Zeitgeist Asset Management, a company specialising in property development and asset management for the private and institutional investors, purchased from the Orange company, on 29 August, a complex of real properties located 300 meters from the Palace of Culture and Science, at Nowogrodzka and Św. Barbary Streets in Warsaw.
The investment includes six buildings with a total surface area of approximately 50 thousand square meters, developed on a plot with a surface area of one hectare. Zeitgeist acquired it for an amount of €81 million. In legal terms, the transaction was conducted by the Baker McKenzie law firm, represented by Joanna Wojnarowska and Weronika Roesler. The technical issues related to the purchase were consulted with the DIL Baumanagement.
"It is our largest purchase and thus a major milestone in the construction of the real property portfolio. A scale of the transaction completely changes our position in Poland. We are creating a new tissue of the city, in its key part. It is a huge responsibility,” says Peter Noack, CEO of Zeitgeist Asset Management.
“The Nowogrodzka complex is located in the heart of Poland, in the very centre of the capital. We are accompanied by huge emotions. It's a chance to create something spectacular just a few meters from the Palace of Culture and Science,” comments Sebastian Junghänel, COO of Zeitgeist Asset Management.
“This transaction would not have been possible without the large mutual trust of both parties, developed during previous purchases from Orange. Our challenge will now be to propose an attractive development of this space to best serve the residents of Warsaw,” says Luiza Grunwald, Managing Director of Zeitgeist Asset Management in Poland.
This is another purchase of the real property from Orange made by Zeitgeist Asset Management. Up till now, the company has acquired, among others, the historic building of the Main Post Office at 2 Wielopole Street in Cracow and a plot with buildings at 21 Cystersów Street, in Cracow, too. The buildings of the complex at Nowogrodzka Street will be taken over within a few years to allow a smooth relocation of the Orange's strategic infrastructure.
Developing a niche
Zeitgeist Asset Management operates in various segments of the real property market, with a particular emphasis on the apartments for rent. Since its establishment in 2014, the company has been growing dynamically, currently managing assets worth over €515 million and an area of almost 463 thousand square meters of the plots and 338.9 thousand square meters of the leasable area.
Thanks to the innovative strategy of operating, Zeitgeist Asset Management is successfully developing a niche that foreign investors have been afraid of for years to enter - purchasing and increasing the value of historic properties through their renovation and extension. The company is distinguished by an important element, which is a long-term approach to investment. The completed projects are not intended for sale, but for rent.
A great majority of properties acquired by Zeitgeist Asset Management are characterised by a very favourable location or an exceptional historical value. About 75% of the projects constitute the residential investments, the other includes the office, commercial and industrial projects.
The most interesting examples of the company's implementation can be found in Prague, the Czech Republic. Particularly noteworthy are the revitalization: Křižíkova and Na Struze, which are examples of restoring the splendour of the historic buildings. Currently, 14 unique buildings are under renovation, including the Danube Palace, Karolíny Světlé, Musilkova and Myslikova. The company's expansion includes, in addition to the Czech Republic and Poland, also Hungary and Germany. In March 2018, the company purchased for the Lumiere Holdings investor an office building with a surface area of 5.2 thousand square meters situated in the south-east of Berlin. In April 2018, the company purchased a property in the centre of Budapest with a leasable area of over 10 thousand square meters for the German pension fund intended for the construction of the apartments.
Poland – in brief
The company debuted on the Polish market in 2016, while purchasing the historic buildings at 44-50 Długa Street with a leasable surface area of over 7,700 square meters. They will be restored for the rental apartments. The next step was the purchase of an office building at 22 Solec Street with a leasable area of 4,200 square meters. It will be rebuilt to create a student house there, which will be run by ZEITRAUM (operator responsible for the student housing and short-term rent, which brand belongs to Zeitgeist Asset Management). It is to offer accommodation in 149 rooms or small apartments. The construction works in both projects will be probably commenced at the beginning of 2020. Until the renovation, the above-mentioned properties will be rented.
The turn of 2018/2019 brought further investments. The company purchased, inter alia, a building in Warsaw at 2 Wrzesińska Street, near the Praga Port, with a target leasable area of 5,500 square meters. It is likely that this property will be the first to begin the construction works, which commencement is scheduled in 2020. The apartments for rent and the commercial premises on the ground floor are to be built here. The year 2019 began equally intensively for the company. A contract for the purchase of a historic building that houses the Main Post Office in Cracow at 2 Wielopole Street (the leasable area is over 9.6 thousand square meters) and a developed plot at 21 Cystersów Street with a surface area of over 15 thousand square meters was signed.
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