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Blackstone RE fund to raise €9.5B; lenders seek European RE investments

* Blackstone Group Inc.'s latest European opportunistic real estate fund is expected to raise €9.5 billion in capital commitments, IPE Real Assets reported, citing Alexandra Hill, a senior managing director at the private equity firm, who disclosed the information at a board meeting of New Mexico State Investment Council.

The sovereign wealth fund approved a $75 million commitment to the fund, according to the report.

The amount will exceed the €8 billion target for Blackstone Real Estate Partners Europe VI announced in March. The opportunistic fund will invest in logistics, office, hospitality and residential properties in Germany, U.K., France, Spain, Italy, the Nordics and the Netherlands, the publication reported.

* Lenders are increasingly looking to seek income-producing real estate opportunities in Europe rather than continuing to pay to deposit funds in European banks, real estate services company Savills said.

Lending rates to central business district offices have fallen below 1.5% per year on most of Europe's cities, with roughly 60% loan-to-value ratios on offer for investors. This resulted in €69 billion of global equity raised in 2018 for non-listed European real estate, Savills said, citing INREV data.


* Delancey Real Estate Asset Management Ltd. is leading the race to acquire Capital & Counties Properties PLC's Earls Court residential scheme in London, Property Week reported.

The potential deal might derail the possible acquisition of the London-based property company by Candy Ventures and Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund, the publication reported, adding that Capco's CEO Ian Hawksworth is understood to prefer pursuing Delancey's bid on Earls Court.

* Investcorp acquired a £16 million asset in Leeds, completing its third U.K. Industrial and Logistics Programme. The program now has 1 million square feet of industrial and logistics assets across 10 single-let industrial properties in St. Helens, Livingston, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds. The properties were acquired in six separate transactions and are valued at over £80 million.

* CODE Co-Living submitted a planning application to construct a £100 million apartment scheme at the Sheffield city center, according to The Yorkshire Post. The project will comprise three towers rising 36, 16 and 12 stories. The main tower, at almost 117 meters tall, is poised to become Yorkshire's tallest building.

* Mayfair Capital's Property Income Trust for Charities acquired an office asset in Cardiff for an undisclosed amount, according to IPE Real Assets. The newly built 3 Capital Quarter is let to Admiral Insurance and Which? Consumer Services. The property forms part of an eight-acre mixed-use development, which includes 370,000 square feet of offices, 1,200 student beds and a 307-unit residential tower.

* Luxury rental flats company Blueground raised $50 million to invest in London property market for the first time, the Evening Standard reported. The company plans to build a 1,500-unit central London portfolio by 2023.

* St. Modwen Properties PLC submitted plans to develop a 48,000-square-foot speculative office building in Birmingham, PW reported. The four-story Two Park Square will be built adjacent to Bournville College and the A38 Bristol Road in Longbridge.

France and Switzerland

* Amundi Immobilier SA, La Française Real Estate Partners and French pension fund Caisse d'assurance vieillesse des pharmaciens acquired an office building in Levallois-Perret, France, from Ardian and LaSalle Investment Management Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

The 28,000-square-meter West Bridge building at 145-149 rue Anatole France is let to advertising firm WPP for 12 years.

* Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group Ltd. is set to manage and rebrand an existing hotel in Lucerne, Switzerland, according to REP Europe Real Estate.

Opened in 1906, the property on Lake Lucerne is undergoing renovation and is slated to open as Mandarin Oriental Palace, Luzern by the end of 2020. The hotel will comprise 146 rooms with social and dining facilities as well as a spa and fitness room.


* The Polish residential market saw a 6.3% quarter-over-quarter increase in the number of units sold at 16,100 in the third quarter, JLL said in a report. Sales of new flats in the country was up roughly 13% year over year.

* Singapore-based Cromwell European REIT acquired two fully let office buildings in Krakow from Brassa SP for €80 million, IPE Real Assets reported. The properties are the 22,954-square-meter Green Office building in Krakowski Park Technologiczny Special Economic Zone and the 11,341-square-meter Avatar office asset.

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