Mapletree Investments continues its drive to add more warehouse space to Japan’s logistics market, announcing this week that it acquired a 116,319 square metre (1,252,047 square foot) site near the city of Fukuoka for development into two blocks of four-storey warehouse facilities.
Singapore-based Mapletree said Tuesday that its total investment in the project, with a gross floor area of 231,648 square metres, would exceed S$550 million ($411 million).
The Temasek Holdings-controlled investment firm did not disclose the acquisition price for the site on southern Japan’s Kyushu island, but it cited the opportunity to grow its logistics portfolio in the country’s third-largest island. Mapletree, which holds logistics assets in North America, Europe, China and Southeast Asia, already has 17 warehouse facilities in its Japan portfolio.
Gateway to Growth
Mapletree’s latest site is located in the city of Chikushino and, once the project is complete, will give the company the ability to serve demand from nearby Fukuoka, a fast-growing metropolis of 1.6 million and the largest settlement on the island.
“Fukuoka, the gateway to Kyushu, is one of the regions in Japan where the group has a high conviction for modern logistics facilities,” said Wong Mun Hoong, Mapletree’s regional chief executive for Australia and North Asia.
Wong highlighted Fukuoka’s appeal as the economic, administrative and cultural centre of the Kyushu region, with various industries locating branches within the city or its vicinity.
“Apart from diversifying our logistics portfolio, this prime land acquisition will enable the group to build a presence in Kyushu, provide quality logistics space to our business partners and deepen our network connectivity in seven out of eight regions in Japan,” he said.
The first phase of the project is scheduled to complete construction in early 2023, with the second building opening in spring 2024. The finished project will offer the largest warehouse space of any project in Kyushu, according to Mapletree, which has offices across 13 markets in Asia Pacific, Europe, Britain and the US and total assets under management of S$60.5 billion.
The Kyushu acquisition furthers Mapletree’s strategy of redeploying capital into investments with higher growth potential after divesting of older assets, which have included several logistics holdings in Japan.
In January, Mapletree announced that it would sell a 98.47 percent stake in its newly-built Mapletree Kobe Logistics Centre in western Japan to Mapletree Logistics Trust (MLT) for JPY 21.9 billion ($200 million). MLT is an Asia-focused logistics REIT overseen by Mapletree Logistics Trust Management Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mapletree. The four-storey facility with over 86,000 square metres of floor space serves the cities of Kobe and Osaka on the main island, Honshu.
In July 2019, the Mapletree-sponsored private real estate fund MJLD sold a portfolio of six Japanese facilities to US private equity giant Blackstone for JPY 100 billion. The centrepiece of that haul was e-commerce titan Amazon’s fulfilment centre for the Greater Tokyo area, a two-building facility in the city of Odawara, 80 kilometres southwest of the capital, with a net lettable area of nearly 200,000 square metres in total.
In April 2019, MLT sold five warehouses, all more than a decade old, to Japanese logistics operator Godo Kaisha T&C for a combined JPY 17.52 billion.