Swedish real estate investor, Europi Property Group, together with Trinova Real Estate has launched a new joint venture, ‘Citybee’. Initially, Citybee will seek to invest £200m in grade A, prime office assets within the UK’s ‘Big 6’ regional urban centres (Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds, and Birmingham).
The JV, over the last six months completed on four seed assets for the strategy in Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh & Manchester. Minerva House in Leeds is a 100% occupied, prime, grade-A office asset in the heart of the city. The Cuprum Building similarly, is a 100% occupied, grade-A quality office asset in the southern part of Glasgow CBD. The Stamp Office, in Edinburgh is a very well-located CBD trophy office asset with significant potential to drive value through asset management initiatives. Finally, Windmill Green, is an 82,000sqft, BREEAM Outstanding, CBD Manchester block. Europi & Trinova will be focused on enhancing the ESG credentials of the portfolio, as well as holistically improving the tenant environment to provide a best in class, fit for purpose & sustainable space tailored to modern & future occupier needs.
The JV is targeting the ‘Big 6’ regional cities due to their attractive market dynamics and appeal to a wide range of property investors and aims to add a further two or three assets in the near term. Additionally, recent changes to working habits have caused multinationals & SMEs alike to rethink their office footprints because of emergent & accelerated themes such as ‘working local’ and the decentralization of office space. On top of this a dynamic, educated & young regional talent pool which will continue to attract occupiers & drive tenant demand for grade-A space in these regional city locations as the competition for talent increases.
By branding the JV, ‘Citybee’, it is a commitment to stakeholders in the assets (occupiers and the wider communities alike) that the JV will uphold quality and consistency during the JV’s stewardship. With a strong focus on the portfolio’s ESG impact, and a quality tenant experience across the portfolio, Citybee, aim cater to the needs of current and future occupiers.
Jonathan Willén, CEO of Europi comments:
“This marks an exciting time for Europi, increasing our presence in the UK by investing in a high-conviction strategy alongside an excellent JV partner with a long track record and best-in-class asset management capabilities. The UK has effectively administered a rapid vaccine rollout and, in the medium term, looks set to outperform average Eurozone growth prospects. Additionally, we see current events increasing demand for prime UK regional office space in aggregate, as well as accelerating specific trends such as ‘North-shoring’. When combined with very low grade-A vacancy rates in these submarkets and a shrinking regional office development pipeline, we see attractive market dynamics and an opportune time to launch this strategy. We continue to seek appropriate further add-on opportunities.”
Sam Resouly, Partner at Trinova Real Estate comments:
“We are delighted to have entered into a joint venture with Europi to acquire high quality assets in the target markets. We share a high level of conviction that well located offices, providing amenities and focussing on ESG credentials, will remain attractive over the long term. We look forward to creating and curating exciting and dynamic working environments for our occupiers under the CityBee brand”.