UBS Asset Management acquires Amsterdam office development


UBS Asset Management's (UBS-AM) Real Estate & Private Markets (REPM) business has acquired, by way of forward-purchase, The Flow, an office development in Amsterdam, from ToBeDeveloped.

Designed by MVSA Architects, The Flow will comprise circa 6,000 sq m of flexible and creative working space spread over six storeys and set within a state-of-the-art glass exterior innovatively designed to resemble a black diamond structure.
 
Construction of The Flow commenced in May 2018. It is being built to BREEAM Excellent standards for its sustainable design, and is also targeting a WELL Building “Platinum” certification to recognise its emphasis on the wellbeing and satisfaction of the building’s occupants. Highlight features include a rooftop terrace, communal entertainment areas, a 360o digital boardroom, a concierge service and smart technology systems ensuring the utmost in efficiency.
 
The building is on track to complete in July 2019; 40 per cent has already been pre-let to three tenants from creative industries and marketing of the remaining available space is underway.
 
The waterfront property is located in the Houthavens dockland area, 3km from Amsterdam’s centre. The former industrial district combines original warehouse properties with stunning modern architecture. The significant regeneration of the surrounding area has established Houthavens as a highly sought-after place to live and work and has also gained it a reputation as a creative hub. The Flow will be easily accessible by car, public transport, bike and boat, while Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is just a 15 minute drive away.
 
The Flow was conceptualised by ToBeDeveloped and benefits from a trademark that will allow for its innovative model for the modern workplace to be replicated elsewhere, with the ultimate vision to have a series of interconnected Flow buildings across key European cities.
 
Ward van de Braak, Head of UBS Asset Management for REPM in Europe ex Switzerland, says: “This unique investment opportunity is a next-generation concept that stands out because of its emphasis on healthy and sustainable workplaces, which we believe will become increasingly paramount to occupiers’ leasing decisions in future. This acquisition, which is our fourth in Amsterdam over the past two years as well as our third in the strongly performing Houthavens area, highlights our confidence in the potential of this landmark development."
 
Hans Woerlee, Director of ToBeDeveloped, adds: “With UBS-AM, we found an investor who embraced our ambition to implement and roll-out a series of Flow buildings in Europe. The Flow concept is a different kind of office space with rooms to connect and rooms to disconnect, rooftop venue, a stunning LED display wall at the entrance and a hammam/wellness centre. Outdoor decks, climate ceilings, adaptive LED lightning and responsive intelligent systems all add comfort, which we believe will resonate positively with prospective tenants.”
 
UBS-AM was advised on this transaction by Houthoff, Van Gool Elburg and Deloitte, while ToBeDeveloped was advised by DLA Piper, Cushman & Wakefield and Savills.

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