NREP expands into Poland with logistics and resi deals

Nordic real estate developer and operator NREP has expanded into Poland with the acquisition of a four-asset logistics portfolio plus 1,000 new apartments in Warsaw.

Financial details were not disclosed, but the firm said it planned to invest €500 mln in Poland by year-end.

After 15 years of real estate investing in the Nordics, NREP is now seeking to leverage opportunities in Poland within the company’s two largest business areas, modern logistics and customer-centric rental housing. NREP is building up a Polish team to support the expansion.

Claus Mathisen, CEO of NREP, said: 'Poland is sometimes described as Europe’s tiger economy, with low unemployment and rising wages. However, real estate quality and supply is generally lagging the impressive growth rates, and we see an opportunity to bring NREP’s approach and create value for all stakeholders.

'Our northern European pipeline holds an attractive set of opportunities within residential and logistics, and most of these are located in Poland. I expect that we will have acquired assets worth up to €500 mln and have 8-10 employees in Poland before year-end.'

Logistics deal
NREP’s first investment within the logistics segment is the acquisition of BIK SA, a local logistics real estate investor and developer. The company has a portfolio of four standing assets with two potential extensions plus a land plot. The potential footprint is more than 130.000 m2.

Jani Nokkanen, chief investment officer at NREP, said: 'Poland is a European supply chain nexus and for us, as the largest pan-Nordic provider of modern logistics facilities, it is a very interesting market where massive infrastructure investments are planned.

'Our international customers have often asked us to look at projects here, and we are happy to now be able act on those invitations.'

Logicenters, NREP’s specialised logistics arm, will manage the newly acquired assets in Poland which is occupied by customers like FedEx, Dachser and smaller local companies.

10,000 homes by 2025
Poland is one of the largest residential markets in Europe, with roughly 14 million residential units. However, three out of four homes were built before 1989, and there is a need for new quality housing. NREP said.

Nokkanen added: 'The private rental offering in Poland is growing, but still in its infancy compared to Denmark, Sweden or Finland, where 30-40% of the population rents their dwelling.

'Only 16% of Poles rent their homes, and we see demand for modern, customer-friendly rental options of high quality, much like what we provide successfully to the Nordic capitals.'

NREP’s first residential housing investment is a portfolio with more than 1,000 new apartments, all strategically located in Warsaw and with green roof tops, charging stations for electric cars, and areas for urban farming.

The first apartments will be ready in 2022 and are acquired from YIT, the largest Finnish and a significant Northern European urban developer and construction company.

By 2025, NREP aims to deliver a total of 10,000 modern homes in major Polish cities, most of them designed to meet the increasing demand for 1-2 person households.

NREP is known for being at the forefront of sustainability in the Nordics, something which will be ‘exported’ to future projects in Poland. In total, NREP manages assets worth more than €10 bn and has investment activities in Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway. NREP will open its office in Warsaw this summer.

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