Catella European Residential III Fund (CER III) has acquired the redeveloped Ceylonpoort office tower in Haarlem, near Amsterdam, for €65 million. The former offices of publisher VNU will be extensively refurbished into a residential tower to meet the requirements of a Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) under the EU directive on the sustainable energy performance of real estate. The installation of a geothermal heat pump beneath the property as well as solar panels on the roof, will provide most of the energy required by the building and its tenants. Together with a new, more energy-efficient façade, this will result in very low energy bills for residents.
The Ceylonpoort Tower was acquired from developer Wedda, an affiliate of Egeria Real Estate Investment, in partnership with Going Dutch Development, by Maastricht-based Catella Investment Management Benelux (CIMB) on behalf of CER III. The impact fund is managed by Berlin-based Catella Residential Investment Management (CRIM).
Paul van Stiphout, Fund Manager at Catella Residential Investment Management (CRIM), said: “Our CER III Fund is pursuing a longer-term pan-European strategy of investing in high-quality, well-located residential assets with strong ESG credentials. This investment is an ambitious conversion play from a redundant office to a much-needed affordable residential complex with the highest possible level of sustainability. Supply of housing in the mid-range rental segment remains scarce across the Netherlands, particularly in cities in the western part of the country where the majority of the population lives. This property ticks all the boxes in terms of sustainability, affordability and social impact and will be a strong contributor to the Fund’s overall performance.”
During the transformation of the Ceylonpoort, an estimated 142 kg of CO2 per sqm will be released in the refurbishment, which is dramatically lower than the average 505 CO2 kg/sqm emitted in the construction of a comparable newly built residential building. This also places the sustainability of the Ceylonpoort project comfortably within the threshold of 220 CO2 kg/sqm, which is required to conform with the target of the Paris agreement on climate change aimed at limiting the rise in global warming to less than two degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels by 2050.
Jac Huijsmans, Senior Acquisition Manager at Catella Investment Management Benelux (CIMB), added: “The excellent sustainability credentials of this investment are underscored by the limited amount of CO2 released during construction through retaining the existing building structure, which aligns with the concept of a circular economy. Our ownership of the geothermal heat pump installation also enables us to make an additional social impact through cheaper bills for our tenants.”
The Ceylonpoort is located on the Amerikaweg, close to Haarlem’s city center, in the district of Schalkwijk. Upon completion, the refurbished tower will accommodate 162 spacious and affordable apartments, commercial space totaling 536 sqm, and a three-level parking garage for residents. Ceylonpoort will offer a diverse mix of homes including one-, two- and three-bedroom units.
The Haarlem district of Schalkwijk has recently undergone a major upgrading through the addition of numerous new buildings including shops and bars, mainly around the original shopping centre and the Amerikaweg. The exterior of the Ceylonpoort residential tower will be completely renewed to include a full glass facade on the north side, balconies for all residents, and two-storey penthouses on the top floors. The apartments will target the mid-range rental segment where monthly rents start at €764.
Construction of the residential tower is due to start on July and will be undertaken by Smits Bouw Bedrijf. Completion is scheduled for mid-2024. Catella Investment Management Benelux will act as asset manager during the transformation process and upon completion.
CBRE and Dudok Legal advised the vendor Wedda in this transaction. The buyer was assisted by Resi, PVM and Loyens Loeff.
About Catella Investment Management Benelux (CIMB)
Catella Investment Management Benelux (CIMB) is a member of the Catella European residential network alliance and the local office that offers fund, acquisition and asset management for all Catella-managed funds with an allocation to the Benelux region. CIMB has a broad real estate portfolio with some 75% invested in residential property and the balance in commercial assets. CIMB currently has about €1.5 billion in assets under management in the Benelux and is anticipating investing some €600 million per annum in these markets over the next few years.
About Catella Residential Investment Management GmbH (CRIM)
Catella launched its first European residential fund in 2007 and its first dedicated European Student Housing Fund in 2013. CRIM is a subsidiary of the Stockholm-based Catella AB Group and its residential real estate business comprises portfolio management, acquisitions, sales and asset management. CRIM manages and advises several funds and mandates and has assets under management of more than €6.8 billion across 11 European countries.
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