ING buys €90m German office portfolio

Betting on continued growth in the German office market, ING Real Estate has snapped up three office properties in the country.

ING Real Estate has acquired three office buildings in Germany for €90 million ($127 million). The properties include the Westend-Ottensen office building in Hamburg, the Ernst-August-Carre in Hannover and Office Park Rheinlanddamm in Dortmund.

The properties were acquired through the ING Real Estate European Office Fund. The vehicle, launched early 2006, is almost fully committed. The fund increased its target from €700 million to €1 billion and recently changed its structure to allow more investors, according to the firm.

The three properties in the German portfolio include the four-building Westend-Ottensen, which totals 11,971 square meters of office space and 297 parking spaces; the Ernst-August-Carre, located in the business district of Hannover, representing 6,715 square meters of office, retail and storage space with tenants such as Deutsche Bahn, KAV, Randstadt Deutschland and Bruns & Heinemann; and the Office Park Rheinlanddamm, located in one of Dortmund’s prime office locations comprising 11,192 square meters of office space, 1,026 square meters of storage space and 235 parking spaces.

Leo Weidenaar, fund manager for ING Real Estate European Office Fund, sees continued growth in the German office market: “The prospects for the Hamburg office market are positive with good growth projected over the next few years,” said Weidenaar in a statement released by the firm.

“Ernst-August-Carre offers exposure to Hannover’s very stable office market, which is, at the moment, one of Europe’s most promising markets. In addition, the Dortmund office market is growing very fast, with increased supply and demand resulting in lower vacancy rates. Take-up increased by 40 percent in 2006 and is expected to be strong again in 2007,” Weidenaar adds.

The firm has been busy elsewhere in Europe. Earlier this year, the Dutch institutional real estate manager launched a €1.2 billion value-added fund, ING Real Estate Iberian Value Added Fund, focused on the Spanish and Portuguese markets. The seven-year fund is targeting a return of more than 13 percent and has a three year investment horizon.