Asset manager AEW has launched a new urban logistics and light industrial platform with €475 million of start-up equity, but targeting an initial portfolio of about €800 million.
Known as ULLIS – Urban Logistics and Light Industrial Strategy – the new platform is structured as a scalable partnership but investors already committed are long-term partners of AEW in the logistics sector. They include PGGM, Allianz Real Estate and Crédit Agricole Assurances.
ULLIS aims to build a core portfolio in major metropolitan areas of France, Germany and the Netherlands. The asset manager said in a statement that there is “a chronic supply shortage” of logistics and light industrial space in these locations while demand is robust and increasing.
Most of the equity is destined for brown-field, build-to-core developments, which will be supported by the acquisition of some income producing assets.
The statement said that structural trends support demand for industrial space across urban locations and are likely to further intensify because of growing urbanisation, increasing distribution in urban areas, the development of industry 4.0 and industrial re-shoring in Europe.
“The pace of change is accelerating, fuelled by the impact of new technologies, and market demand for industrial space within dense urban areas is growing,” said AEW co-head of institutional fund management, separate accounts and club deals Rémy Vertupier.
“Considering the high occupancy levels across existing stock and restricted new supply, we decided to launch ULLIS with a strategy mainly focused on the development of small to large urban projects through the conversion of obsolete outdated buildings and the regeneration of brownfield land,” he added.