Germany’s largest pension scheme group BVK eyes Dublin retail property

Germany’s largest pension scheme group is eyeing an Irish retail property splurge as part of a €1.3bn pan-European investment plan.

The group, BVK, has instructed international real estate firm, Hines to target prime high street retail assets across Europe as part of its investment programme.

Among its top priorities is the Dublin real estate market which has seen considerable demand over the past 18 months or so.

Hines has specifically identified the capital’s prime shopping areas including Grafton St and Henry St as potential investment hotspots.

Commenting on the current real estate environment in Dublin, Hines Ireland senior managing director Brian Moran said he was confident the firm could compete and move quickly to secure properties it is interested in acquiring on behalf of BVK.

“For the right asset, we can be very competitive on pricing and our ability to execute transactions quickly should give us a competitive advantage— something which is vitally important in the prime retail asset class,” said Mr Moran.

A recent report from commercial property specialists CBRE indicated a severe shortage of retail properties in the country’s most sought after urban areas.

The recovery in consumer sentiment and retail sales fuelled considerable occupier and investor activity in the the Dublin market throughout 2015.

This is likely to be replicated in the coming 12 months.

The research found that the most in-demand high street areas are now close to, or at, full occupancy.

Specialist bank Investec is predicting approximately €3bn worth of deals in the commercial property market nationwide this year with more than 200 transactions forecasted.

Recent reports have also identified Hines as the leading contender to snap up PricewaterhouseCoopers Irish headquarters on Spencer Dock which was recently put on the market with a €240m asking price.

Separately, I-RES Reit has completed its acquisition of 442 apartments at Tallaght Cross West in Dublin for €83m.

The acquisition was funded by the company’s new credit facility of up €250m provided by Barclays and Ulster Bank announced last week.

Barclays are lending €162.5m to the property company, while €87.5m is to be provided by Ulster Bank.


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