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Prologis Inc. (PLD - Analyst Report), a leading industrial real estate investment trust (REIT), has recently signed four new lease agreements spanning about 1.1 million square feet in Japan. The deals were penned with existing clients for an undisclosed amount.

Prologis leased 349,300 square feet of industrial space to a local unnamed third-party logistics provider. The lessee will occupy a build-to-suit facility at Prologis Park Kobe within the Osaka market, construction of which is scheduled to commence shortly.

The company leased 230,000 square feet at Prologis Park Osaka 4 building to Hitachi Transport System, a leading third-party logistics provider. The facility spanning over 1.1 million square feet was completed in May 2012.

At the same time, Prologis leased 543,000 square feet in two separate transactions with another major third-party logistics provider. The first of these was a lease agreement for 224,000 square feet at Prologis Park Osaka 4 building. The other transaction included a lease agreement for 319,000 square feet at Prologis Park Zama 2 facility in the Tokyo market.   

Continued leasing activities in the region show signs of stability in the industrial property market in Japan that was held back by the devastation and loss caused by the earthquake and tsunami. Furthermore, it signifies the inherent high quality of the distribution facilities that make them attractive investment propositions for third-party companies to enhance their supply chain efficiencies.

With improving property values and growing institutional demand for quality properties, Prologis has also witnessed a growing customer interest in new build-to-suit development projects across the globe. Additionally, leasing decisions that were earlier postponed due to volatility in the markets are gradually coming off the shelf. As of September 30, 2012, Prologis had approximately 21 million square feet of logistics and distribution space in Japan.

Prologis acquires, develops, operates and manages industrial real estate space in North America, Asia and Europe. The industrial distribution warehouse space of the company is located in some of the busiest distribution markets across the globe. The properties of the company are typically located in large, supply-constrained infill markets in close proximity to airports, seaports, and ground transportation facilities, all of which enable rapid distribution of customers’ products. This has enabled the company to gain a significant pricing advantage over its competitors.

We currently have a Neutral recommendation and a Zacks #3 Rank for Prologis, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. We also have a Neutral recommendation and a Zacks #3 Rank for Winthrop Realty Trust (FUR - Snapshot Report), one of the peers of Prologis.

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