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Former Great Portland directors launch London firm; Aldar sells Abu Dhabi tower

* Former Great Portland Estates PLC directors Neil Thompson and Ben Chambers established a new business to invest in the office sector and development opportunities in central London, Property Week reported. The new Dartriver company will specialize in value-creating investment, asset management and development, the report added.

* An Aldar Properties PJSC unit divested the Al Murjan Tower in Abu Dhabi for 289 million United Arab Emirates dirhams. The property includes 252 residential units across 23 floors, as well as 1,022 square meters of ground floor retail within 10 units and 1,481 square meters of office space across eight units.

UK and Ireland

* The O'Callaghan Hotel Group gained planning approval for a new eight-story hotel beside Twitter Inc.'s Dublin headquarters, the Irish Independent reported. The company is moving ahead with plans despite local opposition about an additional hotel complex in the area, which already contains three existing hotels and Airbnb rentals. Persian Properties Ltd. will deliver the new 158-room hotel on Cumberland St., according to the report.

* Real estate investment manager Newcore Capital Management LLP formed a partnership with operator Engage Management Services to target the U.K.'s self-storage sector. Newcore is committing an initial £10 million of equity from its £100 million Newcore Strategic Situations IV value-add fund to build a portfolio of freehold self-storage assets in the U.K. and expects to commit £25 million in the sector over the next 18 months.

* Fortwell Capital Ltd. provided a loan of £31.1 million to The High Street Group to develop an eight-story building comprising 220 homes in central Birmingham, U.K., PW reported.

* Tolent Construction Ltd. won a contract to deliver the first prototype houses at Kirkstall Forge in Leeds, U.K., as part of the 112-homes initial stage at the £400 million project, Construction Enquirer reported. Kirkstall Forge will include over 1,000 new homes and 400,000 square feet of offices, retail, leisure and community spaces upon completion, the publication added.

* British Land Co. PLC signed lease deals with three new tenants for a total of 140,000 square feet at its Broadgate estate in London, according to a release. The landlord signed gaming business Product Madness for 30,000 square feet at 1 Finsbury Ave., while at 100 Liverpool St., it agreed to lease more than 70,000 square feet and 40,000 square feet respectively to law firm Milbank and corporate broking group Peel Hunt.

* Irish retailer Applegreen PLC is evaluating options for the hotel business it acquired after it bought a roughly 55% stake in U.K. motorway service operator Welcome Break in 2018 under a €440 million deal, the Irish Independent reported. The company is also in initial stages of talks to expand further in the U.S., the report added.

* The Circle Collection portfolio comprising 213 residential units and three commercial assets in Dublin city center was brought to the market with an asking price of €46 million, reflecting a gross initial yield of 7.2%, The Irish Times reported.

France

* Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield will pay an interim dividend of €5.40 per share March 29 and a final dividend of the same amount on July 5. The €10.80-per-share full-year dividend is subject to the shareholder approval at the company's May 17 annual general meeting.

Spain

* Cerberus Capital Management LP hired Arrow Capital Partners to manage a €750 million Spanish light industrial and logistics portfolio, spanning roughly 5 million square meters across more than 1,000 properties, IPE Real Assets reported.

* On behalf of its clients, Axa Investment Managers - Real Assets forward purchased a 135-unit residential development in central Madrid from Acciona Inmobiliaria SL. The project is slated for completion in December 2020 and will aim for a BREEAM label certification, according to a release.

Germany

* A Savills Investment Management Inc. fund acquired the 36,500-square-meter Europaring 11 logistics building in Straubing for an undisclosed amount from CBRE Global Investors Inc., IPE Real Assets reported. The property is leased to BMW and ALBA Group's joint venture, Encory, since 2018, the report added.

* Despite performance declines in some German cities in 2018 and a supply surge, investors remain interested in the country's hotel sector, as there is no indication of a rise in risk aversion or higher yields, REFI Europe reported, citing Christie & Co.

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