New Chicago Lease Further Evidence that ProLogis is Alive and Kicking

Even if the generals have a brilliant plan for victory, wheels still need to roll at the front line if it’s all going to mean anything. In the case of ProLogis, time might still have to tell regarding the warehouse/distribution giant’s recovery strategy, but the ground-level activity seems to be rolling forward much as usual. ProLogis today announced a lease of about 174,000 square feet of new distribution space near Chicago to Canon USA Inc., the maker of copiers, printers, scanners, fax machines and other office equipment. ProLogis noted in a prepared statement that Canon now occupies multiple ProLogis distribution facilities, in Mexico City, northern New Jersey and Chicago. In the same statement, Doug Kiersey, senior vice president & Midwest regional director for ProLogis, commented, “Despite challenging economic times, ProLogis has experienced solid new leasing activity during the fourth quarter in Chicago. This market is one of the most popular distribution hubs in the United States due to its excellent highway access and central Midwestern location.” Barely a month ago, Walter Rakowich, who replaced Jeffrey Schwartz as ProLogis CEO, outlined a three-point strategy that the company would execute to get itself out of a crisis that saw its stock price plummet. The plan comprised deleveraging ProLogis’ balance sheet, minimizing risk in its business model and downsizing. Two weeks ago, CPN reported that ProLogis or its affiliates had just closed on two major financing deals, one for $104.7 million with a large institutional investor, for 10 years and representing a 58 percent LTV on the five industrial properties securing the loan. The other transaction involved a syndicate of four U.S. and overseas banks that assembled a credit facility comprising a $36.4 million term loan and a $69.4 million revolver.