Avison Young Secures Sizable Investment in Germany

The fast-growing, Toronto-based commercial real estate services firm Avison Young has advised two Canadian pension funds in the acquisition and financing of a mixed-use, two-building complex in Cologne, Germany.
Amy Erixon, Avison Young

Amy Erixon, Avison Young

Avison Young, the fast-growing, Toronto-based commercial real estate services firm has recently advised two Canadian pension funds in the acquisition and financing of a mixed-use, two-building complex in Cologne, Germany.
Frankfurt-based Allianz Real Estate Germany GmbH sold the property on behalf of Stuttgart-based Allianz Life Insurance and was represented by CBRE in the transaction. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.

DekaBank, the asset manager of the German Savings Banks Finance Group, provided a long-term loan for the acquisition of the property.

Located at Luxemburger Strasse/Barbarossaplatz, in the city’s central business district, the complex is comprised of a fully-leased office building anchored by KPMG, a global leader in audit, tax and advisory services, and an adjacent mixed-use tower.

Overall, the property offers a total leasable area of 179,600 square feet, including 156,100 square feet of office space, more than 4,400 square feet of retail space and 11 residential units.
Avison Young will serve as asset manager of the complex, an inaugural mandate for the company outside of North America.

According to Avison Young Principal Amy Erixon, who heads up the company’s investment management business, the transaction represents an important step in the evolution of Avison Young’s global investment business.

“We are grateful for the confidence placed in us by our Canadian pension-fund clients to secure investments on their behalf, which can provide diversification and more attractive risk-adjusted returns than comparable properties in Canada can offer at this point in the cycle,” Erixon said in a news release.

The sale also represents the first direct investment in Germany for the Canadian pension funds.

“We are proud that, with our strong global network, we were able to facilitate more North American investment management clients to enter the European real estate market,” added Avison Young principal & managing director Udo Stöckl, who is based in Frankfurt, Germany. “Our European and North American investment teams worked seamlessly across borders to provide the same level of service that our clients expect in North America. For our growing European team, it was also an exciting opportunity to introduce North American clients to an entirely new market that was previously unfamiliar to them. We took the opportunity to share with them, and our extended team, German business traditions and culture, and look forward to expanding that knowledge to other recovering markets in Europe.”

On April 1, Avison Young launched its European presence by acquiring London, U.K.-based NAI Haywards L.L.C. and opening new offices in London and Thames Valley, U.K. Over the past five years, the company has grown from 11 to 56 offices and from 300 to more than 1,500 professionals across Canada, the U.S. and now Europe.