Grégory Blouin, Virtuo Industrial Property’s general director

Four logistics platforms are planned on three sites: Fos Distriport, Sénas and Arles.

Logistics platforms development specialist Virtuo Industrial Property has announced a €100m investment in 2020 for the construction of four logistics warehouses at Fos Distriport, Sénas and Arles. Grégory Blouin, who founded the company in Paris in 2010, reveals his ambitions for the south of France and looks back on his pivotal meeting with Provence Promotion which paved the way to a number of investments.

As it marks its tenth birthday, Parisian group Virtuo Industrial Property is setting its sights on Provence: 2020 will be the year in which it sets up operations in the south of France. The project to build four warehouses on three sites, covering a total area of 120,000 m2, gives the developer a presence on the Lille-Lyon-Marseille axis, with its associated goods flows.

Its initial operations at Fos Distriport date back to 2016. “At the Cannes MIPIM property event, Provence Promotion introduced the potential of the logistics area adjoining the container terminal. As a result, I got in contact with the Port of Marseille-Fos. In late April, I signed a contract for the purchase of two plots – the last ones available. The location is a strategic one, as it will enable operators dealing with large import/export volumes to have a presence near the Fos container terminal for handling packing/unpacking operations and cross trade shipments. Our customers have asked us to establish a base near the docks. The earthworks for the first plot are under way,” explains Virtuo chairman Grégory Blouin.

An initial building covering 42,000m2 – comprising three 12,000m2 cells and one 6,000m2 cell – will be delivered in the first half of 2021. On the other plot, a second logistics warehouse covering 24,000m2 will be built as soon as the first building has reached the marketing phase. Virtuo is banking on growth in the e-commerce and food sectors.

Turnover set to double over three years

The company has also decided to invest in the commune of Sénas, 60km from Marseille, for the provision of courier services, starting in 2021, from a 14,000m2 base. “The region produces fruits and vegetables. We have the option of setting up cold storage areas, particularly for the mass retail sector,” Blouin explains.

Virtuo has also just acquired a 10 ha site in the Trebon industrial area of Arles, where it will build a dry and cold logistics warehouse covering nearly 40,000m2. Taken together, these three investments – which have gone ahead in spite of the health crisis – represent a total of €100m.

“Because of the crisis, some investors who had put their projects on hold have resumed discussions. In other cases, projects are still ongoing, but decision lead times are longer. If the relocations are confirmed, they could create logistics opportunities,” says Blouin, who has further development plans in mind for Provence.

Virtuo Industrial Property employs 15 staff and is expanding continuously. Its 2019 turnover of €27m is set to rise to €34m in 2020. The company is starting its next decade in style, announcing a jump to €53m by 2021.

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