(FRANKFURT, GERMANY) — Hines, the international real estate firm, today announced the launch of a new investment strategy in the logistics sector in Germany. Over the next 18-24 months, the firm plans to invest capital totaling approximately €400 million in logistics properties in the German market. There will also be a focus on development projects in selected locations. With the new strategy, Hines is expanding its established investment approach and concentration on core properties. This is a response on the rapidly growing demand for high-quality logistics facilities and the company is making a decisive move to benefit from the future potential of the segment. Last year, Hines sold a portion of its existing logistics portfolio in a pan-European transaction to a large institutional investor.
As the first property acquisition under the new strategy, Hines has now purchased a 36,000-square-meter logistics complex in Maintal near Frankfurt for the Hines Global Income Trust. Situated next to the autobahn A66, the site is very close to one of Germany's most important markets. The property is fully leased to the logistics service providers Deutsche Post (DHL) and Schenker, as well as the timber wholesaler Becher. The building was sold to Hines by the private investors Werner Gutperle and Jürgen B. Harder.
Christian Meister, Hines managing director said, "With this acquisition we are consequently following our new investment strategy and demonstrating our growth ambitions in this asset class after the purchases of several core properties in recent years. Our focus is on core-plus and value-add properties in good to excellent locations. Moreover, along with investments in the logistics sector, we will also be active as a project developer."
Due to steady growth in online sales, Hines anticipates a strong long-term trend in the market demand for logistics properties as well as increasing rent levels. For parcel services, one of the biggest challenges is the "last mile" – the transport of goods from the warehouse to the customer's door. This makes it essential to have access to modern logistics facilities, especially with excellent transport connections. With the completion of the planned autobahn link “Riederwald Tunnel,” the complex purchased by Hines in Maintal will therefore offer prospective tenants even better conditions in the medium to long term.
"Against that backdrop, and after an extensive review of various options, we will also begin making selective investments in the logistics development business in course of 2019. This will include the purchase of land as well as existing buildings. The developed properties are intended both for our own portfolio and for market sale," said Alexander Möll, Hines senior managing director.
Hines was advised in the acquisition by Pöllath & Partners. In addition, the transaction process was supported by JLL.
Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with a presence in 214 cities in 24 countries. Hines has approximately $120.6 billion of assets under management, including $66.5 billion for which Hines provides fiduciary investment management services, and $54.1 billion for which Hines provides third-party property-level services. The firm has 128 developments currently underway around the world. Historically, Hines has developed, redeveloped or acquired 1,348 properties, totaling over 444 million square feet. The firm’s current property and asset management portfolio includes 512 properties, representing over 223 million square feet. With extensive experience in investments across the risk spectrum and all property types, and a pioneering commitment to sustainability, Hines is one of the largest and most-respected real estate organizations in the world.
Since the opening of its site in Germany in 1991, Hines has acquired or developed a total of 40 properties with an overall surface area of over 1.6 million m² for Hines or on behalf of external clients, including properties such as the Main Tower, 160 Park View and the Silberturm in Frankfurt, Zoom and Wohnpark Südkreuz in Berlin, Hofstatt, Uptown München and OSKAR in Munich, the Überseequartier Nord district in Hamburg, the Benrather Karree and Kö-Quartier in Düsseldorf, and the Postquartier and Kronprinzbau 1+2 in Stuttgart. Hines currently manages property in Germany with an overall value of around €4.1 billion as an asset and development manager.
Since entering Europe in 1991, Hines has grown its European platform to include a presence in 55 cities in 16 countries. Hines currently has about €16.5 billion of assets under management in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Photo: Logistics complex Maintal (Copyright: JLL)