MAB/Blauwhoed & Rodamco Europe close megadeal in Almere's New Shopping Centre

De Almere Hart C.V. (MAB/Blauwhoed) and Rodamco Europe (through its subsidiary Rodamco Nederland) have reached agreement on the acquisition of principally retail, leisure and catering facilities in the new Â'Stadshart AlmereÂ' (Almere city centre) project.

The transaction concerns a very substantial part of the total commercial programme which will be realised by Almere Hart C.V. in Almere, and is one of the largest to take place in the Dutch property market in recent years.

The deal involves a sum of around EUR 225 million, and is based on a net initial yield of 7%. Rodamco Europe will assume part of the rental risk, and the parties have also agreed that there will be a further settlement of a proportion of any surplus value above inflation existing in the property five years after delivery.

The Stadshart Almere project is a development by Almere Hart C.V. (a co-operative venture between MAB B.V. of The Hague and Blauwhoed/Eurowoningen of Rotterdam) and the municipality of Almere.

Rodamco Nederland B.V. will become the owner of:

· approximately 61,000 m2 net sales area of retail and daytime catering;
· approximately 3,900 m2 net sales area of leisure and evening catering;
· a 2,400-seat cinema;
· a live music venue/discotheque and dance café with approximately 2.400 m2;
· approximately 2,000 m2 of offices.

In addition, De Almere Hart C.V. will also develop a 3-star hotel in the city centre with 120 rooms, approximately 4,600 m2 net sales area of retail, a fitness centre and a pier restaurant on the Weerwater, as well as around 950 owner-occupied houses and apartments for individual owners/users. Cultural facilities will also be provided in the city centre in direct co-operation with the municipality of Almere, as well as parking for approximately 2,500 cars.

This expansion of the existing city centre of Almere is part of the townÂ's growth status. According to current forecasts, the town will attract approximately 8,000 - 10,000 new residents a year, and the total residential population is estimated to rise to around 220,000 by 2010.

Master Plan
The Master Plan for the new city centre, for which the municipality of Almere and De Almere Hart C.V. concluded a co-operative agreement in 1999, was drawn up by Rem Koolhaas of the agency Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Leading national and international architects are currently being selected for various elements of the plan, and some parts of the project have either already been delivered or are under construction.

According to schedule, the majority of the total project will be realised between now and 2007, with a phased delivery of project elements during this period. The first office building will be delivered in April 2002. The project organisations of both the municipality and De Almere Hart C.V. will be housed here over the next few years.

RodamcoÂ's CEO Maarten J. Hulshoff: 'This project fits excellently into our strategy. It represents a unique opportunity in a dominant location with attractive potential for growth, and furthers Rodamco EuropeÂ's strategic repositioning of its Dutch property portfolio, which is focused on investment in and management of shops and shopping centres.'

Almere Hart C.V. is a co-operative agreement between MAB and Blauwhoed/Eurowoningen, in which the latter is primarily responsible for the development and sale of the approximately 950 homes that will be realised in the city centre. MABÂ's primary responsibility in the partnership is the development and sale of the commercial elements of the project.

(source: MAB, Rodamco Europe, Blauwhoed)

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