Benson Elliot, the UK based private equity real estate manager, has acquired a 2.5 hectare mixed-use site in central Berlin, fronting the Spandauer Schifffahrtskanal, from listed Austrian property company CA Immo. The off-market acquisition in Europacity – Berlin’s largest urban renewal project – allows for the development of 70,000 sqm of residential, retail, restaurant and office space.
The Europacity project has transformed c. 40 hectares to the north of Berlin’s main railway station – an area which lay derelict for decades – into a new, mixed-use city quarter. The area lies a short walk from the Bundestag, various federal ministries, the Charité (Europe’s biggest university hospital) and Humboldt University.
Europacity has become a magnet for large office users, hotels, retailers and cultural facilities (including the iconic Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart). With over two hectares of Europacity devoted to parks, and a kilometre of waterfront along the Spandauer Schifffahrtskanal, Europacity has also seen the development of some of Berlin’s most desirable housing.
Benson Elliot and joint venture partner Kauri CAB Development, a specialist Berlin residential asset manager, intend to create a lively and attractive urban residential quarter, fully integrated into Europacity’s working, living, cultural and recreational network. Current plans are for the construction of c. 500 multi-family apartment units, on top of ground floor restaurants and cafes. The project will also incorporate c. 10,000 sqm of commercial and mixed-use space together with a day-care centre.
Philipp Braschel, Benson Elliot Partner, said: “The Europacity site provides Benson Elliot with a unique opportunity to create high-quality rental housing right in the heart of Berlin, whilst making a significant contribution to the city’s sustainable development. Berlin is going from strength to strength; together with our acquisition last year of Berliner Volksbank’s City-West headquarters, our Europacity purchase demonstrates our ongoing commitment to Berlin as an investment destination.”
Hagen Kahmann, Managing Partner KauriCAB Development, said: “This area is one of the city’s most interesting new living quarters. Our goal is to contribute to the reshaping of Berlin, to emphasise the city’s international appeal and to provide attractive rental apartments that will help meet Berlin’s growing housing needs.”
Guido Schütte, Director at CA Immo Berlin, said: “CA Immo has successfully executed its operations at Europacity, not only as an urban developer, but also as an investor, with projects such as the Tour Total, the John F. Kennedy House and the Intercity Hotel. We plan on continuing this strategy with other initiatives including the development of the new KPMG building. The sale of this plot to a major investment partner such as Benson Elliot is significant, as it validates the area as a dynamic development destination.”
For further information:
Philipp Braschel, Partner
+44 (0) 20 7808 8900
Dido Laurimore / Claire Turvey
+44 (0) 20 3727 1000