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SHANGHAI-Sealed by a commitment from electronics retailer Best Buy, the 600,000-sf ProLogis Park Minhang has hit 100% occupancy less than a year after ProLogis acquired the property. The complex includes an existing structure and four new facilities currently under construction in one of China’s most vibrant manufacturing districts.

“We anticipated strong customer interest in the park at the time we made our initial investment, but demand has exceeded our initial expectations,” says Ming Mei, president of China operations for the Denver-based real estate investment trust. ProLogis management has been so pleased that additional land has been secured in the Shanghai market, notes Mei, adding that company officials “look forward to continued expansion of our customer base through new agreements with local and international companies.”

In the transaction that filled ProLogis Park Minhang, Best Buy agreed to lease nearly 70,000 sf, roughly half of one of the buildings under construction. “Our new distribution center will serve as an integral component of the supply chain supporting the growth of our business in Shanghai,” says Patrick Xu, logistics director for Best Buy’s China retail platform. The firm is preparing to open several stores in the city of 20 million people.

The agreement is the fourth between ProLogis and Best Buy, which now leases nearly 500,000 sf from the industrial REIT in four locations in the US. The Shanghai lease is the first distribution center deal for Best Buy in China. Other companies that have preleased space at ProLogis Park Minhang include Penske, Pioneer, Schenker and Toshiba, while the landlord also recently landed a pair of Asian firms active in third-party logistics in the region. ProLogis is developing a total of 1.5 million sf in Shanghai, with other ventures including parks planned at Shanghai International Automobile City and in the western part of the city in the Songjiang Industrial Zone.

Since entering China in 2004, ProLogis has expanded rapidly, now owning 17.7 million sf in the country and pledging continued growth through the end of the decade. The REIT already is considered the world’s largest developer, manager and owner of distribution facilities, with operations in 105 markets throughout Asia, Europe and North America. As of mid-year 2007, ProLogis had $29.9 billion of assets comprising 2,523 properties and more than 445 million sf.

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