Europa Capital, acting in partnership with commercial real estate investor and developer ConvergenCE, has acquired Akadermia Business Center in Budapest. The acquisition has been completed on behalf of Europa Capital’s latest value add fund, Europa Fund VI. Located on the banks of the river Danube, on the corner of Akademia and Arany Janos Street, this circa 12,500m² building sits within a lively and sophisticated neighbourhood which serves as the city’s primary business, political, tourist and cultural centre.
As one of Budapest’s most well-known trophy buildings, Akademia Business Center has until recently served as the headquarters for Raiffeisen Bank, but with the bank now fully vacated it offers a significant opportunity for refurbishment and repositioning. The objective is not only to create a building suitable for modern occupiers but also to transform the asset to a Net Zero Pathway, removing the reliance on greenhouse gases. The building will also be targeting both BREEAM, Wiredscore and WELL certification. ConvergenCE, which has acted as a local partner to Europa Capital in Hungary since 2005 will be responsible for the local asset management. Works are expected to start on completion of the acquisition and will involve the extensive internal renovation, the provision of new mechanical equipment, remodelling of common and office spaces.
Robert Martin, Partner and Head of Investments at Europa Capital, commented: “Akademia Business Center is in a top location and is an asset with a lot of opportunities to undertake our usual high standard of refurbishment with a focus on NZC pathway, wellness and occupier requirements. Prime office availability in the heart of Budapest is scarce, underpinning the business case for the investment. On completion, the property will be very attractive to those companies looking for a prestigious, downtown address with good wellness and sustainability credentials.”
Jason Oram, Partner and Fund Manager said: “This investment demonstrates our conviction in a contrarian opportunity in the cycle for well-located office assets, as the market adjusts to the impact of the pandemic. The addition of Akadémia Business Center to our office portfolio offers another great opportunity to add value through extensive high-quality refurbishment, which we are confident of delivering through our well-established partnership with ConvergenCE.”
Csaba Zeley, Managing Director of ConvergenCE, added: “We are pleased to be partnering with Europa Capital again following the successful development of a number of projects including Eiffel Square, Kalvin Square, B52 and CityZen, all of which have since been sold. With its exceptional location and prominent façade, we believe Akadémia Business Center has the potential to be one of the most prestigious mixed-use commercial buildings in Budapest.”