Europa Capital picks up repositioning opportunity in Germany’s R&D hotspot

Europa Capital, the pan-European real estate investment manager, in partnership with AccumulataReal Estate Investment Management has acquired the Horizon II office building in Stuttgart-Vaihingen, dubbed the 'R&D capital of Germany'.

The deal was struck on behalf of its latest value add fund, from a property company managed by JP Morgan Asset Management.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Comprising 18,000 m2 of office space, the almost fully occupied office building has a weighted average lease term of only one year, providing Europa Capital with the opportunity to quickly reposition the building once all tenants have vacated.

Works are expected to start in the summer of 2022 and will involve a complete renovation of the building, improving the office space, façade, underground parking, as well as enhancing its sustainability credentials.

Jason Oram, partner & fund manager at Europa Capital, commented: 'There has been a proliferation of commentary questioning the future of the office, but we have taken a contrarian view following the dislocation of the pandemic, and believe there are still pockets of opportunity for high quality offices in the right locations.

'Stuttgart is experiencing a renaissance, renowned for its association with the automotive industry, the city is benefitting from a substantial amount of R&D investment as the car industry shifts to electric power and driverless technology.

'We expect this to translate into significant future demand for high quality office space and, by leveraging our asset management expertise, we believe Horizon II is well placed to capture that opportunity.'

The property is located in Synergie Park where over 20,000 people are currently employed and is in close proximity to the autobahn, underground and S-Bahn, as well as Stuttgart Airport. R&D investment in Stuttgart, including the Cyber Valley, a new centre for artificial intelligence, is higher than any other location in Europe, and represents c. 25% of the total volume invested across Germany, according to Europa Capital research.

James Farmer, partner at Europa Capital, added: 'We remain confident in the outlook for offices in Germany, particularly in markets such as Stuttgart, which remain severely supply constrained.

'In tandem with our planned renovation works, we will invest substantially in the environmental and social credentials of the building and look forward to working closely with our partner, Accumulata Real Estate, to deliver a best in class product for new occupiers.'

Stefan Schillinger, managing partner of Accumulata, said: 'Horizon II’s close proximity to the autobahn, underground and S-Bahn, as well as the airport, make it a particularly attractive for investors and businesses.

'Through the refurbishment and extensive repositioning of Horizon II, our ambition is to contribute to the further regeneration of this location.

'Areas where old industry meets new technology bring about the greatest innovation and we want to create an attractive office environment that meets the demand from local and international businesses for agile working environments.'

Colliers International acted for the vendor, in addition to Hengeler Mueller and Maucher Consult. Europa Capital and Accumalata were advised by Gleiss Lutz, Ernst & Young and Drees & Sommer.

The deal was financed by the syndicate leader, Kreissparkasse Esslingen-Nürtingen.


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