Catella Real Estate acquires affordable student housing complex in Maastricht
Munich-based investment manager Catella Real Estate AG (CREAG) has acquired The Bassin, a 159-apartment student housing complex in Maastricht, built on the initiative of Mulleners Vastgoed.
The purchase was made on behalf of the Sarasin Sustainable Properties - European Cities fund (SSP), an institutional fund jointly managed by CREAG and Bank J Safra Sarasin with AuM over EUR500 million.
Comprising two five-floor buildings, the complex is named after the Bassin, Maastricht’s historic inner harbour in the city centre, where the property is located. Formerly two office blocks, the newly renovated buildings with a total lettable area of 3,100 sq m, have been transformed into independent industrial-style studio apartments, each with a private kitchen, bathroom, ready for the beginning of the academic year starting in September 2020. The property has solar panels on the roof and a total of 48 above-ground parking spaces.
Axel Bertram, Portfolio Manager at CREAG, says: “This acquisition demonstrates the strength of Catella’s European network. Our market knowledge and local presence across Europe enable us to source high-quality assets and offer ongoing investment and asset management services to funds that we manage on our own behalf and third parties. The latest acquisition in Maastricht, which has a severely constrained housing market, offers a great opportunity for future income and asset value growth.”
The Bassin lies within walking distance of Maastricht University’s economics, law, cultural and social sciences faculties as well as most of the university library facilities. The university’s medical and psychology faculties are located a 15-minute bike ride away in the Randwyck district.
Ralph Willems, Acquisition Manager Catella IM Benelux, says: “Maastricht University has a strong reputation for science and research, attracting some 18,000 students of which 53% are international students. This student population has put pressure on the city’s limited private rental housing stock and specifically student housing, which we believe makes newly renovated properties such as The Bassin highly attractive. Even more because the private rental market in Maastricht is severely constrained by low levels of new development and affordability for students is an issue.”
CREAG completed the acquisition in September 2020. The property will be managed by Catella Investment Management Benelux (CIMB) based in Maastricht.
Maastricht also benefits from its proximity to many European cities and international airports, and good connections via its public transport network and the A2 and A79 motorways. Liège and Hasselt in Belgium, as well as Aachen in Germany, are easily accessible by car in 30 minutes. Cologne, Düsseldorf, Brussels, Antwerp, and Eindhoven with their international airports are within an hour’s radius and Maastricht-Aachen International Airport is also only 15 minutes away by car.
Sarasin Sustainable Properties – European Cities invests up to 25 per cent in residential properties and caters specifically to the needs of institutional investors in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, and all assets in the portfolio are required to meet the sustainability standards of Bank J Safra Sarasin, Switzerland’s leading sustainable private bank.
Catella was advised by the law firm CMS in the transaction.