Patrizia AG, a leading partner for global real assets, has on behalf of its institutional clients invested in the €230m turnkey acquisition of a 233,000 sq m distribution centre in the container hub of Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, from Dutch logistics developer DHG. The acquisition, which represents the largest logistics investment on record in the Netherlands in terms of square metres, was made on behalf of Patrizia’s Logistik-Invest Europa III Fund and Patrizia PanEuropean.
The Smartlog Maasvlakte distribution centre is a mammoth logistics complex under construction on a 30ha site at Distripark Maasvlakte West on Rotterdam’s most recent land reclamation area and the biggest ever to be developed in the Dutch market.
One of the key features of the property is its extensive solar panel roof which includes 46,000 solar panels spanning 210,000 sq m across 10 buildings, generating sufficient energy to power almost 7,000 homes. The asset also contains the best-in-class technical installations and is fully reliant on alternative energy sources to gas.
Alexander van Gastel, Patrizia’s Director for Transactions Netherlands, said: “The Netherlands is one of the most attractive logistics real estate investment markets in Europe and this acquisition consolidates our presence in Rotterdam, one of the ‘Top 10’ largest container seaports in the world. The deal follows on from our first transaction with DHG in 2019 when we acquired a portfolio of distribution centres in three locations in and around Rotterdam. The city’s port area is a leading European logistics hotspot and competition among occupiers for warehouse space in prime locations such as the Maasvlakte is intense, with little high-quality product available due to the rapid take-up of space by domestic and international occupiers.”
The state-of-the-art logistics hub at the western tip of Rotterdam port is 80% pre-let and will comprise 10 warehouse units ranging in size from ca.17,800 to 22,000 sq m plus mezzanine space (ca.1,500 to 2,000 sq m), outside storing terrain and ancillary offices. Tenants include well-known names in the Dutch market including Odin and Zwaluw Logistics. Each unit will be finished to a high specification offering exceptionally smooth concrete floors with a floor load of 6,000 kg/sq m, electrically operated overhead doors on each dock, battery-charging points, LED lighting and floor heating generated by a climate control heat pump. The development is due to be completed in June 2022.
The addition of Smartlog Maasvlakte to the Patrizia portfolio lifts the company’s logistics assets under management in the Netherlands to over €800m, equivalent to roughly 770,000 sq m spread over eight locations across the country. Patrizia’s European logistics portfolio now totals over €6bn in AUM.
Patrizia and developer DHG have entered into a partnership with Dutch solar energy company Sunrock, part of COFRA Holdings, which will own and operate the solar panel installations at Smartlog Maasvlakte. Altogether the ‘sunroof’ can generate 2.5MW of power which will be fed back to the local grid. Including this asset, Patrizia’s Dutch logistics portfolio now comprises almost 400,000 sq m of solar panels, generating sufficient energy for nearly 12,000 households.
Emile Poort, Patrizia’s Country Manager for the Netherlands and Head of Transactions Benelux, said: “The logistics sector has proven to be a safe haven during the Covid-19 pandemic and as economic recovery continues, we are seeing further growth in e-commerce and increasing demand from logistics occupiers, especially for assets that have strong sustainability credentials.”
Smartlog Maasvlakte is ideally located in Europe’s largest container hub served by state-of-the-art deep-sea, inland waterway barge and rail terminals. Distripark Maasvlakte West has excellent connections to the European hinterland via high-frequency multimodal connections. The proximity of Rotterdam city means employers can also tap into a pool of skilled logistics workers.
Rotterdam is the Netherland’s second largest city with a population of over 650,000 inhabitants representing more than 180 different nationalities and a port covering a surface area of 12,600ha. The Maasvlakte was created in the 1960s by reclaiming land from the North Sea, and Distripark Maasvlakte West, the only ‘greenfield’ site available for distribution in the area, is located on the most recently reclaimed land which extended the port area by 2,000ha upon completion in 2013. Rotterdam port accommodates the arrival of more than 30,000 maritime ships and over 105,000 inland waterway vessels annually, with its intermodal transport connections spanning highways, 400 international rail connections and pipelines. The volume of goods throughput in Rotterdam in 2020 totalled 436.8m tonnes, double the figure for Antwerp port and triple that of Hamburg.
Logistics real estate investment volumes in the Netherlands have surged in 2021 and are set to eclipse last year’s record of €3.4bn. The strength of the market is underpinned by occupier take-up, which was already higher in the first nine months of 2021 than the total achieved in full-year 2020.