ACRON, the indirect real estate investment specialist, has acquired the Westcenter St. Gallen retail property. The sales price amounts to approximately CHF 61 million (approx. €49.4 million). The property features 431 parking spaces and first-rate connections to transportation, including direct access to the Autobahn junction and bus stops. It is located directly adjacent to the AFG Arena, the FC St. Gallen soccer team stadium and home to a shopping center, and is linked to these via a skywalk. The property was completed in 1999 and from 2010 to 2012 was extensively updated. In an initial step ACRON will work out an elaborate concept to develop the property into a core investment. Afterwards this investment opportunity will be presented to interested qualified investors initially in a private placement in Switzerland and Germany.
ACRON has acquired the building complex with net usable space measuring 13,510 m² (approx. 145,425 ft² Three floors contain 12,421 m² (approx. 133,703 ft².) of space used by specialist retailers, while 431 parking spaces are situated on two other floors. Six retailers - Media Markt, Dosenbach-Ochsner, Toys’R’Us, Fressnapf, Takko Fashion, and Aldi Suisse – lease 88% of the net rented space, while the remaining 12% is split up among 14 tenants.
The Westcenter property is located in a retail zone at the edge of St. Gallen, the eighth largest city in Switzerland and the economic hub of the eastern part of the country. The property features first-rate transportation connections with direct access to the A1 Autobahn (St. Gallen – Winterthur/Zurich) and two stops immediately in front of the two entrances for buses linking Westcenter with downtown St. Gallen. The neighborhood is also home to an IKEA furniture store, various specialty retailers, and car dealerships. Across from the property is the AFG Arena, the home stadium of Superleague soccer team FC St. Gallen and simultaneously one of the most productive shopping centers in Switzerland. The two shopping centers are connected via a skywalk.
The investment was structured as a Swiss single-property stock corporation, ACRON HELVETIA XI Immobilien AG, which holds the property as its only asset according to the ACRON model. This structure combines the advantages of a direct real estate investment (transparency, identifiability, streamlined cost structure) with the benefits of an indirect investment (divisibility, tradability).
The investment will be presented to interested qualified investors in a private placement in Switzerland and Germany. According to the conception of the investment the management and placement will be in compliance with the AIFM-Directive within the periods of transition. ACRON will handle asset and property management, and manage the investment on behalf of investors.