TIAA-CREF Strengthens Spanish Presence

TH Real Estate, on behalf of TIAA-CREF, is keen on Europe.

By Adriana Pop, Associate Editor

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TH Real Estate, on behalf of TIAA-CREF, has closed on the purchase of a 50 percent interest in Viladecans The Style Outlets, currently under development in Barcelona.

The outlet center has been acquired from NEINVER as part of a recently announced joint venture between NEINVER and TIAA-CREF. The partnership aims to create a leading outlet platform in Europe, with TH Real Estate acting as investment advisor and NEINVER providing specialized asset management and operational services to the assets.

The joint venture also includes The Style Outlets, in Roppenheim, France, acquired in January 2015, and the more recent acquisitions of Factory Annopol in Warsaw and Factory Krakow and Futura Park in Krakow (Poland). The partnership’s initial priorities will concern NEINVER’s existing portfolio and development pipeline across Europe.

Scheduled for completion in 2016, the first phase of Viladecans The Style Outlets will bring 100 retail units totaling a GLA of 215,280 square feet (19,800 square meters). The center is located near the El Prat International Airport and is a 15-minute drive from downtown Barcelona. The area has a population of around 6.4 million residents.

Outside of the JV agreement with NEINVER, TH Real Estate manages an approximately $1.1 billion (€1 billion) portfolio of nine shopping centers across the Iberian region, on behalf of other third-party clients.

“European Outlet Malls, as an asset class, has regularly outperformed other retail sub sectors and continues to form a key component of our growth strategy in Europe. Our partnership with NEINVER continues to provide access to a strong portfolio of outlet malls, diversified across key European markets,” David Turner, head of TIAA European Investment, said in a prepared statement.

“The acquisition of Viladecans The Style Outlets in Barcelona is the next step in our European joint venture with NEINVER. Spain has undergone considerable economic reforms that have put it in a good position to continue out-performing the eurozone in terms of growth over the medium term. Madrid and Barcelona are leading the national recovery, and this has been reflected in soaring liquidity levels in the retail investment market. Combined with a tight planning regime for retail space and highly-favorable catchment income demographics, we believe this scheme will deliver attractive returns,” added Jamie Acheson, investment manager, European Outlet Malls at TH Real Estate.