“We are a reasonably large player in the European market,” Ian Worboys, chief executive officer of PointPark Properties (P3) begins. “We have in total 1.3 million square metres of assets and land in ten countries around the continent.”
A wholly owned subsidiary of Arcapita Industrial Management Sarl, P3 was formed in 2001 as a Prague based quality real estate development, asset and investment management business. After five years of steady growth the company expanded into central and eastern Europe, entering the Slovakian market in 2006 and then Poland in 2007. The buyout by Arcapita in 2008 led to the moving of more assets into P3 and a year later it broke into the Spanish region whilst opening its first offices in Germany and the UK. This international presence has been built up through sensible controlled growth and is built upon extensive national knowledge.
Working as an asset manager to investors from all over the world, the service P3 provides covers areas such as sourcing stabilised assets in any market and arranging developing sites for its 72 customers. Investors are provided with tailored reports showing the performance of each asset under management, based on specific requirements and delivered as frequently as demanded by the client. P3 can also work with banks to manage distressed assets that they may hold within their portfolios. During development, when P3 acquires land, it works with engineers, architects and external contractors to build up the property that will eventually be an addition to its portfolio. Companies operating in P3 sites today include DHL, Kuehne & Nagel, Metro Group, JVC and Hoppe to name just a few.
“We have a marketing and sales team who spend their time talking to occupiers, trying to find new opportunities where we can work together”, Ian outlines, pointing to the importance of close relationships between P3 and its customers: “We have a way of doing things that we once called, ‘from cradle to the grave’. What this means is, unlike our competitors, we want to own the buildings even after we lease them. The reason our customers like us is because they know that if something goes wrong with the building three or five years down the line we will still be there as owners ready to fix the problem.”
Like other logistics companies one of the biggest challenges P3 faces is staying ahead of the competition in terms of providing lower costs for its clients: “Everyone is trying to bring costs down and the easiest way to do this is obviously by bringing down rent. With construction costs dropping there are some very attractive building prices out there now and, as perverse as it sounds, the market is such that we can actually provide occupiers with cheaper new buildings than the current ones they are in,” Ian continues before shedding light on another initiative currently being put into action: “We are very pleased to be adding more and more green aspects to our buildings. To sell an occupier the benefits of dealing with green issues you have got to show them that it is going to help bring down their running costs. In the Czech Republic we just leased out all the roof space on our warehouses to a solar panel company so it lowers the operational costs for the company who lease the building and provides the property owners with a new stream of income.”
Initiatives such as those tackling green issues are a response to a market that is showing welcoming signs of improvement in all areas. “In the last year we have seen increased demand across Europe especially in the logistics market. There is also a higher demand for buildings of a bigger size whereas during the recession this shrank dramatically,” Ian highlights: “Recently we have also successfully landed some new buildings at sites in various countries, for example we are currently building a 23,000 square metre building for PF Concept in Poland and are about to start a 14,000 square metre industrial warehouse for Washington Penn in Slovakia.”
Plans for the future focus not just on continued European growth. Ian says: “It is a part of our ambition to be recognised one day as one of the top three players in Europe, if not the world, in logistic asset management and development. We are most definitely shooting for the top.”
PointPark Properties (P3)
Services Real estate development and asset management