CBRE advises Wells Reit II on first International acquisition – in Russia
B Richard Ellis Group Inc. has advised Wells Real Estate Investment Trust II, a €2.7 billion U.S. office REIT, on its first international investment – a nine-story, Class-A tower under construction in a fast-growing business district in Moscow, Russia.
CBRE negotiated a joint venture between Wells REIT II and Russian developer Moscow Office Real Estate (MORE) Co., to buy Tower B at Dvintsev Business Center, a three-building complex under construction near the Third Ring beltway. The area, just six kilometers (3.7 miles) north of the Kremlin, has become a popular location for international companies.
Dvintsev Business Center Tower B will include 136,000 rentable square feet and is scheduled for completion in late 2008. The acquisition will be partially financed through Bank ZENIT of Russia.
“This would be a fine office building anywhere in the world – but this one happens to be in a city of 14 million people that is desperately short of Class-A real estate,” said Darrell Stanaford, Managing Director of CB Richard Ellis Russia. “We think that in five to seven years this area is going to be one of the most significant office submarkets in the nation, just as Russia is increasingly prominent as an international business destination.”
CB Richard Ellis has been involved in the project for almost two years, having first represented the original land developer in selling the project to MORE Co. After the initial stage permissions and concept was developed in conjunction with the original land developer, CBRE worked closely with the buyer and seller to refine the design of the project and ensure the site could be delivered to Class-A standards.
“Over several months, we have supported Wells REIT II and MORE Co. in developing the site’s efficiency and technical standards so that they will match the high expectations of both partners' historical tenant base of major international and Russian occupiers," Stanaford added.
“This property is a great example of the commercial opportunities in today’s Moscow,” said Parker Hudson, managing director and lead Wells representative on the transaction. “Moscow is the largest city in Europe but has less office space, per capita, than any major capital – and a Class-A vacancy rate of around 3 percent.”
Marketing to potential tenants will begin next month – well ahead of the targeted completion. CBRE is also co-advising on the leasing of the property. “This property should have a lot of appeal for leading international corporations,” Hudson said. “We think the demand for property such as this, under experienced management, should be very strong.”
The Dvintsev center, located at Dvintsev St. 14, features outstanding transportation options with the Third Ring Road and two Metro stations nearby, and features clusters of international corporations. Also coming to the area next year is a high-speed train direct to Sheremetyevo International Airport.
CBRE is Wells REIT II’s exclusive advisor in Russia for commercial property investment.
Wells REIT II is a public non-traded REIT specialising in office properties, owning 70 buildings in 21 U.S. states and now in Russia, covering 16 million square feet.