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CBRE Investment To Buy $4.9B In Warehouses From Ross Perot Jr.’s Hillwood

CBRE Investment Management is placing its faith in the continued rise of e-commerce with its purchase of a $4.9B global portfolio of logistics assets — marking one of the largest industrial property sales of all time.

The demand for warehouse space hit a record high during the pandemic as more consumers shopped from home.

The portfolio consists of about 28M SF of warehouses, distribution centers and logistics facilities in the U.S., UK, Germany and Poland, according to an exclusive report by The Wall Street Journal. Hillwood Investment Properties, founded by Ross Perot Jr., is the developer and builder behind the properties, about two-thirds of which are built and leased, per the WSJ.

According to the International Trade Administration, e-commerce’s share of total retail sales jumped from 13.6% in 2019 to 18% in 2020 as more consumers purchased goods from home. By 2024, that share is expected to increase to 21.8%.

An increased tendency to shop online is driving a surge in demand for industrial space, which Cushman & Wakefield reported hit a record high in Q3 2021 when 140.7M SF was absorbed across the U.S. 

Nearly half of the 57 assets are located in Europe, where e-commerce is just beginning to gain the momentum seen in the U.S., Chuck Leitner, chief executive of CBRE investment, told the WSJ. According to a 2021 report by Ecommerce Europe, the percent of European e-shoppers increased from 66% in 2019 to 71% in 2020.

The properties snapped up by CBRE are located in areas with easy access to talent, superior transportation systems and a large number of consumers, Leitner told the WSJ.

“It’s a portfolio that was built and designed to be very responsive [to online] retailers,” he said, noting that the sale will close in stages over this year and could continue into 2023.