Commerz Real has signed an agreement on the sale of the office property “One Snowhill” to Union Investment Real Estate. Closing is expected to be completed in this week. It was agreed between the contractual parties that confidentiality be maintained on the purchased price. The building in a central location in Birmingham was completed in 2009 and had been in the portfolio of the open-ended real estate fund hausInvest since 2010. For the fund the transaction is taking place in the framework of a portfolio adjustment, in which the commitment in the office sector in Great Britain is being reduced by a moderate amount in favour of future investments in the retail sector. Thus in Westfield London, already one of Europe’s largest inner-city shopping centres, two additional storeys with a total area of some 8,300 square metres are to be built above the existing area of the Marks & Spencer department store in the coming year, for example.
The property “One Snowhill” has some 24,500 square metres of rentable area which – with an occupancy rate of 94 per cent – are virtually leased in full; the majority of the space is used by Barclays Bank and the management consultancy KPMG. In the spring of this year it was also possible to acquire the law firm DWF LLP as a long-term tenant. The real estate has been awarded the globally acknowledged sustainability certificate BREEAM with the rating “very good”. “One Snowhill” is located within Birmingham’s central business district and in the immediate vicinity of “Snowhill” railway station with direct rail links to London and the West Midlands.
Source : Commerz Real
The One Snowhill office block in Birmingham, which comprises approximately 24,500 sq m of rental space, has a new owner. Completed by developer Ballymore in 2009 and acquired in 2010 by Commerz Real for its open-ended real estate fund hausInvest, the Grade A property is becoming part of the Unilmmo: Europa open-ended real estate fund operated by Union Investment Real Estate GmbH in an off-market transaction. The parties agreed not to disclose details of the purchase price. The twelve-storey building has a BREEAM rating of “Very Good” and is let on long-term leases to financially strong tenants KPMG, Barclays Bank PLC and law firm DWF LLP. The current occupancy rate is 94 per cent. In addition to stable returns, the excellent and highly accessible location in Birmingham’s commercial centre with direct train links to London and the West Midlands combined with the high construction standard of One Snowhill make this a core investment.
“We are acquiring one of the best office buildings outside London in One Snowhill. After investments in Manchester, Glasgow and most recently Cardiff, this opens up another important regional location in the UK, thereby continuing an investment strategy which is adapted to the growing strength of the London investment market,” said Martin Brühl, head of International Investment. One Snowhill contributes to regional diversification of the UK portfolio 2 Hamburg, 16 December 2013 of Union Investment’s Europa fund, which currently consists of three properties worth some EUR 520 million in total.
As the UK’s second largest city, with approximately one million inhabitants, Birmingham has a broadly diversified, dynamically evolving economy with an emphasis on the automotive and financial services industries. Rents are forecast to increase in the Birmingham office market over the next few years, especially in the core segment.
Source : Union Investment