(Read more on the industrial market.)

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TOKYO-Headlined by a 305,000-sf commitment, AMB Property Corp.has fully leased a 470,000-sf industrial building underconstruction in an infill submarket near the city's air and seadistribution networks. The AMB Funabashi Distribution Center filledup one year ahead of projections, according to Guy Jaquier,president of the REIT's Asia and European divisions.

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"In Japan, we see strong leasing momentum on newer, largerfloor-plate development projects," says Jaquier, who oversees AMB'seight-million-sf portfolio here. The brisk pace in populating thenewest facility also reflects tenant demand for state-of-the-artdistribution space in superior Japanese submarkets, addedJaquier.

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Logistics firm Atena Co. Ltd. secured the 305,000 sf for use asits main distribution center for the Kanto region. The remainingspace is being split between Kintetsu World Express, anotherlogistics company, and KoKubu & Co. Ltd. The latter company isa manufacturer, wholesaler and distributor of food products andother consumer goods.

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In explaining his firm's interest, Kintetsu deputy generalmanager Takashi Sakai praised the quick access to both Haneda andNarita Airports, and strong highway access throughout the market.Operationally, Sakai calls the building "a superb warehouse anddistribution facility." The company is familiar with AMB, alreadyoccupying space from the San Francisco-based REIT in North Americancities such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle andVancouver.

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Atena executive director Kazuhiko Watanabe also praised thelocation of AMB's five-story Tokyo project beyond its presence inan area embraced by the logistics sector. The property, heexplains, is being developed near a commuter rail station and anexisting Atena operation that will be moved to the new facilityupon completion. "We are also very impressed with the building'ssecurity and other specifications, which meet our high standardsand requirements," adds Watanabe.

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The project is also in keeping with AMB's investment strategythat favors infill submarkets throughout the targeted regions ofits industrial portfolio, which is among the largest globally. Asof the first quarter, the company owned or had investments in morethan 128 million sf in 40 markets and 13 countries. Asia has becomea key focus for AMB in the new millennium, and the REIT hasestablished itself as a leader in creating an inventory of modern,third-party logistics space to accommodate Japan as the countryemerges from nearly two decades of economic malaise. The Japaneseportfolio is concentrated in Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo.

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