The deal also strengthens Allianz Real Estate’s existing relationship with Nuveen who own 80% of the property via a joint venture together with Unibail Rodamco Westfield.
Gropius Passagen is one of the largest shopping centers in Berlin. A five-year refurbishment programme is due to complete in 2020 which will see the property fully modernized with a mix of national and international top brands, a newly created food court and a multiplex cinema. The centre’s turnover was EUR237 million in 2018 and is expected to increase due to the repositioning and improved asset quality.
Overall occupancy, including signed leases with future start dates, is at 91% and the property benefits from a well-diversified tenant base (140 shops). More than three-quarters of units are occupied by multi-national retail chains. Biggest tenants include Kaufland, Karstadt, Primark and UCI-cinema. The asset also benefits from a lack of shopping centre competition within a 15-minute driving time.
In its 2018 results, disclosed in March this year, Allianz Real Estate announced that its European debt portfolio topped EUR7.8 billion for the year following a record period of EUR2.1 billion in loans and the launch of its Luxembourg-based debt fund. The fund, which will open to third-party investors in 2019, has accommodated many transactions, including deals in the UK, Italy, Ireland, Spain and Sweden.
“We’re delighted to complete this latest prime transaction in Berlin. This is a landmark asset that benefits from exceptional demand drivers, with close connectivity to excellent transport links and a large catchment area of approximately 250,000 inhabitants,” said Roland Fuchs, Head of European Debt at Allianz Real Estate.
“Our European debt portfolio continues to grow strongly, driven by our focus on prime assets and partners in tier 1 locations in Europe. We are encouraged by the rapid growth of our debt fund and the direct, simplified access it gives our clients to prime European real estate debt. It has quickly become an established investment vehicle as underscored by its rapid AUM growth to EUR1.5 billion.”