First Industrial to Invest in New State-of-the-Art Logistics Facilities in Belgium

First Industrial Realty Trust Inc.has announced that it has signed on to invest in two state-of-the-art distribution facilities in the heart of Belgium’s “Golden Triangle.” The deal concerns a two building, 1.3 million square-foot business park, which will be known as “First Park Maritime Logistics” on a site that intersects the municipalities of Bornem and Puurs.The facilities will be acquired on a forward-commitment basis on behalf of FirstCal Industrial Europe, a $475 million joint venture between First Industrial and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. This transaction is the first acquisition by First Industrial in Europe and the first for the FirstCal Industrial Europe JV.Both buildings will be able to provide supply chain solutions for a variety of customers looking for logistics space within the Golden Triangle. Construction has started on the first phase, a 461,000 square-foot distribution center located in Bornem, and is expected to be complete in March 2009. The second building, located in Puurs, is still in the development planning stage, and further expansion is contemplated.Both buildings will feature multi-modal access — canal, highway and rail. With docking infrastructure in place, First Park Maritime Logistics is easily accessible through Belgium’s canal system. The site is less than two miles from the A12 Expressway connecting Antwerp and Brussels. Also, a nearby rail spur can be extended to serve the property. The JV is working with the De Paepe Group in the planning and development of this logistics park to meet customers’ multi-modal supply chain needs, according to Kristof de Witte, First Industrial’s country director for Belgium and development director for Europe.  First Industrial was assisted in the transaction by Kurt Bomhals and Luc Kiebooms of King Sturge.