The first pan-European ‘dark green’ residential impact fund, Catella European Residential Fund III (‘CER III’), to achieve the highest level of sustainability under the EU’s SFDR Article 9 certification hit more than €750 million in AUM at the end of 2021, after acquiring a senior living property in Brussels for over €50 million from Bassem Certificates SA, a real estate company managed by the Belgian Bank Degroof Petercam.
Maastricht-based Catella Investment Management Benelux (CIMB) and Berlin-based Catella Residential Investment Management (CRIM) bought L’Ecrin Vert, on the corner of Rue Jacques Bassem and Chaussée de Wavre in the affluent Brussels suburb of Auderghem, on behalf of the CER III Fund.
Patrick Au Yeung, Fund Manager CER III said: “Achieving the status of a true dark green residential impact fund is proving to be a high hurdle for the real estate investment industry to clear. CER III remains in pole position as the only pan-European vehicle of scale on the market with its assets under management reaching over €750 million after this investment – its second in Brussels. Europe’s structurally ageing populations are driving strong demand for the type of high-quality senior living property L’Ecrin Vert represents and the acquisition is well-aligned with the fund’s societal investment criteria. In the next couple of years, the building’s current gas-heating system will be upgraded to ensure it is carbon neutral by 2030 at the latest.”
Originally planned as a residential apartment block, this modern six-storey property has been converted into a high-quality serviced senior living complex during development, with 8,938 sqm of living space including 1,369 sqm of terraces. There are 108 residential apartments, two retail units totalling 427 sqm of GLA and 52 underground parking spaces. The ground floor houses several amenities for the residents including a reception, a library and multimedia lounge, fitness and wellness facilities, such as an indoor pool, massage area and sauna, as well as a hairdressing salon, bar, restaurant and office for the operator, Domitys.
Ralph Willems, Senior Acquisition Manager, CIMB added: “The acquisition of L’Ecrin Vert demonstrates Belgium’s growing attractiveness as an emerging institutional residential investment market. At over €50 million, this acquisition is one of the largest single asset deals ever done in the Belgian residential sector. There is growing demand for high quality senior living which underpins our confidence in the future potential of this asset. Domitys is a leader in its sector in France and a key player in the senior living ‘Silver Economy,’ and this marks their entry into the Belgium market. We are happy to support them with an optimally designed building.”
The residential elements comprise 40 studios, 52 single- and 16 two-room apartments of various sizes ranging from 43 to 124 sqm. The units are spread over three wings and have been configured to appeal to different target groups. The apartments are of a high specification with open plan living spaces, well-fitted kitchens, cubicle WCs, bathrooms with showers and most include a terrace or balcony. The complex is part of a larger residential development and residents also have access to a shared private garden.
Auderghem lies to the east of Brussels and is a small, wealthy commune with a growing population approaching 35,000. The property is a five minutes’ walk from the municipality’s many commercial amenities including a large shopping centre and several smaller stores, restaurants, cafes and leisure facilities located along the Chaussee de Wavre. The neighbourhood is well known for its extensive parks and offers a broad range of cultural amenities such as ‘Van Hertoginnedal castle’, ‘St.-Anna castle’, botanical garden ‘Jean Massart’, art centre Red Cloister and the Soignes Forest.
The property is easily accessible by both car and public transport, with the E411 national highway, a two-minute drive away providing a direct route to the southeast of Belgium and a direct connection to the Brussels ring-road. Several tram and bus lines provide multiple access points to the city centre. The nearest bus stop is three minutes’ walk away and the nearest metro stop (Hermann-Debroux) six minutes.
Clifford Chance advised Catella on legal matters, Deloitte on tax and structuring with Drees & Sommer conducted technical due diligence. Bassem Certificates was advised by CBRE and Stibbe.
About Catella Residential Investment Management GmbH (CRIM)
Catella launched its first European residential fund in 2007 with a volume of €1.6 billion and it has since achieved an average net return for investors of more than 9% per year until the end of Q3 2021. The team also launched the 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 €6.0 billion across 10 European countries.
About Catella Investment Management Benelux (CIMB)
Catella Investment Management Benelux (CIMB) is part of the Catella group, a leading specialist in property investments and fund management with operation in 13 European countries and approximately 550 employees, including approximately 25 employees in the Benelux. The group manages assets of approximately €11 billion (June 2021). Catella is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm in the Mid Cap segment.
CIMB is 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. CIMB is a member of the Catella European residential network alliance.
For more information, please contact:
Steve Hays: email@example.com
Emma Villiers: firstname.lastname@example.org
T: +31 (0) 20 419 09 01
Catella IM Benelux
Ralph Willems: email@example.com