(MILAN) – Hines, the international real estate firm, and German investment company Universal-Investment, have successfully completed the acquisition of a seven-story retail and office building on Piazza Cordusio in the historical center of Milan for an institutional real estate fund administered and managed on behalf of Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK), Germany’s largest pension scheme group, with approximately €62 billion assets under management. The asset has been acquired from Fondo Megas and managed by Sorgente SGR, part of Sorgente Group.
The 11,000-square-meter 19th century building at 2 Piazza Cordusio is located in the heart of the commercial and financial district and adjacent to the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele and the Duomo of Milan. Overlooking Piazza Cordusio, the iconic property is almost fully vacant. It will undergo redevelopment to bring the building back to its former grandeur, creating flagship high-street retail units on the ground and first floors, and making full use of the building’s large frontage. The upper floors will be converted into exclusive offices with a view of the Piazza and the center of Milan.
This transaction is the fourth acquisition by Hines and Universal-Investment for the BVK mandate, having been appointed late last year to execute a €1.3 billion investment program targeting prime high-street retail property across Europe. The acquisition follows the purchase in March of another flagship building in the historical center of Milan, Via Dante 16. Further acquisitions of prime high-street retail assets were previously made in Oslo’s Karl Johans Gate and Glasgow’s Buchanan Street.
Piazza Cordusio is one of the most iconic squares in Milan and has been the center of the Italian finance industry since the 19th century. Following the relocation of several institutions, such as Unicredit which consolidated its headquarters in the new Hines-developed business district of Porta Nuova, Piazza Cordusio will be regenerated through a joint effort by the City of Milan and local property and business owners. Situated between the popular retail locations Via Dante and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the Piazza will be integrated into the high-street market and revitalized as a more appealing destination.
Mario Abbadessa, Italy country head for Hines, said “Piazza Cordusio is an outstanding location in Milan’s historical center that will play a vital role as the nucleus between the different retail locations in Milan and a showcase for flagship stores. With its stature and visibility, 2 Piazza Cordusio is a special building that is ideally placed to house some of the world’s best retail brands currently looking for attractive space in Milan.”
Peter Epping, Fund Manager of the BVK mandate for Hines, said “With its unique location on Piazza Cordusio forming part of the regeneration of one of Milan’s grand piazzas, 2 Piazza Cordusio is an ideal asset for a redevelopment strategy for BVK. We aim to create an outstanding asset that will not only create significant value for our investor, but also play its part in improving Milan’s city center and make it a pleasant place for people to shop and visit.”
Lars Huber, CO-CEO of Hines Europe, added “Italy represents an attractive market with significant potential. The quality of the building, coupled with its excellent location and diverse income profile from both retail and office tenants, make this asset a compelling proposition for BVK.”
Since entering Italy in 1999, Hines has developed 20 projects, including the landmark mixed-use development Porta Nuova in Milan, which includes 140,000 square meters of office, 125,000 square meters of residential and 40,000 square meters of retail and cultural venues.
Alexander Tannenbaum, Managing Director at Universal-Investment, heading the Real Estate division, added “High-street retail properties are in strong demand by German institutional investors as they currently provide an interesting opportunity to diversify their real estate portfolios.”
Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with a presence in 182 cities in 20 countries. Hines has $89.1 billion of assets under management, including $42.5 billion for which Hines provides fiduciary investment management services, and $46.6 billion for which Hines provides third-party property-level services. The firm has 109 developments currently underway around the world. Historically, Hines has developed, redeveloped or acquired 1,126 properties, totaling over 351 million square feet. The firm’s current property and asset management portfolio includes 457 properties, representing over 193 million square feet. With extensive experience in investments across the risk spectrum and all property types, and a pioneering commitment to sustainability, Hines is one of the largest and most-respected real estate organizations in the world.
Visit www.hines.com for more information.
About Bayerische Versorgungskammer
Bayerische Versorgungskammer is the competence and service centre for occupational and communal pension schemes and Germany´s largest pension scheme group under public law. It is the joint executive body of twelve liberal professions´ and communal pension schemes. Bayerische Versorgungskammer covers about 2 million insured persons in total, with contributions of €4 billion and €2.9 billion pension payments annually. It currently has €62 billion assets under management and 1,200 employees. Visit www.versorgungskammer.de for more information.
Universal-Investment is the largest independent investment company in German-spoken Europe with fund assets in excess of about €268 billion under administration, thereof € 220 billion in own vehicles, over 1,000 funds and investment mandates and a workforce of around 600. The focus lies on the efficient and transparent administration of funds, securities, real estate and alternative asset classes. Universal-Investment was founded in 1968 as subsidiary of several well-known private banks. The company is headquartered in Frankfurt/Main and has subsidiaries and holdings in Luxemburg and Austria. As pioneer of the investment industry Universal-Investment is now market leader in the areas of master-KVG and private label funds. Owing to the strong growth since starting the real estate business in 2011, Universal-Investment established itself among the Top 5 companies for institutional open-ended real estate funds in Germany. Members of the management board are Oliver Harth (deputy spokesman), Markus Neubauer, Stefan Rockel, Alexander Tannenbaum and Bernd Vorbeck (spokesman of the management board). (As per 31 May 2016) Visit www.universal-investment.com for more information.
About Sorgente Group
Valter Mainetti is the CEO and majority shareholder of the Sorgente Group, which owns some of the most iconic trophy assets in Italy and in the major capital cities of the world among which there are the Flatiron Building in New York, the Fine Arts Building in Los Angeles and the Clock Tower in Santa Monica.