The Business Year

Industrial real estate occupies a special niche in the Mexican market and is seeing a wave of foreign investment even amid uncertainty.

Miguel Ángel Cavazos Villarreal

Chief Managing Partner, Citius Capital

Citius Capital is a 100% Mexican company and has become the largest independent firm in Mexico in its field, which is a point of pride, but also a challenge. Our company was founded in Monterrey with the boom of the maquila industry to help companies find the most fitting industrial space and help with day-to-day property management duties. Then, we grew into Mexico’s major cities and industrial markets. Recently, we opened operations in Mexico City and Guadalajara to better cater to clients prospecting Mexico, although their plants could be established somewhere else in the country. Mexico City is where many decisions are made in Mexico; therefore, on global terms, having offices there is a must. In fact, we have been working for a few global firms with presence in Mexico City who keep us busy. One end-client at the moment is Ikea, which has just announced plans to open a store in Mexico City. In Mexico, there are several submarkets, different ecosystems. You can notice one in the border towns in Northeast and Northwest Mexico where you find them mostly driven by the US economy, sensitive to exchange rates and labor stability. Then you find the second tier with cities like Monterrey and Saltillo, which are in my opinion among the healthiest and most diverse markets in the country, with vacancy rates that range around 7-8%. If a market has a vacancy equal to the annual absorption level, we consider it healthy.

Hernán Montemayor

Managing Director, Roca Desarrollos

We are an industrial real estate developer based in Monterrey with over 20 years of experience. During the last 20 years, we have grown at a rapid pace and have developed over 10 million sqft of industrial buildings all throughout Mexico. We are currently present in nine of the 13 main industrial markets in Mexico. Throughout our history, we have experienced levels of growth around 25% annually and more over the last four years. We started in Monterrey and the surrounding regional areas and are currently investing in other industrial markets in Mexico such as Tijuana, Querétaro, and Mexico City. 2018 was an important year in terms of growth. We ventured into new markets that we did not have a presence in. We experienced growth across all regions; not only in any particular region. The industrial market is always a tale of two cities: The northern market versus the Central and Bají­o market. In the last two years, we have seen steady growth in all markets across Mexico. Right now, we are developing five projects in the Bají­o region, all speculative buildings. In total, we are currently developing around seven speculative buildings across the markets, close to 800,000sqft of development. We continue to see strong demand in every single one of those markets. Our main driver is the health of each of those markets; each one has low vacancies and strong absorption rates.

Mauricio Garza

CEO, Mauricio Garza

2018 was a rollercoaster year, especially given the renegotiation of NAFTA, which made markets unstable. Additionally, we also had elections in Mexico, and to top it up there was a major tax reform in the US. Despite these events, 2018 was a good year for the industrial sector, considering that about half of the new projects closed in Nuevo León where expansions. Mexico is an important platform for companies, so these will continue to arrive. It takes us about eight months to 10 months to close deals with clients, so by third trimester we should see the completion of several new deals. We are happy that two new companies have chosen Interpuerto Monterrey to operate: Jumex and Cosmocel. Our efforts are being focused on creating a more competitive park infrastructure, so that companies have more efficient and better operations. Part of the improvements is to seek new ways to improve connectivity with crossing points at the US border and an improved procedure to deal with customs, that is why we inaugurated our own custom facility at Interpuerto Monterrey, so clients can do the import/export process within Interpuerto Monterrey and save time and money. We are also seeing considerable investments from China, South Korea, and Japan, players that see many opportunities in the domestic market and as a hub to export to the US. Following the arrival of South Korea’s Kia to Nuevo León, there have been further investments by Korean companies.

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