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Partner sought for £1.5B UK scheme; investors target rental assets in Europe


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Partner sought for £1.5B UK scheme; investors target rental assets in Europe

* The University of Manchester is seeking a development and investment partner for the £1.5 billion ID Manchester innovation scheme on its North Campus site in Manchester, U.K., Manchester Evening News reported. The university presented its plans for the 26-acre site at the MIPIM property conference in Cannes, France.

The university intends to vacate North Campus in 2022, which has a 650,000-square-foot building up for potential repurposing, while the fate of other buildings on the site depends on the chosen investment partner, the publication noted, citing CBRE Executive Director Colin Thomasson.

* A poll conducted at the MIPIM property event showed that 66% of investors place the rental residential sector at the highest priority for increased investment exposure in 2019 and 2020, although the sector remains plagued by low availability, which is causing some investors to take varied approaches, IPE Real Assets reported. Fifty-six percent of investors agreed that the logistics property sector is overheating, the publication noted.

* Citing Cushman & Wakefield's Global Investment Atlas 2019 report, Property Week reported that global real estate investment levels grew 4% year over year in 2018 to a record $1.75 trillion, with Cushman & Wakefield predicting 2019 levels to match the previous year.

* Baumont Real Estate Capital's inaugural private equity real estate fund raised €337 million at final close, surpassing its target of €250 million, propertyfundsworld reported.


* HFF Real Estate Ltd. arranged a £108 million bilateral acquisition and refurbishment financing for the 127 Kensington High St. mixed-use project in London's Kensington and Chelsea borough, according to a release. HFF worked on behalf of Ashby Capital, with the financing provided by an unnamed global investment bank.

The 127,000-square-foot neglected property is set to be revamped to provide office and retail space.

* Warehouse REIT PLC aims to raise gross proceeds of up to £100.0 million through a proposed issue of ordinary shares to fund acquisitions of properties identified by the company's investment adviser. Up to 97,087,378 new ordinary shares will be issued at an issue price of 103 pence apiece.

The identified acquisitions pipeline totals roughly £256.0 million, of which roughly £41.3 million worth of assets are in exclusive or final negotiations or have solicitors instructed while a further £214.7 million are in detailed negotiations.

* The board of Local Shopping REIT PLC is recommending that shareholders reject Thalassa Holdings Ltd.'s offer to buy the company and to instead vote in favor of liquidating and winding up the real estate investment trust.

The board is calling for a meeting April 5 to approve the resolution that will allow it to petition the court for the winding up of the company if the buyout bid lapses or is withdrawn, according to a filing. The board also said court approval for the petition is likely due to the advice it received.

* Europa Capital's Europa Generation joint venture with Generation Student raised approximately £100 million at the first closing of its U.K. student accommodation fund, propertyfundsworld reported.

With £180 million of assets under management, Europa Generation Student Fund hopes to capitalize on the favorable conditions of the student accommodation markets in U.K. cities and deliver sustainable and growing income return to investors.

* Weston Homes PLC paid £85 million to acquire the Watford Laundry Factory in Watford, City A.M. reported. The real estate developer aims to transform the site into a residential project that will offer 227 homes and a commercial facility. The development will feature 162,000 square feet of new homes for private sale and 15,000 square feet of affordable housing.


* The Socialist government's newly imposed emergency decree that limits rent increases to inflation rates in new rental contracts is "a curve ball to investors" who had been acquiring apartment properties in anticipation of the Spanish real estate market's recovery, Bloomberg News reported.

Citing BNP Paribas Real Estate, the news outlet noted that rents had increased roughly 60% between 2014 and 2017. Now, annual increases will be linked to inflation, which is at 1.1%, with the cap to last five years for individual landlords and seven years for institutional landlords like Blackstone Group LP, which has amassed a €25 billion Spanish portfolio in the past six years.


* Torunlar Gayrimenkul Yatırım Ortaklığı AŞ Chairman Aziz Torun said in an investor conference that the real estate company aims to complete its existing investments and reduce debt between 2019 and 2021, opting to wait out a soft housing market and high borrowing costs as the country's economy contracted 3% in the final quarter of 2018, Reuters reported. Torunlar intends to sell stock to reduce debt and will focus on foreign buyers until business conditions improve, according to the news outlet.

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