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SHANGHAI-Industrial CRE heavyweight ProLogis is expanding its global footprint and continues to broaden the REIT’s horizons in Mainland China, with officials unveiling plans to develop a 1.8-million-sf distribution center here near Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport. The $60-million endeavor includes renovation of three existing buildings on a 48-acre parcel, plus construction of four additional structures.

“We expect strong growth in demand for high-quality warehouse space in the area due to the dramatic increase in air cargo predicted for Hongqiao Airport over the next several years,” explains Ming Mei, president of China operations for ProLogis. Hongqiao Airport is undergoing its own growth initiative, notes Mei, a program expected to boost annual cargo volume to nearly one million tons by the end of the decade. The airport presently handles 360,000 tons yearly, putting it fifth in China in terms of cargo volume handled.

ProLogis Park Hongqiao West is situated seven kilometers from the airport and 20 kilometers from Downtown Shanghai, with vehicular access provided to both areas by two major expressways. New rail and subway lines are also being added to the district. “The park property is ideal for logistics and shipping companies using the airport to move product in and out of Shanghai, as well as for companies with local distribution operations,” says Mei, while the surrounding district has also been designated for large-scale hotel, office and retail development.

According to Mei, ProLogis will immediately begin upgrading the three existing buildings, one a warehouse and the other two manufacturing facilities, into distribution space. Four additional buildings will be constructed once that inaugural phase is completed. The new structures will each be two stories and range in size from 200,000 sf to 450,000 sf. When completed, ProLogis will have 14.5 million sf of industrial CRE space throughout China despite having only entered the country in 2004. Major customers of the REIT who are already operating in China include Adidas, Best Buy, DHL, Nokia, Samsung and UPS.

Headquartered in Denver, ProLogis has become the world’s largest developer, manager and owner of distribution-focused facilities, with properties in 105 markets across Asia, Europe and North America. That portfolio encompasses 447 million sf in 2,523 properties, with a total value of $29.9 billion.

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