Barings Real Estate Advisers, part of Barings, one of the world’s largest diversified real estate investment managers, announces that it has acquired a €16.3m office building at Unioninkatu Street, Helsinki, from The Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT, an employer union. Barings plans to convert the asset into a 120 room business class hotel as part of one of its investment strategies across Europe.
The property currently comprises 4,300 m² of office space, with existing tenants set to vacate the asset in January 2018. Following this, Barings plans to convert the existing building to hotel use and add further space on the ground and sixth floor to provide a new lobby and food and beverage unit. It is envisaged that the hotel will operate under an operating lease and final negotiations with interested hotel partners are well advanced.
Located in Southern Helsinki, an established hotel submarket, the property benefits from close proximity to the CBD and key transport links, as well as the waterfront, tourist attractions and a vibrant restaurant scene.
Gunther Deutsch, Managing Director and Head of Investment Transactions Europe at Barings Real Estate Advisers said, “This acquisition represents a compelling opportunity to acquire a strategically located asset that lends itself perfectly to a hotel conversion due to its corner location just five minutes away from Esplanadi. This is our first hotel transaction in Europe and it is our intention to grow our exposure to this asset class in Europe. With the recent addition of Lambis Pahiyiannakis, Assistant Vice President at Barings, to our London office we will look to leverage from his considerable experience gained whilst working in the U.S. hotels team.”
Lambis Pahiyiannakis, Assistant Vice President Hotel Group at Barings Real Estate Advisers said, “This exciting hotel conversion opportunity demonstrates how our experience in the hotel investment space allows us to create value-add returns for our investors. Our target is to continue growing our platform in Europe with strategic acquisitions of existing hotels and conversion opportunities in markets where we have experience trading real estate.”