Hines on Tuesday announced the development of Namyang Logistics Center in South Korea, marking the US real estate firm’s second cold storage project in Asia Pacific in the last six months.
The five-storey logistics centre in Hwaseong, a Greater Seoul city between Incheon Airport, Incheon Port and Pyeongtaek Port, will offer 460,000 square feet (42,735 square metres) of space and provide access to over 20 million people within 30 miles, Houston-based Hines said in a release.
Targeting both cold and dry storage users and last-mile logistics providers, the facility will feature 30-foot-plus clear heights, floor loads exceeding 2 tonnes and truck access to all levels of the building. Construction of Namyang Logistics Center is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.
“Hwaseong is a strategic submarket for us as the fastest-growing city in the Greater Seoul area, and this Hines quality development will give a superior advantage to our future tenants to better serve the region and meet consumer demand,” said Harry Lee, director at Hines.
The logistics project is the latest sign of Hines growing presence in South Korea since the company established its Seoul office in 2013.
“Over the last five years, we have seen a significant spike in e-commerce growth in Korea and an uptick in demand for logistics and the need for more temperature-controlled warehousing throughout the region,” said Drew Huffman, managing director at Hines. “We look forward to continuing to expand this product offering in South Korea and the Asia Pacific region as we grow our real estate portfolio.”
News of the Korean cold chain project comes after Hines last November joined forces with Metropolitan Real Estate Equity Management — then owned by Carlyle Group, now part of BentallGreenOak — to acquire a 363,820 square foot cold storage facility and adjacent development site in southern China’s Guangdong province.
The Walmart-leased property is in Dongguan’s Shatian district, a logistics hub for the Pearl River Delta urban corridor comprising nine mainland cities plus Hong Kong and Macau. Hines and its partner plan to build an additional multi-storey cold storage complex on the adjacent site.
Before taking on this logistics project, Hines had focused much of its efforts related to Korea on investor relations, with that approach having helped to boost the firm’s fund management business in the region.
In December, Hines teamed up with South Korea’s National Pension Service on a $1.5 billion joint venture to invest in real estate projects globally. The JV’s build-to-core strategy encompasses residential, office, logistics and mixed-use opportunities.
This month, Hines revealed the creation of a flagship fund for the Asia Pacific region, boosted by a $400 million capital commitment from Canadian pension manager Cadillac Fairview.
The fund, called Hines Asia Property Partners, is a multi-sector, open-ended, diversified vehicle targeting top-tier markets in Japan, Australia, South Korea, Singapore and China (including Hong Kong).
Founded in 1957, privately-owned Hines has a presence in 240 cities in 27 countries. The firm oversees a portfolio of assets under management valued at $160.9 billion.
Since 1996, Hines has expanded throughout 13 cities in Asia Pacific across Australia, China (including Hong Kong), India, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, with over 200 employees and $5.3 billion in assets under management.