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

“In Japan, we see strong leasing momentum on newer, larger floor-plate development projects,” says Jaquier, who oversees AMB’s eight-million-sf portfolio here. The brisk pace in populating the newest facility also reflects tenant demand for state-of-the-art distribution space in superior Japanese submarkets, added Jaquier.

Logistics firm Atena Co. Ltd. secured the 305,000 sf for use as its main distribution center for the Kanto region. The remaining space is being split between Kintetsu World Express, another logistics company, and KoKubu & Co. Ltd. The latter company is a manufacturer, wholesaler and distributor of food products and other consumer goods.

In explaining his firm’s interest, Kintetsu deputy general manager Takashi Sakai praised the quick access to both Haneda and Narita Airports, and strong highway access throughout the market. Operationally, Sakai calls the building “a superb warehouse and distribution facility.” The company is familiar with AMB, already occupying space from the San Francisco-based REIT in North American cities such as Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Vancouver.

Atena executive director Kazuhiko Watanabe also praised the location of AMB’s five-story Tokyo project beyond its presence in an area embraced by the logistics sector. The property, he explains, is being developed near a commuter rail station and an existing Atena operation that will be moved to the new facility upon completion. “We are also very impressed with the building’s security and other specifications, which meet our high standards and requirements,” adds Watanabe.

The project is also in keeping with AMB’s investment strategy that favors infill submarkets throughout the targeted regions of its industrial portfolio, which is among the largest globally. As of the first quarter, the company owned or had investments in more than 128 million sf in 40 markets and 13 countries. Asia has become a key focus for AMB in the new millennium, and the REIT has established itself as a leader in creating an inventory of modern, third-party logistics space to accommodate Japan as the country emerges from nearly two decades of economic malaise. The Japanese portfolio is concentrated in Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo.

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