Meyer Bergman’s secures first German last-mile asset for new urban logistics platform Crossbay

Leading private equity real estate investment manager Meyer Bergman has acquired a parcel distribution centre in Nuremberg for an undisclosed sum for its last-mile logistics platform Crossbay.

The 5,000 sq. m. property, which is occupied by 3PL provider Hermes, is located on Preßburger Str. 15 near Nuremberg river harbour. The vendor, property investor Dietz AG, was advised by CBRE.

Today’s announcement also builds on the recent acquisition by Crossbay of two already occupied single-tenant last-mile assets close to Amsterdam port and city centre.

Crossbay was launched by Meyer Bergman in May this year. The logistics platform, which is the first to focus specifically on single-tenant distribution centres serving gateway cities across Europe, is targeting up to €2bn in total value.

Today’s deal marks Meyer Bergman’s entrance into the German logistics market and comes shortly after the pan-European investment manager entered the German residential market for the first time after acquiring a majority stake in an 800-home portfolio in the Frankfurt city-region.

Located in Bavaria, Nuremberg is a key hub on the main road and railway intersection connecting the northern and western parts of Germany with Berlin, Frankfurt and the Ruhr-conurbation to Munich, Prague, and Vienna. With 1.35 million inhabitants, Nuremberg is the second-largest agglomeration in Bavaria and ninth-largest agglomeration in Germany, with an average spending power per capita exceeding the German average by 10 percent.

CBRE recorded take-up of around 1.33 million sq., m. in the German industrial and logistics real estate market in the first quarter of 2020 – significantly higher than the five and ten-year averages for the same period despite Covid-19. Over the second quarter, CBRE recorded take-up of 1.62 million sq.m., bringing the total take-up for the first half of 2020 to 2.95 million sq.ft.

Growth of online sales market shares in Germany accelerated because of Covid-19 and will increase from 11.5 percent in 2019 to 17 percent in 2024, and then 20 percent by 2030 according to CBRE.

Meyer Bergman, which has offices in London, Paris and Frankfurt, sees a major opportunity in both last-mile logistics and urban conversions or repurposing existing buildings by bringing in new uses like residential.

Crossbay has its own corporate structure separate from Meyer Bergman and is led by Marco Riva, formerly of Blackstone’s ‘big box’ warehouse business Logicor.

Including near-term pipeline, Crossbay already has close to €500m assets under management, with just under 70 properties spread across Italy, France, Germany, Spain as well as the Benelux countries.

Crossbay’s whole portfolio, approximately 590,000 sq. m. in total size, currently enjoys a 100 percent occupancy rate and weighted average lease break of five years. Tenants include a mix of 3PLs such as FedEx and DHL and e-commerce brands like Amazon.

Crossbay is the latest specialised platform created by Meyer Bergman to target a specific sector. Other active platforms include Meyer Homes, which focuses on residential opportunities in London and south-eastern England, and Revolt Ventures, which invests in real estate-related technology companies.

These platforms sit in addition to Meyer Bergman’s urban mixed-use strategy and closed-end value-add funds, which focus on repositioning or repurposing existing assets in core European cities.

Marco Riva, Head of Crossbay and Logistics at Meyer Bergman, said: “Urban logistics facilities close to both city centres and nearby ports fit perfectly within our strategy of targeting single-tenant distribution centres that are never more than a 30-90 minutes journey out of the city centre.

“The pandemic has proven how crucial last-mile logistics are to the functioning of our modern-day economy yet as it is a sector many investors find difficult to access due to small lot and transaction sizes.

“While there will always be a space for physical retail, coronavirus has undoubtedly fundamentally altered people’s shopping habits and we will see a permanent shift to online, fuelling Europe’s e-commerce boom, and in turn, demand for last-mile facilities close to customers, which is exactly what Crossbay is targeting.”

Meyer Bergman’s secures first German last-mile asset for new urban logistics platform Crossbay