Link Logistics hits quarterly record with Q3 activity

Blackstone unit signed 550 leases in quarter totaling record 23 million square feet

Link Logistics Real Estate, formed less than three years ago by financial titan Blackstone Inc. (NYSE:BX) to focus on last-mile logistics real estate, reported on Tuesday its best quarter ever, signing more than 550 new and renewal leases for a record 23 million square feet and boosting its development pipeline by $1.6 billion over second-quarter totals.

In a third-quarter update, New York-based Link said it invested $5.6 billion during the period to support a pipeline of 30 million square feet. By quarter’s end, Link Logistics had expanded its portfolio to 440 million square feet, the company said.

During the quarter, Link began constructing 1 million square feet of projects at an estimated cost of $180 million.

In a sign of one of the strongest pricing environments in the history of logistics real estate, the company’s “leasing spreads,” the difference between rents on a new lease compared to what was paid before, rose a record 21%, it said.

As with other logistics real estate developers, Link is benefiting from a historic 10-year bull market in U.S. logistics real estate that began with the launch of the e-commerce revolution that accelerated demand for warehouse property to support last-mile fulfillment and deliveries. The market surged anew after the COVID-19 pandemic triggered even greater demand for logistics property, especially in areas close to densely populated consumer end markets.

Even after the pandemic recedes, secular e-commerce growth will combine with some level of inventory near-shoring to extend the bull market for the rest of the decade, according to a recent projection by Prologis Inc. (NYSE: PLD), the world’s largest developer, owner and operator of logistics real estate. Link operates exclusively in the U.S., while Prologis operates on multiple continents.

San Francisco-based Prologis operates 612 million square feet in the U.S. The two companies combined operate 1.052 billion square feet in the domestic market. 

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Mark Solomon

Formerly the Executive Editor at DC Velocity, Mark Solomon joined FreightWaves as Managing Editor of Freight Markets. Solomon began his journalistic career in 1982 at Traffic World magazine, ran his own public relations firm (Media Based Solutions) from 1994 to 2008, and has been at DC Velocity since then. Over the course of his career, Solomon has covered nearly the whole gamut of the transportation and logistics industry, including trucking, railroads, maritime, 3PLs, and regulatory issues. Solomon witnessed and narrated the rise of Amazon and XPO Logistics and the shift of the U.S. Postal Service from a mail-focused service to parcel, as well as the exponential, e-commerce-driven growth of warehouse square footage and omnichannel fulfillment.