AFIAA Nabs Melbourne Office Asset for $121M

The Zurich-based investment foundation plans to expand its worldwide portfolio to nearly $3 billion worth of properties in the next five years.

by Mihaela Coste

111 William St., Melbourne

111 William St., Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia—The Swiss AFIAA Foundation for International Real Estate Investment has announced the purchase of a 23-story office building in Melbourne. The asset traded for $121 million (AUD 161.5 million) and was sold by Singapore-based real estate investment company Straits Real Estate Ltd.

Located at 114 William St., in the heart of the central business district of Melbourne, the multi-tenant property built in 1976 has been modernized on several occasions, most recently at the beginning of this year. The asset encompasses roughly 226,000 square feet, 97 percent of which is intended for office use, and the remaining space on the lower floors for retail. The main tenant in the building is Hostplus, one of Australia’s biggest pension funds, and the tenant roster also includes Cornwall Stodart Lawyers, M+K Lawyers and ING Direct.

AFIAA is an investment foundation under Swiss law that invests exclusively in foreign real estate assets. The acquired property will be added to the “AFIAA Global” fund, which currently operates real estate assets worth approximately $1.5 billion. Roughly 46 percent of the company’s portfolio consists of properties in Europe, 30 percent in North America and the remaining 24 percent in Australia, the latter being managed centrally from the company’s office in Sydney. A total of 45 Swiss pension funds currently invest in first-class foreign real estate via AFIAA.

“With this recent acquisition, we are expanding our involvement in the Asia-Pacific region. We see Melbourne in particular as offering further potential for rental growth in prime locations. As such, we are continuing to look for suitable properties in the city. The same is true of Sydney, where we have had investments for a number of years,” said Jürg Erismann, AFIAA asset manager in Sydney, in a prepared statement.

The company plans further acquisitions and portfolio expansions over the coming years. “Taking yield and diversification aspects into account, we are looking to expand our portfolio to up to CHF 3 billion (a little under $3 billion) by the year 2021. Our focus will be on core-plus investment properties in prime locations in Europe, North America and Australia,” explained Stephan Kloess, CEO of AFIAA.

Image courtesy of AFIAA