taken advantage of its experience in the sector to back the residential rental segment through the creation of a joint venture with CBRE Global Investment and Madison to achieve a portfolio of 10,000 homes within the next few years.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

CBRE: Real Estate in Sevilla Attracts Funding from Overseas Investors

15 December 2018 – ABC

The city of Sevilla and its metropolitan area are now on the international real estate map and proof of that is that the major overseas funds are putting up a lot of the capital being absorbed by the new commercial, hotel and logistics projects in the city, “whereby taking over from the real estate firms of yesteryear”. That is one of the conclusions of a report compiled by the consultancy firm CBRE, which highlights that the return on investment has been felt most intensely in the shopping centre sector.

“With almost 300,000 m2 of future supply planned, Sevilla is the province in Spain that will grow by almost the most over the next few years in terms of gross leasable area – exceeded only by Madrid”, it said. “This will be a key sector this year and next for the Sevillan real estate market”, said Rosa Madrid, Director of CBRE in Andalucía. The first newsworthy event was the entry into operation of Torre Sevilla, “an open and mixed shopping centre, with a hotel and offices, which we have not seen here before and which is regenerating the area”, she highlighted. The office market “has absorbed without great problems” the 18,000 m2 that Torre Sevilla brought to the market “whereby disproving those who predicted a new crisis in this segment”, she said.

Offices

In the office segment, the highest rents are achieved in the most modern buildings of Nervión (a district in Sevilla), with rents of around €12-13/m2/month. In this area, some exclusive office buildings that were left vacant following the departure of the Junta de Andalucía to Santa Justa were occupied within 18 months. In La Cartuja, office rents are somewhat lower, around €9-11/m2/month, according to the report.

But, “the turning point” in the shopping centre sector is going to be seen Sevilla with Project Lagoh, promoted by the Socimi Lar España in the Palmas Altas area, to the south of the capital, and currently under construction. “Finally, the new era of shopping centres is going to arrive in Sevilla. Until now, we have only had shopping centres from the 1990s and none from the 21st century, like Xanadú in Madrid or Puerto Venecia in Zaragoza”, said Rosa Madrid.

Hotel investment

The hotel market has been also reactivated as demonstrated by the major operations closed in recent years. “In addition to the modern Eurostars Torre Sevilla, since 2015, the flow of properties acquired to transform them into accommodation has been continuous”, she highlighted. The most noteworthy operations include the purchase by the French real estate company Bouygues of the former headquarters of Abengoa, to renovate it and transform it into a 5-star hotel, the purchase of Hotel Macarena and the acquisition of the Generali building in Plaza Nueva by the British fund Shaftesbury.

Logistics market

Demand for logistics warehouses has also been increasing, at the same time as the major e-commerce operators have increased their logistics network in the south of the peninsula, such as the case of Amazon and Inditex, which have opened platforms in Sevilla. “That sector is here to stay. And operators are not only looking for large spaces far away from the cities measuring between 30,000 m2 and 100,000 m2, they are also looking for small spaces inside the SE30 to serve the last-mile market and demand for immediate distribution”, explained the regional director of CBRE.

Student halls

Investors specialising in alternative sectors, such as student halls of residence, are also placing their focus on Sevilla, a city that is home to 16% of all of Spain’s university students (…).

Original story: ABC (by E. Freire)

Translation: Carmel Drake