What would you consider to be some of the standout accomplishments for FUNO® (Fibra UNO) in the last year?

In the past year, our primary focus has been extending support to our tenants. It’s our responsibility to ensure that our tenants can conduct their businesses smoothly, thereby enabling our business to flourish as well. Presently, we’re witnessing many of their enterprises making recoveries. Several of our shopping centers are experiencing foot traffic levels akin to pre-pandemic times. The situation has significantly impacted households and their incomes. Nevertheless, after prolonged lockdowns, people are eager to resume their lives. For us, continuing this support to our tenants stands as a paramount achievement, fostering their swift recovery to pre-pandemic levels.

What trends do you foresee in retail spaces in the forthcoming years?

The current trend in shopping centers emphasizes increased entertainment options and a pronounced focus on food. Initially comprising approximately 9% of our portfolios upon acquisition, the food and entertainment segment now constitutes nearly 30%. In Mexico, individuals tend to frequent shopping centers for leisurely strolls, creating diverse consumption patterns—an emerging trend in the commercial landscape. Moreover, we perceive “location, location, location” as a pivotal asset in FUNO®’s portfolio. However, when juxtaposed with other countries of similar characteristics, Mexico boasts a considerably higher number of square meters of retail space per capita. Consequently, there’s considerable room for growth in the retail sector.

How would you assess the competitiveness of the REIT market in Mexico presently?

As founding members of the Mexican Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (AMEFIBRA), I regard the managers of these trusts—FIBRAs in Spanish—as industry peers. Cumulatively, if we aggregate the square meters of FIBRAs, FUNO® represents 45%. There is still potential for more FIBRAs to join, and we anticipate a wave of consolidation in this sector.

With an increasing number of young individuals expressing interest in public market investment, has this impacted investment in FIBRAs in Mexico?

FIBRAs are still relatively nascent in the market. I consistently prioritize educating investors about the nuances and advantages of FIBRAs to broaden access to the retail market in Mexico. Among FUNO®’s Mexican and foreign investors, Mexican investors currently account for approximately 12-13%. Of this, 10-11% is attributed to Retirement Fund Administrators (AFORES) and insurance companies, while 2% comes from private banking and brokerage firms. In the United States, about 90% of the economically active population holds brokerage firm accounts, whereas in Mexico, despite an economically active population of 80 million, only 200,000 accounts exist for a population of 126 million. This cultural disparity holds immense significance. I am committed to expanding this accessibility, enabling improved public access on a daily basis.

Could you outline the goals for the Mítikah project this year?

The Mítikah Tower, featuring 62 floors and 670 apartments, has already sold over 600 units. The tower’s construction is planned across three phases. We’re on track to initiate the handover of the first 20 floors within the next 60 days, with the goal of concluding all apartment handovers by year-end. By next year, our aim is for the tower to be entirely occupied. Simultaneously, we’re targeting the completion and early 2022 opening of the shopping center within the complex, adjacent to the San Ángel Inn Hospital. This phase will include 10 fully occupied levels designated for consulting rooms. The subsequent phase will introduce a new office tower, culminating in a fully integrated complex comprising a hotel, hospital, consulting rooms, shopping center, fitness centers, offices, and residences, effectively forming a self-sustained urban environment.

What are the primary objectives for FUNO® in the remaining part of this year?

Our primary aim is stability, both for our future tenants and our own operations. Emerging from such a challenging year, our focus now lies on moving forward. Currently, we have a large industrial development in the north of Mexico City, encompassing 370,000 square meters of warehouses, with approximately 150,000 square meters already completed and occupied. We are accelerating construction as every square meter finished equates to a leased square meter. My personal endeavor would be to expedite the completion of this development as soon as possible.

Are you positioning your portfolio to capitalize on this market opportunity?

Absolutely. We are leveraging all our land reserves, whether designated for light industry, warehousing, or logistics. The United States’ growth of up to 8% can positively impact Mexico. Consequently, light industry, particularly in border states, is witnessing a surge. Logistics, constituting about one-quarter of the country’s GDP, remains Mexico’s largest market and is projected to continue growing in the coming years. Our focus is on bolstering and fostering Mexico’s growth, particularly within the light industry, logistics, and warehousing sectors.

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