COLOGNE—Avison Young says it has advised two Canadian pension funds in the acquisition and financing of a mixed-use, two-building complex at Luxemburger Strasse/Barbarossaplatz in Cologne.
The complex was sold by Frankfurt-based Allianz Real Estate Germany GmbH on behalf of Stuttgart-based Allianz Life Insurance. Allianz was represented by CBRE in the transaction. Avison Young will serve as asset manager of the complex.
DekaBank’s real estate lending team based in Frankfurt provided a long-term debt facility for the acquisition of the complex.
The asset is a fully-leased modern office building with an adjacent mixed-use tower situated in the Cologne central business district. The asset is located next to various key Cologne public transportation routes, the University of Cologne, and the city’s central retail area.
With approximately 179,600 square feet, or 16,687 square meters, of total leasable area, including 156,100 square feet of office space, 4,413 square feet of retail space and 11 residential units, the property has a prominent view of the surrounding city and countryside.
KPMG, a global leader in audit, tax and advisory services with member firms in 155 countries, is the primary office tenant.
The transaction represents the first direct investment in Germany for the Canadian pension-fund clients, and the inaugural asset-management mandate for Avison Young outside of North America. Terms of the transaction, which closed April 30, were not disclosed.
“We are proud that, with our strong global network, we were able to facilitate more North American investment management clients to enter the European real estate market,” comments Avison Young principal and managing director Udo Stöckl, based in Frankfurt, Germany.
“Our European and North American investment teams worked seamlessly across borders to provide the same level of service that our clients expect in North America. For our growing European team, it was also an exciting opportunity to introduce North American clients to an entirely new market that was previously unfamiliar to them. We took the opportunity to share with them, and our extended team, German business traditions and culture, and look forward to expanding that knowledge to other recovering markets in Europe.”
Avison Young Principal Amy Erixon, who heads up Avison Young’s investment management business, says the deal represents an important step in the evolution of Avison Young’s global investment business beyond North America.
“We are grateful for the confidence placed in us by our Canadian pension-fund clients to secure investments on their behalf, which can provide diversification and more attractive risk-adjusted returns than comparable properties in Canada can offer at this point in the cycle,” states Erixon, who is based in Toronto, Ontario. “Our European investment team, under the leadership of Udo Stöckl, continues to source quality investments for a variety of international investors across the major markets in continental Europe and the U.K. With Europe emerging from its liquidity crisis, we expect to be able to consummate more attractive investments this year,” she adds.