(UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS) – Hines, the international real estate firm, has acquired the 62,000-square-metre Urban Logistics Distribution Centre in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on behalf of the Hines Pan-European Core Fund (HECF). Hines acquired the asset from vendor Ramphastos for an undisclosed price.
The Urban Logistics Distribution Centre is occupied by retailer HEMA and acts as the company’s logistics hub for the Benelux region, serving over 550 HEMA stores. HEMA has occupied the site since 1965 and will lease the warehouse from HECF for 10 years.
The complex is located in Utrecht’s Lage Weide urban logistics hub in the centre of the Netherlands. Utrecht is one of the four major cities in The Netherlands and part of the Randstad metropolitan area, the fourth largest metropolitan area in Europe with a population of 8.2 million. Within the Netherlands, Utrecht is considered the centre of the country and therefore is in high demand for national and Randstad focused distribution centres.
Since 2019, HECF has sought to increase exposure to urban logistics and residential assets in key European cities within its portfolio. The Urban Logistics Distribution Centre represents the third urban logistics investment by HECF over the last 12 months, and further logistics investments are expected to complete in the coming months.
Peter Epping, senior managing director and HECF fund manager at Hines, said, “As HECF continues to diversify into the logistics sector with a focus on urban logistics, we are pleased to have acquired our first urban logistics asset in a strategic location in The Netherlands. Location is crucial and we see strong long-term prospects for the logistics hub of Utrecht Lage Weide, which is uniquely positioned to serve the Benelux region and benefit from increasing demand for urban logistics assets. We are actively assessing a number of other urban logistics projects in top tier cities in Europe.”
Andy Smith, managing director and country head for The Netherlands at Hines, said, “We are grateful to Ramphastos for their trust and collaboration to close this transaction at the current time. We believe strongly in the long-term potential of this property, well beyond its current life as a business-critical distribution centre for a resilient retailer like HEMA.”
Jan Willem Neggers, Partner at Ramphastos, said, “HEMA has thrived at this location for over 50 years and through this transaction with Hines secures its future as tenant of this property for years to come. Ramphastos is supporting HEMA through active management of the company including its real estate interests and is pleased to have selected HECF as its future landlord.”
Support for the transaction was provided to Hines by Savills, Eveda Capital, Simmons & Simmons, Cushman & Wakefield (Project and Development Services), Hollis, Ramboll and PWC.
HEMA was founded in 1926 with the opening of its first store in Amsterdam, and currently has over 750 stores internationally, largely in Europe. The firm has over 19,000 employees and serves over six million visitors each week. The brand is known for its own branded non-food & food products, with a low pricing and creative and practical product design.
Hines is a privately owned global real estate investment firm founded in 1957 with a presence in 205 cities in 24 countries. Hines has approximately $133.3 billion of assets under management, including $71 billion for which Hines serves as an investment manager, including non-real estate assets, and $62.3 billion for which Hines provides third-party property-level services. The firm has 165 developments currently underway around the world. Historically, Hines has developed, redeveloped or acquired 1,393 properties, totalling 459 million square feet. The firm’s current property and asset management portfolio includes 539 properties, representing over 232 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.
Since entering Europe in 1991, Hines has grown its European platform to include offices in 16 cities as well as a presence in 49 cities in 11 countries, with €20.9 billion of assets under management in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Visit www.hines.com for more information.
About the Hines Pan-European Core Fund (HECF)
The Hines Pan-European Core Fund was set up in 2006 with the aim of providing investors with a resilient income profile derived from a diversified portfolio of high-quality assets located in inner-city locations across major European cities.
The Fund combines disciplined sustainable management policies with a risk-adjusted return profile and has been awarded the European leadership in the GRESB ranking for three years while delivering an average net total return of 9.0% between 2015 and 2019, with an income return of 3.5%.
As of Q1 2020 the HECF portfolio was 99.4% occupied with an aggregate value in of c.ca €1.6bn. The portfolio of the Fund is currently composed of 23 assets invested in 15 city markets across eight different European countries.
The Fund has continually improved asset level performance of buildings by working in close collaboration with the local Hines teams and property managers and engaging tenants in a variety of ways. An example of this has been the drive to optimize the energy consumption of the buildings, resulting in a 12% reduction in like-for-like consumption since 2016. The total return of 8.4% achieved in 2018 illustrates that sustainability improvements could also be combined with strong performance for Fund’s investors.