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Warehouses Win Investors as Unsung Internet-Trade Heroes

The growth of Internet shopping in Europe is luring investors such as Axa Real Estate and Blackstone Group LP to the cinder-block world of warehouses, where yields are beating showy storefronts and sleek offices amid a space shortage.

“Net effective rents could grow by as much as 20 percent over the next four years,” Philip Dunne, president for Europe at San Francisco-based Prologis Inc., the world’s largest warehouse owner, said of the company’s portfolio in the region. “In wider Europe, with a population bigger than the U.S., we have four-and-a-half times less modern product. That gives you some sense of the scale and opportunity for growth.”