18 June 2020
Union Investment acquires planned micro-living properties in Düsseldorf and Hamburg
Acquisitions for Urban Living Nr. 1 special fund
Union Investment has acquired two planned micro-living properties in Düsseldorf and Hamburg comprising a total of 250 apartments. They are the sixth and seventh acquisitions for the Urban Living Nr. 1 special fund, which remains on a growth trajectory. The purchase prices were not disclosed.
Henrik von Bothmer, Senior Investment Manager Micro-Living at Union Investment.
The coronavirus pandemic has not changed expectations for the fund. Von Bothmer: “Although we don’t yet know what the long-term impact of the pandemic will be, we anticipate that demand for living accommodation, particularly for smaller apartments in major cities, will continue to outstrip supply. The trend towards micro-living will remain intact in the coming years, even though this property type – just like most others – is not immune to the effects of the coronavirus crisis.”
The vendor and developer of the micro-living project in Düsseldorf is Development Partner AG. The property, which comprises 184 apartments across some 5,200 sq m of rental space, is being built at Himmelgeister Straße 270 in the immediate vicinity of the university hospital and Heinrich Heine University. Completion is scheduled for the middle of 2021. The fully furnished apartments will have an average size of 28 sq m. They will be marketed at students and also at employees of the university hospital and university. Weekly commuters and young professionals are another target group. Union Investment was advised on the legal aspects of the Düsseldorf transaction by Hogan Lovells, on tax matters by Watson Farley & Williams and on technical aspects by ES EnviroSustain.
The vendor and developer of the real estate project in Hamburg is the GBI group, operating via its Hamburg-based associate NORD PROJECT. The 66 furnished apartments covering approximately 3,600 sq m of rental space are set to be completed by autumn 2022. The units will have an average size of 50 sq m, with most consisting of two rooms. They are being built on Schultzweg in south-central Hamburg, close to the main railway station and city centre. Due to their urban location and excellent public transport links, the new apartments are chiefly targeted at young professionals, project-based staff and international specialists who are typically working in Hamburg only for a limited period. The buyer received legal advice from Norton Rose Fulbright and tax advice from Watson Farley & Williams. ES EnviroSustain advised on technical aspects.
Prior to the acquisitions in Düsseldorf and Hamburg, bulwiengesa carried out a location evaluation for Union Investment. The two companies also jointly published the Student Housing 2019 study. Of the 65 cities across Europe analysed for the study, Hamburg was ranked ninth and Düsseldorf sixth. Düsseldorf, which is the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, is particularly attractive to developers and investors primarily because it has had a low number of student apartments in the private rental sector to date.
Back in December 2018, Union Investment secured the Urban Base Dresden project at the development stage. The 170 micro-apartments at Grunaer Straße 20, which comprise total rental space of around 6,000 sq m, have now been completed. The transfer of rights and obligations (closing) took place on 1 June 2020 and the apartment complex was added to the portfolio of the special fund.