Highbrook keeps faith in Dutch offices with Amsterdam buy

New York-based investment fund Highbrook Investors has continued its Dutch deal spree by acquiring an office asset from Tristan's EPISO 4 fund for €16.1 mln.

Timeless Investments was Tristan's investment partner and asset manager for the transaction involving the 2,300 m2 Huize Labor property, which is located opposite Amsterdam’s Westerkerk.


Tristan, which also recently offloaded an office held by EPISO 4 in Amsterdam's Sloterdijk district to Dream Global REIT, said that it was making the most of demand dynamics in the Dutch capital.

'We saw the potential for the strong recovery in the Amsterdam office market a few years ago, following an upswing in demand from accelerating growth in the Dutch economy combined with a very limited supply pipeline,' noted Gyongyver Giday, director at Tristan Capital Partners.

'Over the past five years, we have invested in excess of €1bn in the Dutch real estate market and the vast majority of that has been in Amsterdam’s office sector. The sale of Huize Labor demonstrates the demand that exists for high quality assets in strong locations in Amsterdam,' Giday added.

Highbrook, meanwhile, has also been actively buying and selling assets in the Netherlands in recent years, becoming a noteably high-profile player on the Dutch scene in 2018 when it closed on the purchase of the €615 mln Mesdag Delta portfolio comprising 56 assets.

Most recently, the firm divested a portfolio of three offices in Amsterdam to Equity Estate's Hilltop 4 vehicle, exiting a pool of properties which it had acquired alongside asset manager Equity over the last three years.

According to agent DRS Makelaars, which marketed Huize Labor on behalf of EPISO 4, a total of about €4 bn was spent on Amsterdam office space in 2018 and over the past two years, while nearly 80% of office investments in the Dutch capital were made by international investors.

Office take-up in Amsterdam totalled 389,000 m2 in 2018, DRS said, and limited availability in key locations has driven a 10% increase year-on-year in prime rents to an average of €475 per m2.

Furthermore, Amsterdam has emerged as one of the main European alternative destinations to London for firms and organisations concerned about the possible adverse impact of Brexit. In March 2019, the European Medicines Agency moved its headquarters from London to Amsterdam to occupy around 12,800 m2 of office space.

Tristan's new EPISO 5 fund, which raised a record €1.7 bn from investors in February of this year, kicked off with the acquisition of a 18,000 m2 multi-tenant office complex in Amsterdam for €54 mln.


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