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As shopping centre and high street landlords survey the wreckage left by coronavirus, warehouse owners are facing a different problem: how to deal with record demand.

The pandemic has pushed more consumers online, prompting a rush for warehouse space, from small “last-mile” delivery sites near city centres to cavernous “big-box” distribution centres

Amazon has led the charge. The company, which has added an eye-watering $600bn to its market capitalisation this year as sales have jumped, is inking lease agreements on mammoth warehouses around the world. It has committed to opening 33 “fulfilment centres” in the US this year, an additional 35m square feet spread from Atlanta to Arizona.

The US ecommerce giant is also the incoming tenant of a 2.3m square foot warehouse on London’s outskirts, according to people with knowledge of that deal. Amazon’s sprawling expansion is one reason why investors are sensing opportunity.

The take-up of UK logistics space hit record levels in the second quarter of the year, according to property group CBRE — despite the lockdown.

“Following a quiet few months after coronavirus hit, investors are back with a vengeance”, said David Sleath, chief executive of Segro, the dominant logistics company in the UK and a sizeable participant in Europe which last week said it had lifted first-half profit. “If you are a global institutional investor and you want exposure to commercial real estate, this is an attractive place to be.”

A decade ago, ecommerce accounted for 6.7 per cent of all retail sales in the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics. By February, the month before the outbreak, the figure was 19 per cent. By May it had hit 33 per cent. In April, 27 per cent of purchases were made online in the US, according to the commerce department and Bank of America.

Until recently, the most desirable property to own was a traditional mall. Malls had a natural moat, being difficult to develop and serving a catchment area

“That share was likely to diminish as stores reopened,” cautioned Mr Sleath, “but incoming tenants were looking to crystallise that temporary spike into increased capacity”.

“There’s a wall of cash coming into our sector,” said Marcus de Minckwitz, an investment adviser on European logistics at Savills property.

Every extra £1bn spent online means the addition of almost 900,000 square feet of logistics space, according to CBRE. New York-listed Prologis, the world’s largest warehouse company, estimates that 1.2m sq ft of space is needed for every $1bn in ecommerce sales in the US.

Gains from ecommerce tenants far outweigh the losses from bricks-and-mortar retailers, according to CBRE, one reason why Blackstone, the world’s largest private property owner, has described logistics as its “highest conviction” sector.

“Until recently, the most desirable property to own was a traditional mall. Malls had a natural moat, being difficult to develop and serving a catchment area . . . Logistics for a long time was viewed as the other end of the spectrum: not so exciting and more easily replicable,” said Ken Caplan, global co-head of Blackstone Real Estate. The rise of ecommerce had shifted that whole dynamic.”

In June 2010, Segro’s market capitalisation was less than £2bn, according to data from S&P Global. Now at £11.8bn, it is comfortably the UK’s largest listed property group; UK shopping centre owner Intu, meanwhile, has collapsed. The value of US peer Prologis has climbed a fifth this year to roughly $77.5bn.

Dozens of shopping centres in the US are being turned into industrial sites, according to CBRE, which says Covid-19 will accelerate the trend. This week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon was in talks with mall owner Simon Property to repurpose department stores as distribution hubs.

Thanks to the ecommerce boom, CBRE predicts there will be demand for 333m sq ft of new space in the US by 2022 — treble its previous estimate — and expects rents to grow by about 6 per cent a year. Amazon is not the only eager tenant. Fashion retailers with a limited online presence have desperately sought space to park stock they could not shift in the pandemic.

“They already have warehouses full of clothes, then next season’s come in and they can’t stack it,” according to one UK property agent.

“But while some warehouse owners had suffered hits to rental income from retail tenants in particular, investors bidding for new sites were achieving few discounts,” said Mr de Minckwitz.

“Some indiscriminate investors were likely to get caught out, warned Mr Sleath. “There will be more retail fatalities, that will mean empty warehousing as well as shopping centres. It’s very important to think about where you place your money.”

Asset manager PGIM bought five German logistics sites last month and said it was optimistic that demand would only grow. Private equity firms are piling in too: as well as Blackstone, Meyer Bergman plans to raise €750m to invest in Europe.

“Investors needing long and strong sources of income, such as sovereign wealth funds and European pension funds, were also attracted by the sector,” said James Dunlop, a fund manager at Tritax Big Box.

“But some might come unstuck,” cautioned Adrian Benedict, head of real estate solutions at Fidelity. “There’s a flood of capital from retail to logistics. Inevitably, with every crisis, you see those poorly considered deals at the end of the cycle are the ones you really regret.”

 

 

Source: SFBJ

boynton beach mall

Boynton Beach Mall could have half the square footage for retail businesses once it’s redeveloped, but it might add apartments, a hotel and offices.

The plans reflect attempts across America to transform malls as fewer people go there to shop. Apartments also are planned at the Coral Square Mall in Coral Springs and at the former Fashion Mall in Plantation.

The Boynton Beach Mall once had tenants including Burdines, JCPenney, Jordan Marsh and Lord & Taylor. But like other malls facing less in-store shopping and an increase in online shopping by consumers, retail tenants have dwindled over the years, with new types of tenants coming in.

“According to city documents, 30 percent of the mall is now vacant, and its proposed redevelopment would not only stabilize it, but make it a desirable destination once again,” said Bonnie Miskel, a lawyer representing primary mall owner Washington Prime.

The proposal would reduce the existing mall square footage for retail from about 1 million square feet to 482,750 square feet, and build separate, mixed-use buildings with retail use on the first floor and residential units above. Developers also would add up to 1,420 residential apartments on the site, along the north end and southwest side of the mall property, and inside the new mixed-use buildings. The redeveloped mall would include a 400-room hotel, 65,000 square feet each of medical office space, and general office space, and 35,000 of new restaurant space.

The master plan and rezoning request for the 116-acre site was filed with the Boynton Beach City Commission, which gave initial approval, but meets again on the plans Jan. 21. Some Boynton Beach residents expressed concerns on the NextDoor app about mounting traffic off Congress Avenue near the mall and that mall redevelopment plans didn’t seem to include any new entertainment venues for the community, such as a park, bowling alley or sports center.

The plan doesn’t affect Macy’s and JCPenney, the two major department stores remaining at the mall, which are owned separately, and Christ Fellowship Church, owner of a former Dillard’s department store space in the mall. The redevelopment would happen over five phases, with the first phase removing the former Sears buildings and adding a 400-unit apartment building, Washington Prime said.

In its proposal for redevelopment, Washington Prime says that “the current use of the property as an aging mall is in steady decline as it no longer meets the needs of the community and is slowly becoming a source of blight in the city.” Occupancy at the mall has dropped by 11.5 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to documents submitted to the city to justify rezoning.

 

Source: Sun-Sentinel

cash

Prolific industrial builder Bridge Development Partners LLC purchased 34 vacant acres for $36.9 million to build a three-building center in Davie.

Bridge Point 595 will be southwest of Interstate 595 and Florida’s Turnpike. The 677,314-square-foot industrial park is set to open in the third quarter 2020. Two buildings will measure 290,295 square feet each and the third will be 96,724 square feet.

Chicago-based Bridge Development bought the land from Forman Industrial Land LLC, an affiliate of the Forman family whose late patriarch Hamilton Forman was a prominent South Florida landowner who ventured into real estate projects.

Bridge Point 595 speaks to the healthy South Florida industrial market, which has some of the lowest vacancy rates among all asset classes. Population growth, e-commerce and the scarcity of large parcels are boosting the sector. That’s heightened interest from institutional investors, which have been scooping up properties and encouraged merchant builders who build to sell.

Bridge’s construction spree since 2012 added 2 million square feet in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Bridge recently sold its 221,815-square-foot Bridge Point Riverbend west of Interstate 95 in Fort Lauderdale to institutional investor ASB Capital Management LLC for $38.2 million.

Its other projects include Bridge Point Commerce Center, a mammoth industrial project on 185 acres southwest of Florida’s Turnpike Extension and Northwest 47th Avenue in Miami Gardens. The 1.1 million-square-foot first phase will be finished by month’s end. Future phases will take the total size to 2.1 million square feet.

 

Source: DBR

South Florida officials have a message for Amazon and Jeff Bezos: Baby come back.

The Washington Post just reported that Amazon is reconsidering its decision to award New York City part of its HQ2 project, which the company has said would come with 25,000 jobs and billions in local investment. Amazon is facing what the Post calls a wave of opposition from local elected officials about the prospect of giving financial subsidies to the world’s most valuable company. Amazon has not yet leased any land there, the Post reported.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez says he hasn’t heard from Amazon since the e-commerce giant broke the news to him and other South Florida officials that the region came up short in its bid to land HQ2. Miami’s bid, jointly submitted with Broward and Palm Beach counties, did land the region on a short-list of 20 finalists.

In a statement, Gimenez said he is ready to start things up again whenever Amazon is.

“If Amazon is reconsidering getting out of its plan to open a headquarters in New York, as has been reported by the Washington Post, we welcome the opportunity to talk further with the e-commerce giant,” Mayor Gimenez said.

A spokesperson for Miami WorldCenter, which had been considered as a potential landing spot for a hypothetical Miami HQ2, said Amazon has not gotten back in touch about any new projects.

Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In November, the company announced the other half of the HQ2 project would be located in Northern Virginia. It also announced it planned to open an additional, 5,000-person office in Nashville, Tennessee.

The details of the package South Florida pitched to Amazon have still not been revealed. A spokesman for the Miami-Dade Beacon Council said a freedom of information request filed by the Miami Herald for the information is still being processed.

At a recent panel discussion about lessons learned from the process, Mike Finney, president and CEO of the Beacon Council, did not mention any specific feedback he’d received from Amazon officials about South Florida’s bid. The event was sponsored by the Miami Herald.

In a statement, Finney said the fact that the HQ2 project has been split into two now makes Miami even better positioned for it.

“The change in scope — given jobs and investment were ultimately divided among multiple communities — further enhances Miami’s opportunity to successfully deliver on the kind of partnership we know Amazon is looking for,” Finney said.

He confirmed that he has not engaged in conversations revisiting Amazon bringing any part of HQ2 to South Florida since Amazon’s final announcement was made.

Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO of the Palm Beach County Business Development Board, said she too would welcome Amazon back.

“We’re open for any new opportunities,” Smallridge said.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said he planned to reach out directly to Bezos to pitch the Magic City.

We are the only global city in America with the talent, tax favorable environment and tactical position to fit a global logistics company like Amazon,” Mayor Suarez said in a statement.

And Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer tweeted, “Hey , heard many NYS leaders oppose deal for your 2nd HQ. We have 0% income tax & lower property taxes in , so you can come to  for a lot less cost, stress & cold. Be happy in  like many HQs. See recent  reports & !”

A spokesperson for Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about whether he had reached out to Amazon officials. Following the Washington Post report, Crain’s Chicago Business reported that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker had already reached out to Amazon officials asking them to reconsider Chicago as an HQ2 location.

 

Source: Miami Herald

Amazon decided against putting its second headquarters in South Florida, but the online retailer opened another distribution center to ensure speedy deliveries in the tri-county area.

Amazon has opened a distribution center in 100,000 square feet at the Sawgrass International Corporate Park in Sunrise, according to Lou Sandors, the city’s economic development director. The space formerly was occupied by an online retailer called Fanatics.

Amazon spokeswoman Amanda Ip told the Sun-Sentinel that the company has 75 facilities nationwide like the new one in Sunrise.

Last year, the online retailer leased 50,000 square feet at 101 Northeast 23rd Street in the Wynwood area of Miami to support its Prime Now delivery operations.

In 2016, Amazon leased an 800,000-square-foot warehouse at Miami Opa-locka Executive Airport and a 117,235-square-foot space at the South Florida Logistics Center in Miami at 3200 Northwest 67th Avenue in Miami.

South Florida was one of 20 metropolitan areas on the short list to become the home of Amazon’s second headquarters, or HQ2, which will be established in New York City and Arlington, Virginia.

 

Source: The Real Deal

Doubts of growing your retail brick-and-mortar clientele have you reaching for antacid from the bubble wrap parcel on your porch?

Don’t post a “closed” sign on your commercial real estate journey. Instead, consider pivoting to 32-foot clear heights and secured trailer parking.

E-commerce keeps growing. In 2017, U.S. online retail sales increased 16% year-over-year, up four out of five years running, and yielded $453.5 billion in total sales, according to CBRE.  Of the 50 largest industrial leases finalized last year, approximately 43% involved e-commerce companies.

For some, specializing in industrial brokerage may be the way forward. Experts see the logistics real estate market as early stage.UBS forecasts the pace of change in e-commerce is expected to accelerate market-share transfer, from in-store retail sales to online, driven by quicker-than-expected adoption of mobile from consumers.

Speaking to the crowd at I.CON ’18 in June in Jersey City, the Senior Managing Director with Crow Holdings Industrial Clark Machemer put it, “Today’s warehouse industry is the logistics business.”

Now may be time to synchronize your industrial sales and leasing future, as demand is up for real estate along the rapid throughput supply chain. CBRE calculated that for an incremental $1 billion growth in e-commerce sales, an additional 1.25 million square feet of distribution space is needed to service the growth. NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, cited Forrester’s forecast where U.S. e-commerce sales will rise 9.3% annually over the next 5 years to top $523 billion.

Media interest in e-commerce has added foot-candle on the interrelationship of goods fulfillment factors and real estate. Of course, there’s the Amazon HQ2 bonanza. Over in home improvement, Home Depot is gearing up to spend $1.2 billion across five years on 170 distribution facilities to access “90% of the U.S. population in one day or less.”

In this unfolding era of omni-channel retailing, industrial pros know expanding the supply of new construction and repurposing obsolete facilities is about satisfying the space race. Site selection for first mile, middle mile and last mile facilities won’t just affect industrial parks. Inner cities are in play. It’s about population. Many e-commerce companies and third-party logistics providers want a perch near densely-packed rooftops of consumers.

Earning Their Business

With e-commerce projected as a growth driver over the next five years for both the U.S. economy and development of facilities, what imperatives should e-commerce clients expect from their industrial real estate brokers?

“E-commerce clients expect a level of sophistication from the industrial brokerage business that didn’t exist 10 years ago,” says William Waxman, executive vice president at CBRE.

Waxman is an authority on corporate, industrial and supply chain real estate. In 2017, he was awarded NAIOP New Jersey’s Industrial Deal of the Year for Blue Apron’s 495,000-square-foot lease.

“My e-commerce clients expect me to have a comprehensive understanding of what they’re doing,” Waxman says. “Not just an understanding of their business, but an understanding of their values. And to respect their values, and to make sure the developments, the facilities are respectful of their values, as well.”

Waxman, who also was a speaker at I.CON ’18, is well regarded for maintaining relationships.

“E-commerce clients especially want to know they have a trusted advisor in their industrial broker. They want to know everything will get done at a very high level. From a tertiary environment to a primary environment, the quality of the work will be the same no matter where the properties are located,” said Waxman.

Representing In A Disruptive Age

Whether you’re already growing your book of business or shifting careers, specializing in logistics real estate on property types that support e-commerce may be your next thing.

“It’s the kind of industry you just need to be passionate about,” Waxman says. “When your clients have a pain point, you must have a solution for them.”

Waxman observes clients in e-commerce desire collaboration, and hire a multitude of service providers on deals, so they expect connections from the broker.

“You’ve got to know the right experts, as a service of building-out their project teams,” Waxman advises. “My e-commerce and tech clients want me to recognize through cost-benefit analysis whether they would benefit from a particular economic incentives package, or benefit from an in-depth labor analysis. Don’t be transactional brokers. Be a resource. You’re working for their best interest. Whether you’re onsite at a trucking company, or in a Fortune 200 board room, show how you’ll save them money. It goes to their bottom line.”

Even though Waxman leads CBRE‘s world renowned Port and Integrated Logistics Practice, he doesn’t forget to pound pavement.

“Old-fashioned shoe leather – there’s nothing wrong with that,” say Waxman.

 

Source: Forbes

As part of Colliers International South Florida’s annual Industrial Owners Forum, more than 50 institutional owners gathered in Miami.

They converged to take part in a closed discussion on the state of the industrial market in South Florida, where they own properties.

Steven Wasserman, executive vice president of the Colliers International’s South Florida industrial services team, hosted the forum. He sat down with GlobeSt.com to highlight the main takeaways from the discussion and the sentiment these influential leaders have about South Florida’s industrial market. In part two of this exclusive interview series, he spoke about evolving industrial market trends.

“There’s still a lot of excitement surrounding e-commerce and the impact it’s having on brick and mortar retailers,” Wasserman tells GlobeSt.com. “While many retailers are downsizing their retail stores, there is a growing demand for distribution space as consumers are buying their products online. Distribution centers near urban cores are in high demand.”

Wasserman pointed out another trend shaping the industry: construction costs. Construction costs have been on the rise, but he expects they will most likely remain flat in 2017 as the condo construction market slows down.

“Institutional owners expect the cost of labor and construction materials to start to level off after years of increasing costs,” Wasserman says. “New development construction costs are ranging from $70 to $100 per square foot for new class A warehouse space and will most likely remain at that price throughout the year.”

On the other hand, he says, cumbersome environmental and permitting issues continue to slow the construction process down. That is forcing tenants to holdover because space takes so much longer to build out in South Florida.

Another topic of discussion was the trend of parking requirements. Institutional owners discussed the significant increase in employee and trailer parking requirements for all sites nationwide, especially “last mile” sites.

“This used to be a requirement from larger tenants but they’re now seeing it from smaller tenants in the 80,000-square-foot range,” Wasserman says. “We’re also seeing growing demand for cold storage facilities. As population continues to increase and lifestyle patterns change, we’re seeing increasing demand for cold storage facilities. This particularly true in South Florida where suburbs are becoming urbanized.”

 

Source: GlobeSt.