Henderson Park acquires €300m Berlin asset for ‘manage to green’ strategy

Henderson Park, the private equity real estate firm, has bought an office building, Mosse-Zentrum, in a value-add play.

The London-based firm has acquired the asset for a price reported to be €300mln from Real I.S., the real estate investment management arm of the Bavarian Landesbank. Real I.S. is acting on behalf of the special real estate alternative investment fund, Real I.S. BGV VI.

Henderson Park said it was planning a ‘manage to green’ refurbishment of the building to create a flagship workspace to provide prime modern offices with strong sustainability, amenity and technological credentials.

Originally constructed in the early 1900s, Mosse-Zentrum once served as a printing house and office of the Berliner Tageblatt newspaper and is located in the heart of the Zeitungsviertel newspaper quarter, where about 500 newspaper, printing and publishing companies were based at that time. The property comprises of 37,000 m2 and has been acquired fully let to multiple blue-chip tenants.

Mosse-Zentrum is located adjacent to the new Axel Springer headquarters in the Berlin Mitte central business district, a highly sought micro-location between Checkpoint Charlie and Gendarmenmarkt, which attracts strong demand from investors and occupiers, including government organisations, public service providers and major corporates.

A central focus of Henderson Park’s asset management efforts and capex investments will be the implementation of measures to improve the building’s sustainability credentials, targeting a minimum LEED Gold certificate. The plans for repositioning the building also include refurbishing the ground floor lobby and historic façade, upgrading outside areas and delivering communal hubs such as coworking space, as well as adding additional food and beverage provisions.

The company noted Berlin as Europe’s fourth largest and one of its fastest growing office markets. The central business district currently has a vacancy rate of sub-2% and a limited pipeline of the types of modern office stock generating the strongest occupier demand.

Stoke Park Capital is acting as local operating partner for ongoing asset management and the implementation of its business plan.

Robert Hellerschmied, director at Henderson Park, said Mosse-Zentrum still had ‘significant underlying potential’ which it intended to unlock through a range of green refurbishment initiatives that will create a workspace fit for modern occupiers and in line with our own ESG policy.

Axel Schulz, global head of investment management at Real I.S. said: ‘The Berlin-Mitte submarket is a highly attractive office location in Germany’s burgeoning capital, which benefits from low vacancy rates. We are pleased to be able to reinvest for our investors the funds acquired through the sale.”

Henderson Park was advised by P+P Pöllath + Partners, TA Europe, Code of Practice Architects and BNP Paribas Real Estate. Norton Rose Fulbright advised Real I.S.

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