The real estate arm of $354bn (€284bn) asset manager Barings has acquired land in South Verona, Italy to build a 75,000sqm logistics complex.

The land was purchased off-market from an Italian real estate fund managed by Kryalos SGR.

The LEED certified complex will be built in two phases by local developer Logiman.

Logiman will build 40,000sqm of space this year and a further 35,000sqm by the middle of 2022.

The development is situated some 10km south of Verona city centre at the intersection between the east-west and north-south European ‘core network corridors’.

Valeria Falcone, portfolio manager and real estate country head for Italy at Barings, said: “The availability of modern, grade-A logistics space in the Italian market is decreasing due to the fast absorption of new speculative developments in key locations, such as Verona.

“This acquisition presents a rare opportunity to acquire a strategically located parcel of land for the phased development of a modern, high quality logistics scheme, including a last-mile warehouse, that we are confident will appeal to the occupational market, as already confirmed by the current strong interest demonstrated by operators for the project.”

Barings has already acquired close to 190,000sqm of logistics space in Italy over the past 18 months and has secured a pipeline of a further three transactions in the north of the country.

Gunther Deutsch, managing director and head of real estate transactions for Europe at Barings, said: “We expect logistics to remain one of the most resilient asset classes in real estate, supported by the continued growth of the e-commerce market, which is still underdeveloped in Italy, and the increased focus on supply chain certainty in the wake of COVID-19.

“At the start of 2020, our ambition was to bolster our already overweight position in logistics on behalf of our core and value-add investment strategies for our clients, and we have done just that – 90% of our transactions this year have been done off-market, demonstrating the strength of our local presence, the importance of which has been exacerbated by COVID-19.

“We have invested just short of €500m into logistics in 2020 and in 2021 we are expecting to accelerate that, targeting the Nordics, the Netherlands, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.”