Europa Capital acquires the Akadémia business center
The Akadémia Business Center building, acquired by Europa Property.
The pan-European real estate investment manager Europa Capital has acquired the 12,500 m² Akadémia business center, located on the Pest bank of the Danube in the historic center of Budapest, in partnership with ConvergenCE. The acquisition was made on behalf of Europa Capital’s latest value-added fund, Europa Fund VI.
The classic Central European building, renovated and refurbished in 2000, served as the headquarters of Raiffeisen Bank. The building is now vacant as Raiffeisen has moved to a new headquarters in Agora Budapest. This provides an opportunity for renovation and repositioning in line with current tenant requirements, sustainability and ESG investment standards.
“The aim is not only to create a building suitable for modern occupants, but also to transform the asset into a Net Zero pathway, removing dependence on greenhouse gases. The building will aim for both BREEAM certification , Wiredscore and WELL,” said Europa Capital.
ConvergenCE, local partner of Europa Capital in Hungary since 2005, will be responsible for the local management of the project assets. Interior work is expected to begin upon completion of the acquisition and will include an extensive internal renovation, installation of new mechanical equipment and redevelopment of common areas and office spaces.
“The Akadémia Business Center is ideally located and an asset offering plenty of opportunities to undertake our usual high standard of refurbishment with a focus on the NZC way, well-being and occupant requirements,” says Robert Martin , Partner and Head of Investments at Europa. Capital city.
“Availability of prime office space in the heart of Budapest is rare, which underpins the business case for the investment. Once completed, the property will be very attractive to companies looking for a prestigious address. in the city center with good credentials in terms of well-being and sustainability,” adds Martin.
Opportunities for added value
Hungary should attract more international investors, especially in the office and industrial sectors. As activity in the office market is constrained by a low supply of available investment-grade assets, in addition to a tight development pipeline, investors are increasingly looking for value-added opportunities among stocks. generation office buildings and older historic buildings that require renovation.
“This investment demonstrates our belief in a contrarian opportunity in the cycle of well-located office assets as the market adjusts to the impact of the pandemic,” comments Jason Oram, Partner and Fund Manager at Europa. Capital.
“The addition of Akadémia Business Center to our office portfolio provides another excellent opportunity to add value through a comprehensive high quality refurbishment, which we are confident to achieve through our well-established partnership with ConvergenCE”, insists Oram.
Working on its Hungarian investment strategy in conjunction with ConvergenCE, Europa Capital is an excellent example of how international capital can partner with a local operator to leverage their knowledge of local market conditions.
Europa Capital purchased the previous-generation 9,000 m² Kálvin Square office complex in District VIII in 2015. The complex was refurbished and repositioned by ConvergenCE, which acted as property and asset manager, and l he fully let and BREEAM accredited building was sold to KGAL in 2017. .
“We are delighted to partner again with Europa Capital following the successful development of several projects, including Place Eiffel, Place Kálvin, B52 and CityZen, all of which have since been sold,” notes Csaba Zeley, Managing Director of ConvergenCE. .
This article first appeared in the print issue of the Budapest Business Journal on January 28, 2022.