AG Real Estate acquires 9 companies that own a campus in Berchem
6 July 2020

AG Real Estate acquires 9 companies that own a campus in Berchem

AG Real Estate has closed the acquisition of 9 companies that own 7 buildings in Berchem, at the foot of the Berchem-Antwerp railway station. Known as Post X, this urban campus boasts a diversified programme that combines 61,000 m² of office space, 4,200 m² of local shops, a sports hall and a 142-room hotel operated by Park Inn by Radisson.

After the investment in the Kievitplein, a mixed development of 130,000 m², in 2014, AG Real Estate is asserting its determination to heighten its presence on the Antwerp real estate market.

“Campus” experience

With this new acquisition, AG Real Estate confirms the deployment of its portfolio towards diversified and hyper-connected properties whose location meets the various mobility and accessibility criteria. Recently developed by IRET Development, this “WoW (Way of Working) Project” is resolutely geared to a future generation of people who want to be part of a society in motion and whose needs revolve around a blend of actions and functionalities that combine professional and social aspects concurrently. Asset diversification is a keyword at AG Real Estate. The strategy is to deploy a geographical presence in regions that no longer have to demonstrate their appeal through economic growth and demographic trends. Particular attention is paid to assets located close to public and rail transport.

Investment strategy

With its 1,850,000 inhabitants, the province of Antwerp expects its population to continue to grow by up to 15.8% by 2050. The Port of Antwerp is the second largest in Europe, having handled a freight volume of more than 235 million tonnes in 2019. Such objective data have enabled us to analyse the various possibilities available on the Antwerp property market. Amaury de Crombrugghe, Chief Investment Officer of AG Real Estate: “In addition to these strong arguments, there is also a record demand for office space equivalent to more than 150,000 m² of take-up and more than 200 transactions over the years 2017-2018. We had to seize the opportunity to acquire such a large volume with quality return on investment, more than 97% of which is occupied by renowned clients such as Proximus, KPMG, SPaces, Ernst&Young, … These new grade A buildings are also fully in line with our new Corporate Social Responsibility strategy”.

Mobility of the highest standard

The Post X campus benefits from excellent access to both the motorway network and public transport. The site is located on the Antwerp ring road at the E19 interchange, at the Berchem-Antwerp railway station. All these means of access have earned it the name “Mobility Hub” and afford its occupants easy access to all the major cities in the country. Tatiana Posa, Senior Transaction Manager Office & Warehouse at AG Real Estate, says: “The investment policy at AG Real Estate has evolved. We want to reassess our portfolio and acquire properties that meet environmental requirements. Mobility is at the heart of our concerns and we need to change our acquisition processes so as to find constructive and adapted solutions for our future occupants. Investing in such hyper-localized property turns us into an eco-responsible player that is resolutely attentive to the new uses of our customer-occupants.”

IRET Development was advised in this transaction by CBRE, Baker & McKenzie and Deloitte. For its part, AG Real Estate chose Linklaters, Aecom and Eight Advisory.

The transaction in a few figures

– Acquisition of a campus composed of 9 companies that own 7 buildings 
– Office floorspace: 61 000 m²
– Floorspace of shops on the ground floor and fitness: 4 200 m²
– Hotel operated by Park Inn by Radisson: 142 rooms
– Car parks: 1 000 places
– Bicycle parking: 1 000 places
– Daily users of the site: 320 000
– Occupancy rate: 97%

About AG Real Estate

AG Real Estate, a wholly-owned subsidiary of AG Insurance, is an integrated property operator active in Belgium, France, Luxembourg and on certain select European markets with expertise in different lines of business: Asset & Property Management, Development & Construction Management, PPP and real estate financing, as well as in Car Park Management through its subsidiary Interparking. A company active in urban real estate, AG Real Estate has more than 250 employees with varied profiles and areas of expertise.

With a portfolio of more than €6.5 billion under management for its own account and on behalf of third parties, AG Real Estate is endeavoring to provide a responsible response to new urban needs and to implement a sustainable development policy as to make its projects even more meaningful.

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Aurore Moens
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