ProLogis to double investment in Japan

The industrial property investor hopes to bring its total Japanese investment to $7.9bn by the end of 2009, its Japan chief says.

ProLogis, the Denver-based industrial property developer that has been rapidly expanding its presence in Asia recently, plans to invest 450 billion yen ($3.95 billion) in Japan in the coming two years, its Japan chief told Reuters news service on Wednesday.

Miki Yamada, president and co-chief executive of ProLogis Japan, told the news service that continued strong demand for large and efficient distribution centers has prompted the company to double its investment in the country. The company began its investment in Japan in 2001 and has since that time invested 450 billion yen in assets already completed or currently under development. The company currently operates 69 warehouses in Japan with total floor space of 3.4 million square metres.

Prologis has two funds targeting Japan worth more than 320 billion yen, which it first launched in 2002 in partnership with GIC Real Estate, the government of Singapore’s real estate investment arm. ProLogis and GIC are the only investors in the funds, Prologis Japan Properties I and II.

In December, the partnership fund acquired eight distribution centers located throughout Japan for $136 million from cosmetics company Shiseido, which also sold its logistics operations to Hitachi Transport in a related transaction. 

The distribution and logistics space in Japan has been attracting increased interest. Earlier this year Nomura Real Estate Holdings announced it will invest 200 billion yen into large distribution facilities in Japan over the next few years. Also this year, it was reported that LaSalle Investment Management has been raising a $750 million fund for logistics buildings in Japan.

The comments come just a week after Angela Zhao, the vice president of Prologis China, said at an event in Shanghai that the company plans to more than double its logistics holdings in China in the next two to three years. The company currently has more than 40 distribution facilities in 18 Chinese cities, with 1.27 million square meters of logistics space. Having invested $500 million in China to date, Zhao said the company plans to invest a total of $2 billion in China by the end of 2010.