Union Investment goes “down under” (DE/AU)

Union Investment Real Estate GmbH has extended its reach to the fifth continent. The Hamburg-based property investment manager today signed the contract on the Southpoint office and commercial property in the South Bank district of Brisbane. The purchase price is approx. AUD 200 million (approx. €135.8 million).

Handover of the 27,900 m² multi-tenant, Grade A building to its future users is scheduled for the second quarter of 2016. The new build development is currently 90 per cent pre-let. The approximately 23,500 m² office section is already fully let on a ten-year lease to the building's principal tenant, Flight Centre Travel Group, one of the world’s largest travel companies. Southpoint will become its new international headquarters. Tenants of the 4,300 m² retail space on the ground floor, which is currently 30 per cent let, include Australian supermarket chain Woolworths on a 20-year lease. The vendor has provided a three-year rental guarantee for the unlet retail space. Union Investment is forward funding the development project by Australia’s Anthony John Group, with payments being made in accordance with construction progress. Upon completion, Southpoint will be transferred to the holdings of open-ended real estate fund Unilmmo: Europa.

“As one of the largest and most promising office markets in the Asia-Pacific growth region, Australia makes an excellent addition to our international real estate fund,” said Martin Brühl, head of Investment Management International at Union Investment. “This strategic investment ‘down under’ provides an excellent starting point from which to build a medium-sized portfolio on a similar scale to our commitment in, for example, Mexico.” Alongside providing project financing, Union Investment intends to consider existing properties in Australia's “big four”: Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

Based on plans by architects Jackson Teece, the 16-storey Southpoint office and commercial property is being developed in the middle of a mixed-use part of South Bank in Brisbane. South Bank is located close to the river and directly opposite the main commercial center and has developed into a vibrant district. It attracts over 10 million visitors a year with its diverse shopping, leisure and cultural activities. Only 20 minutes from the airport, South Bank is the second largest of five inner-city business districts, with excellent links to public bus and rail networks as well as three ferry terminals. Brisbane is the capital of the economically strong state of Queensland and the third largest city in Australia with 2.2 million inhabitants. It also has one of the largest office markets in the country, totalling some 3.4 million m² of space.

Source: Union Investment

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