Swiss Life Asset Managers acquires one of the Lee Towers in Rotterdam

Swiss Life Asset Managers has acquired one of the prestigious Lee Towers in the Dutch city of Rotterdam as a share deal. 

The acquisition will be allocated to the open-ended real estate public fund Swiss Life REF (DE) European Real Estate Living and Working and Swiss Life REF (DE) European Living in equal parts. The latter fund is distributed exclusively by Deka in Germany. The vendor is the Dutch company tB|BHW Projects B.V.

The iconic Lee Towers residential buildings were designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in 1975 and were originally built as an office property. In 2019, they were thoroughly renovated according to state-of-the-art sustainability criteria and put to residential use. A total of 443 residential units – some of them with breathtaking views - are spread over a rental area of around 24,000 sq m on 24 floors. Additionally, there is a commercial unit on the ground floor. The transfer of benefits and burdens is planned for the end of November. Some 95 per cent of the property is let. The parties agreed not to publish any details concerning the volume of the transaction.
"Rotterdam is the second biggest city in the Nether-lands and one of the economic centres in Europe with one of the biggest European ports. Thus, this prestigious real estate investment fits perfectly into the portfolio of our funds," fund manager Walter Seul says.
Rotterdam has a population of roughly 640,000 and it is estimated to increase to up to 1 million by 2030. The Lee Towers form the core of the M4H port area, which has developed into an upscale and sought-after location in recent years. The urban planning is modelled on the Hafen City of Hamburg.
Dr Christine Bernhofer, CEO of Swiss Life KVG and COO of Swiss Life Asset Managers in Germany, says: "With this transaction, we are able to make our mark in the Dutch residential real estate market for two of our public funds. This increased market attention enabled us to set an example for Swiss Life Asset Managers in the Dutch real estate market and thus lays the ground for subsequent transactions. We are very pleased with the successful completion of this highly complex transaction."
"With this transaction, we are concluding another successful transformation. With Lee Towers 1, we are demonstrating that it is possible to add a high-quality volume to the residential rental segment, where supply is scarce, in the short term. This is not possible without an ambitious municipality and partners/suppliers with whom we execute such projects. With Swiss Life Asset Managers, the property will have a renowned owner and we will proceed with the implementation of new transformations at full speed," says Henk van Kooij, investment manager at tB|BHW Projects.
CORPUS SIREO, a subsidiary of Swiss Life Asset Managers in Germany, will take over the asset management after the transition.