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Patrizia sells exceptional Ericus-Contor in Hamburg to Union Investment

Patrizia AG has closed the largest single real estate transaction by value in Hamburg this year. The Ericus-Contor office building is a really exceptional property in Hamburg’s HafenCity district and will be added to the portfolio of open-ended real estate fund Unilmmo: Deutschland of Union Investment.

The modern landmark building at Ericusspitze 2–4 is located at the opening of Hamburg's HafenCity, the largest inner-city urban development project in Europe. It is centrally located on the banks of the Elbe and surrounded by water. As the eastern gateway to the HafenCity district, it connects the city centre with the historic Speicherstadt neighbourhood. “Eastward expansion of HafenCity will mean the property is mid-way between HafenCity and downtown Hamburg. The office property also offers potential for attractive rent increases in the medium term due in part to its unique location directly adjacent to the equally iconic SPIEGEL building,” said Alejandro Obermeyer, head of Investment Management DACH at Union Investment.

The sale of Ericus-Contor is the largest single real estate transaction in Hamburg by value in 2020. © Martin Haag Hafencitystudios
Designed by award-winning architectural firm Henning Larsen, the asset comprises c. 18,900 m² of space across nine floors. The majority of the space – some 17,500 m² – is made up of offices. There are also areas for restaurants (360 m²), services (460m²) and storage (580 m²), as well as 219 underground parking spaces. The property is currently 98% let. The main tenants include shipping company Maersk, container line Hapag-Lloyd and fashion retailer Chanel.Completed in 2012, Ericus-Contor has DGNB platinum certification, highlighting its sustainability credentials.

Patrizia acquired the Ericus-Contor in 2014 and following a programme of active asset management has now completed its business plan for the property. “This sale of a landmark trophy asset in one of Germany’s leading cities is evidence of the continued demand from buyers looking for quality core real estate assets like Ericus-Contor, even during these challenging times. Since acquiring the property in December 2014, the HafenCity district has grown from strength to strength, which has enabled us to crystallise positive returns for our investors,” commented Philipp Schaper, Head of Transactions Europe at Patrizia.

The transfer of rights and obligations (closing) is scheduled for June 2020. “In the current market phase, transactions around the world have virtually ground to a halt. Boasting high construction quality and an excellent location, Ericus-Contor proves that it’s possible for premium properties to change hands despite the coronavirus pandemic and that appropriate pricing is possible,” said Martin J. Bruehl, Chief Investment Officer and Management Board member at Union Investment Real Estate GmbH. “By making this core investment in our home market of Hamburg, we’re delighted to be able to send out a positive signal in terms of transactions in 2020.”

With its prominent tip resembling a ship’s prow and a glazed double façade with full-height windows, Ericus-Contor is an urban landmark. The large plinth and six-storey, south-facing opening in the façade give the building a highly distinctive appearance. It benefits from excellent transport links: the motorway can be reached in just a few minutes via Amsinckstraße, while Hamburg’s main railway station is only 900 metres away.

Patrizia was advised by Hogan Lovells and BNP Paribas Real Estate. Union Investment was advised on the transaction by Linklaters and P+P Poellath + Partners.