In early 2023, Chancerygate appointed Jason Sharman as its first European director as part of an ambitious expansion strategy.
With a 24-year career working in central Europe, Jason has extensive knowledge of the European property, multi-let industrial (MLI) and urban logistics markets and has gathered key insights into what shapes regional real estate decision making.
In this article, Jason provides an initial insight into our European strategy and explores target opportunities.
Why expanding into Europe makes sense
Since it was founded in 1995, Chancerygate has grown to become the UK’s largest urban logistics property developer and asset manager, and the only developer operating nationwide.
We believe that the fundamental drivers of this growth are as relevant across Europe as they are in the UK with a strong focus on:
Our European strategy will consider both leasehold and freehold (unit by unit) disposals offering a point of difference to our competition.
The initial steps of our European growth journey were taken in 2022 with the acquisition of a site close to Dublin airport where planning is anticipated shortly with a start on site in Q1 2024. Details of our proposed development, called Airport Trade Park, are available here.
We anticipate announcing the recruitment of a country manager for Ireland shortly to facilitate further growth in this market.
The next stage of growth will comprise the acquisition of our first sites and establishing a presence in the Iberian markets.
There are several reasons as to why we have concluded that Iberia represents an ideal starting point for our European growth including prevailing economic conditions, occupier, and competitor dynamics.
Despite ongoing global economic challenges, Spain and Portugal benefit from stable economies, with overall positive GDP growth projections post 2023.
|GDP Growth (% y-o-y)||2022||2023||2024|
The Iberian economies contain an unusually high concentration of SMEs which drive demand for the unit size and scheme configuration that we aspire to deliver.
Another factor driving causal demand is the poor quality of available units. The quality of existing stock providing units of comparable size is almost wholly secondary and highly granular which are poorly laid out and with high site coverage.
Modern tenants are desperate for higher quality accommodation which better reflects their brand values. This stock is simply not available.
This presents an opportunity for Chancerygate to leverage our best-in-class designs, layouts and specifications to benefit occupiers.
The vast majority of international and local industrial developers operating in Iberia tend to focus on big box and last mile developments. This leaves a gap in in the less congested space of the urban logistics market.
We believe that the Iberian urban logistics sector presents an attractive risk:return profile with supply demand dynamics that will be accretive to strong rental growth in the short term. This profile also makes the market attractive to institutional investors and funders.
We are initially exploring sites in Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona as they are more established, larger markets with strong occupier and investor diversity. Our target sites are between one and six hectares, in existing industrial locations with transport links providing a 20-40 min drive from city centres.
Once established we envisage expanding to the other key population hubs such as Porto, Valencia, Malaga and Bilbao.
We intend to bring the core design elements of the proven Chancerygate product to these regions, carefully merging these with the specific elements required by occupiers and planners in the region.
Inherently, we will ensure that occupiers are able to benefit from flexible, high-quality units that are aesthetically pleasing, efficient and provide a point of difference to that offered in the market currently.
Establishing a local presence
Setting up a local presence through regional offices forms an essential component of our European expansion strategy.
Having a local team facilitates a stronger brand presence and fosters meaningful relationships with agents, municipalities, occupiers and the wider real estate community. It also enables us to react faster and improve decision making to source strong development opportunities.
We are therefore in the process of setting up offices in Madrid, Lisbon and Dublin with an aim to have personnel in each by the end of 2023.
Importantly, as we embark on this journey, we will not lose sight of our commitment to be market leaders on sustainability. We will maintain our focus with a clear, positive and proactive ESG agenda, developing highly sustainable, market-leading institutional quality schemes.
Setting new trends in Europe
This is an exciting time for us at Chancerygate and a new chapter for the business as we work to graduate our best-in-market schemes from the UK to Europe.
We are focused on bringing forward adaptable and highly functional schemes on the continent which are developed on brownfield sites close to infrastructure links for SME occupiers.
After establishing our initial European presence in Iberia and Dublin, our medium term ambition is to establish a network of operations across Europe.
Embedded in our strategy, our overarching plan is to offer flexible, sustainable high quality product to market to support occupier demand. This, in turn, will also open new opportunities for institutional investors funders.
Chancerygate is identifying opportunities for growth in the European urban logistics market through acquisition of development sites and value add investments. To find out more or discuss any opportunities, call Jason Sharman on M: 07385 297250 or E: email@example.com