PRINCIPAL Real Estate Europe has bought the Cour des Loges Hotel in Lyon for €24.5 million – and is now looking for further investment opportunities.

The five-star Cour des Loges Hotel has been bought on behalf of the Principal Hotel Real Estate Fund II from a local real estate investor group.

The five-star Cour des Loges Hotel in Lyon
The five-star Cour des Loges Hotel

The Cour des Loges Hotel is in the heart of the old town of Lyon, a UNESCO World Heritage listed district. It has 60 rooms, two restaurants, a bar, a spa, several meeting rooms and a hidden garden.

As a result of the purchase, the hotel becomes part of the Radisson Collection. This brings the group’s portfolio in France to 19 hotels and 3,280 rooms in operation or under development.

Following the acquisition of the Ona Hotel Terra last month, this acquisition is another example of the value-add strategy of the Hotelfund II: acquiring high quality 3-5* hotels in strategic locations, in major cities across Europe with significant potential to increase value.

Cour des Loges Hotel leisure activities

The Cour des Loges Hotel offers leisure activities such as a fitness center and spa with a swimming pool, sauna, hammam, jacuzzi, relaxation room, and two treatment rooms. Business clientele will also be able to make use of 343square meters of meeting space.

The hotel’s exceptional location in the Vieux-Lyon, the historical building with its renaissance elements, its established Michelin star restaurant, The Loges and the renovation and agreement with Radisson are the key components of this value creation.

After the successful closing, Radisson and PRINCIPAL will work closely together to renovate the hotel creating a unique experience and destination for business and leisure travellers alike, while carefully preserving the character and history of the building.

This is the third hotel PRINCIPAL has acquired on behalf of Hotelfund II and follows the signing of significant additional equity for Hotelfund II, providing it with the capacity to again invest up to €500 million in European high-quality real estate assets.

Jochen Schaefer-Suren, CEO of Principal’s Hotel and Leisure division, says, “The Cour des Loges in Lyon is a unique hotel and a great acquisition for our Hotelfund II and we are thankful to our operating partner Radisson, one of the leading international hotel groups with a very strong covenant,  with whom we were able to sign a long-term lease agreement.

“The location, paired with the quality of the asset and the potential of the planned renovation and repositioning, are exactly the kind of value-add hotel investments PRINCIPAL is looking for. As a result, we are still looking for further hotel investments for Hotelfund II in 2020 and beyond.”


Blue Tower at the Bavaria Towers bought


Bavaria Towers Blue Tower at the Bavaria Towers has been bought by leading asset manager Real I.S consortium.

It was purchased from the from international investment firm, Von der Heyden Group after long-term lease contracts for the state of the art project.

Bavaria Towers in Munich
Bavaria Towers

The 18-storey Blue Tower acquired from the group with co-developers BayernProjekt and co-investors Zurich Gruppe Deutschland, is the second highest tower of the four-part high-rise complex in Einsteinstrasse in Munich. It has a gross floor area of more than 24,000 square meters.

Record yield

The tower has been sold at a record yield of less than 3%, registering the highest rate of return of equity for the Von der Heyden in their A-Class building portfolio.

The investment was made by Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK) fund managed by the largest AIFM in Luxembourg, Universal Investment.

Real I.S.’s asset management mandate and purchase transaction included the asset and SPV management of the tower, complete with long-lease tech giant tenants NVIDIA and BayernHeim as well as Golding Capital Partners. The sale was collaborated by Colliers International and law firm Arnecke Sibeth Dabelstein where the parties have agreed not to disclose the acquisition price.

Sven von der Heyden, Chairman and founder of the Von der Heyden Group, says, “The Bavaria Towers was one of the first major high-rise projects to be approved in Munich in a long time.

“Over the span of fifteen years we strived for pioneering architecture, a community-oriented concept and an A-class tenant structure to deliver a spectacular development that would redefine Munich’s Eastern cityscape. Having a renowned buyer in this transaction is testament to the Group’s commitment in providing organic and valuable returns from quality real estate investment.”

The Von der Heyden Group has a track record for being a first mover in emerging markets, creating landmark Class A office buildings, running award winning hotels and delivering superior returns from real estate investment.


Three Central London £50m logistics assets acquired


Valor Real Estate Partners has acquired three prime logistics assets in Greater London in separate transactions for £50million.

The purchases, which have been made on behalf of its clients, are:

A warehouse
  • Circa 92,600 square feet building in Thurrock, East London
  • Around 37,600 square feet property in Park Royal, West London
  • Circa 99,700 square feet  Class A Multi-let industrial park in Ruislip, West London.

The Thurrock submarket is one of the key supply chain markets for the North East and South East of London. The assets also have strong connectivity to Central and Greater London, via the A13 and M25 motorway.

Comprehensive renovation plan

Valor will lease the building back to the previous owner for three years, after which it will create a cross-dock facility as well as enacting a comprehensive renovation plan.

The second acquisition in Park Royal is located off the A40, in what is widely considered London’s most important last-mile distribution submarket. It is often referred to as the Capital’s “breadbasket”.

Similarly, the Ruislip acquisition is in close proximity to the A40, with superb access to Central London. The asset is currently substantially under-rented due to eight outstanding rent reviews. Valor intends to re-adjust the asset to market through effective asset management.

Gustav Detter, Principal at Valor says, “We are delighted to have secured three prime assets across multiple attractive sub-markets in London. These assets are fantastically placed to benefit from the exponential growth of last-mile assets in one of the most developed cities in the world.

“Not only are these three acquisitions emblematic of Valor’s strategy to acquire quality last-mile logistics assets in supply constrained submarkets, but they also demonstrate our commitment to London as a highly attractive market for urban infill logistics.”

Valor was advised by Acre Capital for the Thurrock and Ruislip transaction, and Levy for the Park Royal transaction. Financing was provided by PGIM for all three deals.

The image is a stock picture and does not depict the three logistic assets bought by Valor.


Warsaw office complex costs around €65m


Benson Elliot, the UK-based private equity real estate fund manager, has acquired Marynarska Business Park (MBP), an award-winning office complex in Warsaw.

Marynarska Business Park, in Warsaw
Marynarska Business Park

It was acquired from a fund managed by Heitman Real Estate. The price paid was around €65 million.

MBP provides 46,000 square metres of office space across four buildings, together with 1,400 car parking spaces. The site was developed by Ghelamco in 2008, with the project earning recognition that year as CEE Real Estate Office Development of the Year and Best Overall Development in Poland.

The business park is prominently situated in Mokotów, Warsaw’s largest office sub-market outside the city centre. Mokotów lies between the city centre and Warsaw’s Fryderyk Chopin Airport, providing quick and easy access to both by train and car. The area is set to gain further from major infrastructure works currently underway.

Benson Elliot is planning a targeted refurbishment of the property, with an upgrade of communal areas and an expansion of occupier amenities. In addition, Benson Elliot plans to re-design the park’s external areas.

Compelling office investment story

Joseph DeLeo, Benson Elliot Senior Partner, says, “Marynarska Business Park represents the second office investment in Warsaw for Benson Elliot in the last 12 months. Warsaw offers a compelling office investment story today, with the market benefitting from rising take-up, falling vacancies and strong investor interest.

“Tenant demand is being driven by international and domestic companies seeking access to a young, well-educated, multilingual work force. The acquisition of MBP fits in well with our strategy of acquiring quality office assets in strong locations across Poland. We look forward to building on the park’s longstanding popularity, providing tenants with contemporary space in a healthy environment.”

Benson Elliot was advised on the transaction by Dentons, BNP Paribas and Cushman & Wakefield, and has engaged Syrena Real Estate as local operating partner.


Hines buys Covent Garden Grain House


International real estate firm, Hines, has purchased Grain House on Drury Lane in the heart of Covent Garden from corporate pension fund clients of Savills Investment Management.

The Grain House, Drury Lane, in London
The Grain House, Drury Lane

The vacant property, which has been acquired on behalf of the Hines European Value Fund 2 (HEVF 2), has existing planning consent to combine four interlinked period buildings into one consolidated modern office scheme, with street-level restaurant and retail amenities.

In a central London market where demand for high quality office space is outstripping supply, the 91,000-square-foot scheme designed by leading architects Barr Gazetas is expected to attract significant occupier interest.

The refurbishment program will begin later this year and will incorporate a two-story roof extension across the whole site, with flexible office floorplates ranging from 6,222 square feet to 15,791 square feet arranged around an atrium with character finishes.

The building will also provide extensive external terracing and has been designed to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’, WELL Building’ accreditation as well as enhanced digital connectivity standards with ‘WiredScore’.

Third central London landmark acquisition

This is the third landmark acquisition Hines has secured in central London recently, following the purchase of two prime flagship retail led-mixed-use properties on Oxford Street. The project also follows one of Hines’ global strategies in which the firm is currently investing in and developing highly functional creative office projects in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Furthermore, the purchase represents the fourth for the flagship HEVF 2, bringing the amount of equity allocated by the fund to €350 million.

Hines recently announced the first closing of the fund, securing €637million of equity commitments in just three months after its launch, exceeding 50% of the final €1.25 billion fundraising target. When factoring leverage, HEVF 2 is expected to have total purchasing power approaching €3 billion, making it Hines’s largest closed-ended fund in Europe to date.

Another off-market investment

Paul White, HEVF 2 fund manager, says, “Following closely after the fund’s acquisition of our flagship retail and office scheme at 80 New Bond Street, we’re once again able to capitalize on the investment pricing discount that has opened up between prime London and prime continental European markets since 2016. Occupier market fundamentals have held very strong in the West End in particular. We have high conviction now that the certainty provided by Brexit and medium-term political stability makes London a timeless attractive location for our strategy. We’re very pleased to have secured another off-market investment here.”

Lucy Winterburn, Director of Investment at Savills Investment Management, says, “We are sad to say goodbye to an asset that has served the Fund so well both in terms of income and capital return over a number of years but is now ripe for redevelopment. The planning consent that has been secured offers the purchaser an opportunity to comprehensively regenerate the island site by combining four distinct buildings into one. The scheme should deliver classic Covent Garden office and retail space with plenty of character and style. Our client’s decision to sell is motivated by their conservative attitude to development risk on this scale. We will watch the development with interest and wish the Hines’ team well in their development and leasing phase.”

Hines was represented by Colliers and Savills acted for Savills Investment Management.

Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with a presence in 205 cities in 24 countries. Hines has approximately $133.3 billion of assets under management.


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