Ardstone, the Irish investment and development platform, has secured a €130m green loan facility from Nuveen Real Estate (NRE) for its Dublin based core open-ended social and affordable housing fund.
The announcement coincides with the acquisition of a €180 mln portfolio of three prominent suburban apartment developments, adding a total of 400 units to the firm's rapidly growing portfolio.
Ardstone said it was on target to reach a portfolio size of €1 bn by the end of the year, and €2 bn by the end of 2022. At least 75% of the portfolio will be invested in social and affordable housing.
Donal O’Neill, CEO of Ardstone, said: 'We are delighted to partner with Nuveen on this deal. Ardstone and Nuveen share several key investment themes, and there is a unique opportunity with the ARIF strategy to fund and provide much-needed, social and affordable housing for the Irish market.
'Furthermore, the entire portfolio will be A-rated, and our environmental and societal targets are aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. We can therefore make a hugely positive contribution to Ireland’s housing shortage while investing in sustainable properties and increasing access to high quality living conditions.'
Since launching in January, Ardstone Residential Impact Fund (ARIF) has acquired 13 assets comprising 1,670 newly constructed units, representing five of the largest transactions to occur in the Irish market this year. It also has a pipeline of 2,500 additional units, with more funding and acquisitions to be announced imminently.
The vehicle pursues sustainable societal objectives and the reduction of carbon emissions in its investments. The target is for all assets in the portfolio to have a green building certification.
Ardstone will be partnering with recognised third-party service providers on ESG benchmarking, such as GRESB at the fund level, to measure the ESG-performance.
Christian Janssen, managing director and head of real estate bebt for Europe at Nuveen Real Estate, said: 'We are pleased to support Ardstone in the implementation of their investment strategy with this long-term, green loan.
-The focus on social and affordable housing, as well as the pursuit of sustainable societal objectives and the reduction of carbon emissions, is complementary to our own strategies and goals.'