Amsterdam, 11 April 2017 – Victory Advisors’ Icon Real Estate and Amundi announce that Icon has sold the Atrium, an office complex in the heart of the Netherlands’ prime business district, to a fund managed by Amundi Real Estate. Victory acquired the Atrium in the depths of the financial crisis, when the asset was facing a number of significant challenges, and at a time when investors around the world had lost confidence in the Dutch real estate market.
In the intervening period, through an active and focused asset management strategy, Victory has converted it from an outdated 34,000 sqm building into a fully modernised, super-prime complex which includes c. 60,000 sqm of office accommodation and additionally will include several food and beverage concepts, a fitness center and an extensive meeting and conference centre. The Atrium is a well-known landmark and one that is recognised as the premier office building in the Netherlands. All major tenants, including top-10 global law firms Hogan Lovells and CMS, Fortune 500 company Celanese and top-4 service provider Vistra, have recently signed their leases under long-term fixed contracts, which is highly unusual for multi-tenanted buildings in the Netherlands. The Atrium has been the most successful building in the South Axis, the Netherlands’ key business district, signing over 33,000 sqm of new leases in just 18 months and experience significant additional current demand.
The Atrium is well positioned to continue benefitting from the strong economic and business fundamentals of Amsterdam and the Netherlands for many years to come. The Netherlands benefits from a very stable political climate, convenient geography, good transport links, strong digital infrastructure and internationally oriented and highly qualified inhabitants. This is augmented by an established and internationally recognised legal system as well as a welcoming approach to foreign investment that makes it an appealing real estate investment destination. An international outlook and competitive mind set is reflected by the recent arrival of companies like the Agnelli Group, Salesforce, Netflix, Uber and Tesla. The fundamentals of the Amsterdam area and the Netherlands more broadly continue to dramatically improve, making it highly attractive to investors. Office vacancy in the city has decreased by over half a million square meters in the past two years, resulting in an unprecedented vacancy rate drop from 16% to less than 10% for the metropolitan area. In the prime districts, such as the South Axis, there is now hardly any vacant office space left at all (Source: CBRE). Meanwhile, future new supply and the continued development of the “Holland Metropole” – where the geographically close and well-connected main cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague operate as one economic area – should continue to attract international companies to settle in the country. Together they account for one third of the total Dutch office stock of 50 million square metres and are well placed to offer attractive office space to London-based businesses that are now looking at contingencies for post-Brexit Britain. Amsterdam in particular has emerged as one of Europe’s core centres and the city is proving to be especially attractive for creative and high-tech industries.
Erik Moresco, Founding Partner, Victory Advisors, said: “Victory Advisors has a clear strategy based on intensive asset management and a strong understanding of the real estate we own. The group has a record of buying under-invested but fundamentally sound assets investing heavily in them and transforming the buildings into well let, high quality and super-prime assets. This active approach has been ably demonstrated at the Atrium building, which had a multitude of issues at acquisition and now entirely validates the Icon Real Estate approach. In the face of the overwhelming obstacles, it has above all been our conviction that has helped create this fantastic building. We are proud to leave Amundi Real Estate owning a one-of-a-kind asset, in a country of ever increasing economic importance.”
Victory Advisors enlisted the help of the dominant developer in the South Axis, G&S Vastgoed as their development partner to help Icon Real Estate implement their vision for the Atrium to become a world-class business complex.
Victory Advisors/Icon Real Estate was advised by CBRE, Rutgers & Posch, Rechtstaete, Freshfields and Heren2 on the sale.
Amundi Real Estate was advised by L’Etoile Properties in the acquisition process and L’Etoile Properties will also take over the management of the property upon final delivery. Amundi Real Estate was advised by Greenberg Traurig, Cushman & Wakefield as well as Search during the due diligence.