The signing heralds one of the largest transactions in Germany since 2008. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. Ownership of the buildings will be transferred once the required closing conditions are fulfilled, which is expected by the end of this year. Brookfield came out top in a structured international bidding process.
The Potsdamer Platz portfolio marks the second successful real estate transaction of this complexity and size for Frankfurt-based real estate investment manager Savills Fund Management GmbH in just a few months. The sale of the Europe Prime office portfolio to NorthStar for EUR 1.1 billion at the end of 2014 was one of Europe’s largest and most spectacular real estate deals.
“We are delighted that such a high-profile investor as Brookfield has agreed to acquire the real estate portfolio. This emphasises the international significance of Potsdamer Platz as a sought-after business centre and a superlative and vibrant part of Berlin”, said Axel Kraus, managing director of Savills Fund Management GmbH.
Nils Hübener, Head of Investment at Savills Fund Management GmbH, said: “The sale of such a highly diversified property portfolio as Potsdamer Platz Quarter is further proof of our ability to execute large, highly complex portfolio transactions.”
Situated in the heart of Berlin, Potsdamer Platz is one of Europe’s premiere urban quarters and has received multiple awards for its exceptional and ground-breaking architecture, including the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) City District Certificate in Gold (according to the new DGNB Certification System Platin, Gold, Silver, in effect since July 2015). More than 480 national and international companies have offices here, including Hubert Burda, TollCollect, Etihad Airways, ICBC – China’s largest bank – the representative office of the Daimler Group, Habitat, and law firms Freshfields, Raue LLP, Olswang and Morrison & Foerster LLP.
In addition to seven office and five residential buildings, the mixed-use urban quarter portfolio includes the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden shopping centre, a variety of entertainment venues such as the Cinemaxx cinema and the Stage Theater, the Mandala Hotel and some 30 restaurants and cafes, as well as more than 2,000 parking spaces in the underground car park beneath Potsdamer Platz. One Particularly well-known landmark is Potsdamer Platz 1, designed by Berlin-based architect Prof. Hans Kollhoff. The highly visible 103-metre high office tower in a prominent corner location serves as the gateway to the quarter. The adjacent Gleisdreieck car park on Schöneberger Ufer is not part of this portfolio transaction. The properties have an occupancy rate of approximately 80 percent, measured in terms of the total area. Most vacancies are in the office building at Eichenhornstr. 3, which is currently being repositioned. The Atrium Tower, whose imposing lobby with its light and airy glass roof extends over seven storeys, is destined for use as a premium quality multi-tenant building.
The Frankfurt-based real estate fund company, which has been part of the Savills Investment Management Group since September 2015, sold the luxury five-star Grand Hyatt hotel to a subsidiary of Qatar-based Al Faisal Holding for over EUR 100 million at the beginning of 2013.
The Potsdamer Platz Quarter has gross floor space of more than 550,000 sqm. It was built by the Daimler Group in 1998 and was acquired by what is now Savills Fund Management GmbH for the SEB ImmoInvest mutual fund in 2008.
A pioneer among sustainable urban quarters The Potsdamer Platz Quarter complex is the result of a whole series of competitions, designs and plans by an international team of architects led by Renzo Piano and Christoph Kohlbecker. The master plan was based on the idea of a European city: busy streets, different types of use, ground-level arcades in all buildings, wide pedestrian walkways and water areas, putting people at the heart of the quarter. Building ecologists were involved in the Potsdamer Platz project from the beginning. An award-winning end-to-end ecological concept was developed up front both for the initial construction process and for subsequent operation, and is still is running successfully today. At the end of 2011, Potsdamer Platz Quarter was the one of the first urban quarters to be awarded a German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB) certificate. The award covers both sustainability criteria such as preventing water pollution, protecting the soil and ensuring a resource-friendly infrastructure, and socio-cultural criteria such as the amenity value of public areas and noise protection. The quarter also offered impressive solutions to economic considerations such as lifecycle costs, the efficient use of space and value retention.
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