Allianz signs forward deal for Tower 1 of Frankfurt’s FOUR development

Tower 1, Frankfurt (Gross & Partner)

Allianz Real Estate has completed a forward deal to acquire Tower 1 (pictured, ©Gross & Partner) of the new FOUR development in Frankfurt on behalf of a joint venture between several Allianz group companies and a Universal-Investment fund domiciled in Luxembourg, administered on behalf of German pension fund Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK-Fund). 

The EUR1.4 billion property, which is being constructed in the heart of Frankfurt’s banking district, is the largest single-asset deal in Germany so far in 2021. This is the second such joint venture between Allianz and BVK-Fund, following the forward deal in 2019 to acquire the EDGE East Side Tower in Berlin.

Developed by Gross & Partner, one of the most experienced developers in Germany, FOUR T1 is a 233-metre high-rise building offering more than 82,500 sq m – of which 74,800 sq m will be offices – across its 54 floors. It will be the third-tallest skyscraper in Frankfurt and, with its efficient floor plates, high fit-out standards and smart technologies, is considered by many to be one of the top office towers in the city. Two-thirds of FOUR T1’s office space has already been pre-let four years before its completion to high-quality tenants from, amongst others, the banking and consultancy sectors, underlining the high attractiveness of the asset and its location. On completion in 2024, Allianz Real Estate and Gross & Partner will look to achieve Germany’s highest sustainability certification with the asset: DGNB Platinum in combination with its classification as a ‘Vertical City‘.

FOUR T1 is part of a highly visible urban development, being built to a work-live-play concept, consisting of four towers on a unified platform. Within FOUR T1 will be a large food hall, convenience store and café, a kindergarten and a range of rooftop terraces. The other three towers in the development will offer residential units and condominiums, a design hotel and office space.

Annette Kröger, CEO North & Central Europe at Allianz Real Estate, says: “This is a landmark acquisition in every sense. It demonstrates our ability to source the best assets for our investors and emphasizes our continued conviction towards prime, future-oriented offices. FOUR T1’s combination of intelligent technologies and focus on sustainability will offer its users unmatched comfort and well-being while also contributing to our target to reduce carbon emissions across our real estate portfolio by 25 per cent by 2025 and be carbon net-zero by 2050.”

Nicole Pötsch, Head of Acquisitions & Sales for North & Central Europe at Allianz Real Estate, says: “Frankfurt is one of the most influential business locations in Germany and the financial centre of Europe. The city’s CBD is characterised by a low vacancy rate at 2.8 per cent and limited office supply until 2024, and has shown tremendous resilience during the pandemic. That a number of the leases for FOUR T1 were signed during the pandemic underlines the attractiveness of the asset and its location.“

Rainer Komenda, Head of Real Estate Investment at Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK), says: “As members of the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance and a signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Investment, BVK is committed to making its contribution to limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. Our real estate investments, therefore, must adhere to these membership principles, which is why the opportunity to co-invest with Allianz on FOUR T1, with its focus on sustainability, held such strong appeal.”

Felix Becker, Real Estate Investment D-A-CH at Bayerische Versorgungskammer (BVK), adds: “We are delighted to once again invest with our proven partner Allianz in this landmark asset. The FOUR ensemble and in particular Tower 1 will set new standards in real estate in all aspects. I am sure that many investors will envy us for this outstanding investment. The property fits in perfectly with our future strategy and expands our portfolio, which is already well positioned.”

Nikolaus Bieber, Managing Partner at Gross & Partner, says: “We are very grateful for the professional collaboration with Allianz and BVK. We know that FOUR T1 is in excellent hands. Furthermore, we now have successfully sold both of FOUR's office towers, with the sale of T4 having been completed in 2018. This is not only an immense confirmation of the quality standard and innovation of the project, but also of Frankfurt am Main as a sought-after office district. While the future of the office letting market was strongly questioned over the course of the past year, now we are proud of sending a strong message on the success of FOUR and Frankfurt: offices are still in demand here!”

Peter Matteo, Managing Partner at Gross & Partner, says: “With FOUR we focus on sustainability as well as social well-being. The use of smart technologies and highly efficient lighting, energy and ventilation concepts greatly reduce the towers' overall energy consumption. The rooftop greenery and natural lighting not only have a positive impact on our environment, but they also enhance the quality of life in the entire urban district."

The transaction was accompanied by the law firms Hogan Lovells International LLP (for Gross & Partner), Clifford Chance LLP (for Allianz Real Estate and for the Allianz/BVK joint venture) and NEUWERK PartG mbB (for BVK). In addition, Allianz and BVK were advised by BMP (technical due diligence) and BNP Real Estate (commercial); Gross & Partner was also advised by the consultants of Steinhaus ◊ Prof Dr Griesar Partnerschaftsgesellschaft mbB.

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