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RealCast: Amazon powers up, green schemes, travel reborn, firms leaving London

Nicol Dynes, Dan Innes, Paul Strohm and Richard Betts

In the spotlight this week:

In the logistics sector, Savills says around 12.3 billion parcels are delivered in Europe per year of which c20% are returned, alone generating a requirement for 1.7 million square meters. The advisor suggests physical shops could be partially reconfigured as returns facilities.

Meanwhile, Italian investor Generali has hired Pierre-David Baylac, formerly of CBRE Global Investors to head a new logistics property division and Anita Simaza has joined Newsec as head of logistics and industrial. And, e-commerce giant Amazon has become the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy, having bought nine new energy projects. The company will be five years ahead of its original zero-carbon target of 2030.

While last week’s climate summit heard President Biden announce the US is to reduce greenhouse emissions by 50% by 2030 and the UK said it will cut emissions by 78% by 2035, the redevelopment of Chelsea Barracks in London was the first scheme in Europe to receive LEED platinum certification. Another massive urban regeneration scheme progresses in Milan, the focus again very much on green spaces and the environment.

Meanwhile, hotels are getting back on track. Marriott Hotels called it “the renaissance of travel”. And in the UK more employers are setting up units outside London as part of the levelling up of London bias. Goldman Sachs is to build a fintech hub in Birmingham and parts of the Bank of England are moving to Leeds.

In the residential markets Moorfield Group is partnering prop tech company Brick Lane to build a £600 million PRS portfolio…In the retail sector, Hammerson confirmed its exit from the UK retail park sector, and…logistics again…Macquarie Asset Management acquired the final asset in a €190 million logistics portfolio in Poland. Finally, Amazon makes a move into hairdressing, but not as we know it.

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