Henderson Park buys historic office building in Berlin

Henderson Park buys historic office building in Berlin
The historic Mosse-Zentrum office building in central Berlin

Private equity real estate firm Henderson Park has acquired the historic Mosse-Zentrum office building in central Berlin from Real I.S. AG.

Henderson Park said it is planning a ‘manage to green’ refurbishment of the building to create a flagship workspace that meets the demand for well located, prime modern offices with strong sustainability, amenity and technological credentials, reflecting new trends in working patterns that have accelerated as a result of the pandemic.

Originally constructed in the early 1900s Mosse-Zentrum once served as a printing house and office of the ‘Berliner Tageblatt’ newspaper and is located in the heart of the Zeitungsviertel (newspaper quarter), where about 500 newspaper, printing and publishing companies were based at that time. The property comprises of 37,000 sq m and has been acquired fully let to multiple blue chip tenants.

Mosse-Zentrum is located adjacent to the new Axel Springer headquarters in the Berlin Mitte central business district, a highly sought micro-location between Checkpoint Charlie and Gendarmenmarkt, which attracts strong demand from investors and occupiers, including government organisations, public service providers and major corporates.

Henderson Park plans to modernise the historic asset and improve the building’s sustainability credentials, targeting a minimum LEED Gold certificate.

The plans for repositioning the building also include refurbishing the ground floor lobby and historic façade, upgrading outside areas and delivering communal hubs such as coworking space, as well as adding additional food and beverage provisions.

As Europe’s fourth largest and one of its fastest growing office markets, Berlin continues to see significant rental growth in prime locations as it becomes Germany’s dominant city and a global metropolitan destination, attracting a vast range of occupiers from international corporates to start-ups, while being recognised as a key technology hub. The central business district currently has a vacancy rate of sub-2% and a limited pipeline of the types of modern office stock generating the strongest occupier demand.

Henderson Park has appointed Stoke Park Capital as its local operating partner for ongoing asset management and the implementation of its business plan for Mosse-Zentrum. This is the second occasion Henderson Park has worked with the Germany-focused real estate investment manager, following an acquisition within the immediately adjacent Quartier Schützenstrasse in 2020.

Christophe Kuhbier, Managing Director at Henderson Park, commented: “With corporates all over the world reassessing their office requirements in light of changing working patterns and a competitive talent market, it has become acutely apparent that occupiers will not compromise on the quality and sustainability of their workspace or the services it provides. Our investment focus remains on the best located and connected office properties in leading European cities offering Grade A potential through active asset management with sustainability at its core.”

Robert Hellerschmied, Director at Henderson Park, added: “Mosse-Zentrum still has significant underlying potential which we, alongside our operating partner, intend to unlock through a range of green refurbishment initiatives that will create a workspace fit for modern occupiers and in line with our own ESG policy.  We are also delighted to have worked together with Real IS in such a collaborative and professional manner to execute this transaction and are grateful to take over the ownership of this landmark asset.”

Axel Schulz, Global Head of Investment Management at Real I.S. AG, commented: “The Berlin-Mitte submarket is a highly attractive office location in Germany’s burgeoning capital, which benefits from low vacancy rates. We are pleased to be able to reinvest for our investors the funds acquired through the sale.”

Henderson Park was advised on this transaction by P+P Pöllath + Partners, TA Europe, Code of Practice Architects and BNP Paribas Real Estate. Norton Rose Fulbright LLP advised Real I.S. AG.