Nuveen Real Estate buys Korea’s last-mile logistics facility

  • 2019-08-08

Nuveen Real Estate, the investment arm of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, has acquired a last-mile logistics center near Seoul as a growing number of e-commerce platforms and retailers are ratcheting up efforts to offer same-day shipping.

The facility, completed in June, is occupied by South Korea’s leading online shopping platform Coupang and Emart24 convenient store chain. Both companies are ramping up one-day delivery service.

Nuveen, formerly known as TH Real Estate, declined to disclose the transaction value for the entire stake in the building, nor the seller who it just said is a domestic company.

The 24,400-square-meter storage building became the second asset acquired by Nuveen Real Estate’s Asia Pacific Cities Fund, launched in November 2018, and marked its first deal in South Korea.

It is located in Namyangju City, 20 km northeast of central Seoul.

“We anticipate that the rapid expansion of e-commerce and associated third-party logistics demand in the Asia-Pacific region, and particularly Korea, will underpin structural resilience in the sector,” Louise Kavanagh, managing director Asia-Pacific at Nuveen, said in a statement on August 8.

She added that modern logistics centers account for less than 5% of the logistics stock in South Korea where the Internet user penetration reached 90%.

Nuveen acquired the distribution center in partnership with Seoul-based consultancy Sang Investment.

“With the rising demand for same-day delivery service, the last-mile logistics center is expected to see substantial rent growth,” Sang Investment CEO Sang-woung Han said in the statement.

Last-mile logistics refers to the final step of the delivery process.

Asia Pacific Cities Fund’s first acquisition was a 7,900-square meter office tower in Sydney, Australia, reportedly for 115 million euros ($129 million), in November 2018.

The fund’s overall target size is over $2 billion over a five-year period. Nuveen’s parent firm TIAA has committed an initial co-investment of $200 million to the fund.

It focuses on 17 cities across Asia Pacific, including Seoul, Tokyo, Sydney, Brisbane and Singapore, targeting office, retail, industrial and residential assets.

<Edited by Yeonhee Kim>