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Firm building European last-mile logistics platform

19 May 2020

Urban property specialist Meyer Bergman is creating a €2 billion platform allowing institutional investors to tap into surging demand for last-mile distribution centres, with the launch of Crossbay.

Crossbay already has secured over €500m of assets under management (AUM), which Meyer Bergman is on track to double over next 12 months.

It is targeting single tenant assets and current tenants include FedEx, DHL and Amazon.

Meyer Bergman says its last-mile logistics strategy confers some key advantages including:

  • Most goods distributed through last-mile hubs go direct to consumers – something likely to significantly increase post-COVID-19.
  • Occupiers take long leases and pay a premium for the best locations because speedy access to customers gives them a competitive advantage.

Headed by Marco Riva, who led more than €2 billion of deals while at Logicor (Blackstone’s big box warehouse business), Crossbay is the first pan-European real estate platform targeting single tenant assets in gateway cities.

The company says: “Occupiers will benefit from Meyer Bergman’s global network of business partners, which includes many leading retailers, as well as the firm’s asset management expertise and specialist micro-market knowledge from its local teams.

“While being a separate platform, Crossbay is an extension of Meyer Bergman’s urban mixed-use strategy which has managed more than €8 billion of assets across Europe. The company identifies value-add opportunities in core European locations, repurposing and repositioning assets to increase value.”

Including near-term pipeline, Crossbay already has over €500m assets under management, with properties in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands. The portfolio enjoys an occupancy rate in excess of 97%.

Meyer Bergman is also targeting gateway cities in Southern Europe south such as Milan, Rome, Madrid and Barcelona.

Additionally, Meyer Bergman is identifying opportunities in the Nordics and around London, where supply has been extremely restricted.

Growth in investor interest in urban logistics has been underpinned by an imbalance between demand and supply. Increasing urbanisation, the considerable growth of online sales and the reluctance of urban planners to permit the building of warehouses over homes has exacerbated this gulf.

Meyer Bergman is widely known for mixed-use schemes in core locations, such as London’s c.£1.5 billion Whiteleys project, which is held in a joint venture with CC Land.

The company adds: “Although we began our last-mile journey in 2018, COVID-19 has highlighted how integral urban logistics are to all aspects of life. As companies look to reassess their supply chains, we will see significantly enhanced investment targeting this area.

“More than ever, retailers need to be close to their customers, so that is why tenants are willing to sign up to longer leases and pay competitive rents for well-located space. Last mile deliveries make up a significant proportion of retailers’ costs, and every mile and every minute’s delivery time creates expense."