Sergio Argüelles
Director General
FINSA
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View from the Top

Energy-Efficient and Sustainable Industrial Property

Tue, 09/01/2015 - 13:03

Q: What factors have defined FINSA’s growth trajectory and led to the company managing one of the largest property portfolios in Latin America?

A: During the 38 years that FINSA has been operating, we have strived to offer completely integrated property solutions, providing assistance with site selection and the ongoing maintenance of property. Additionally, the social and sustainability focus engrained in our developments has enabled us to position ourselves as market leaders in industrial development in Mexico. The ability to completely integrate all of these services into one package has been our differentiator. In terms of construction and design, we offer our clients the possibility of adjusting aspects to meet their preference, as well as giving the option of renting rather than buying. Once they have the keys to the property, we actively maintain its quality, as well as focusing on the building’s sustainability features during operations. All of this simplifies the process for the client, as they can rely on one group from start to finish, rather than contracting several companies to complete the process and the aftersales service. In terms of sustainability, FINSA is the leading industrial park operator in Mexico, developing the most certified parks according to the Federal Attorney General’s Office of Environmental Protection (PROFEPA) program. All of the raw materials used in construction are certified in order to save the maximum amount of energy possible, and our new developments integrate the most advanced infrastructure, equipment, design, and execution.

Q: To what extent has industrial real estate demand from the automotive industry in Mexico been instrumental in fueling the company’s domestic growth?

A: The automotive industry currently represents 50% of FINSA’s property portfolio. The boom within the sector has positively influenced our growth in primary automotive bases, such as Ramos Arizpe, Puebla, Aguascalientes, Querétaro, and Nuevo León, but in general, all of Mexico has been influenced positively by this growth. In 1977, when FINSA began operations at the Matamoras park in Tamaulipas, GM was our very first client. Since that moment, the automotive industry has become one of the growth catalysts for the company throughout Mexico. In 1992, together with Volkswagen, we established our first industrial park for this sector in all of Latin America in Peubla. As a result, Volkswagen was able to integrate its suppliers into the park. To date, FINSA Puebla continues its expansion process and has become one of the most successful industrial parks that is specifically targeted toward suppliers. We work with a wide variety of industrial sectors besides automotive, including logistics, metalmechanics, electronics, pharmaceuticals, alimentary, and aerospace, among others. Our 25 industrial parks in the North Region, the Bajio region and Central Mexico occupy eight million square meters of land in total. Included in this total are another 17 locations in other cities that our clients have chosen in order to remain close to the available manpower, and according to their potential growth, should they need extra space to develop at a later date.

Q: Where have you been focusing industrial park development around the country, and what have been some of the most interesting success stories?

A: We always look for the most industrially dynamic cities for our developments. Nuevo Leon remains one of our principal investment locations, and to date we have four industrial parts in the state, which will undoubtedly increase in the near future. The Bajio area, especially Queretaro and Aguascalientes, are also markets which we never lose sight of, and in which we will continue to invest. Furthermore, the center of Mexico is of great interest and we are on the verge of announcing some new developments. Generally, property occupation rates are steady on the Mexican border with the US, and we are sure that by the end of 2015 they will have improved further. Contrastingly, the markets in Bajio and Central Mexico are much more dynamic, and are becoming increasingly sought after. The number of companies arriving in these states is converting them into the preferred states to invest in. However, regarding the ease of operations for international companies within the real estate sector in terms of the regulatory and commercial environment, the main hurdles for which new companies should prepare include the legal paperwork required to establish a business here. Fortunately, the most important improvements have already been tackled and state governments are increasingly supportive during these processes.