The FINANCIAL -- Real estate advisor JLL has advised an Austria-based real estate asset manager on the sale of one of the most recognisable office properties in Serbia, the Belgrade Business Center (BBC), to the Polish Global Trade Centers (GTC) Group.
Located in the heart of the central business district of New Belgrade, and extending to around 18,000 sq m of gross leasable area (GLA), BBC is home to household names in Serbia, such as UniCredit Bank, NCR and Air Serbia. Entering the leasing market officially in 2014, the building achieved nearly 100% occupancy in record time proving to be one of the most attractive office assets available within the city.
GTC, one of the leading developers in Central and Eastern Europe since 1994, has become the new owner of BBC in a deal that cements their position as one of Serbia’s leading investors. Adding BBC to their existing portfolio of office buildings in New Belgrade, the acquisition now makes GTC one of the most dominant landlords in the region, and not only compliments their existing portfolio in Belgrade but also the wider South Eastern European region where they hold key office and retail assets in Zagreb, Sofia, Bucharest and Budapest, according to JLL.
Uros Grujic, Head of Capital Markets, JLL for South Eastern Europe commented: “This is a very exciting time for Serbia and the SEE region in general and we are seeing further interest in the region following two years of huge growth in the real estate sector. This is the first major income-producing office asset to trade within the country proving that investors already present within the country and SEE region are satisfied with their operations and are willing to continue expanding. After witnessing a large number of investors entering the market with a focus on retail, we were now able to open up the office market and prove to investors that there is appetite for the country. Going forward, we expect to see current investors present but also new investors entering the market and taking advantage of all asset classes thanks to the healthy returns, large amount of potential and improving economic indicators.”
Andrew Peirson, Managing Director, SEE, JLL stated: “After an exciting 24 months and with trading more than €700 million worth of retail assets across the SEE region, it was important that we started to witness office transactions, especially in Belgrade where offices make up the vast majority of commercial real estate. As a long term partner of JLL across the whole of Central & Eastern Europe, we are delighted that GTC is continuing to invest in this region and it is testament to their experience that they could see the potential in not only the asset but in the market as a whole. After an extremely competitive bidding process it was very satisfying to witness interest coming from both local and regional investors, and also those from more established Western European markets. Furthermore, with the completion of the sale of BBC, JLL continues to be the leading investment advisor across the SEE region with a total value of €850 million worth of assets trade in the past 30 months with another €200 million worth of assets currently in due diligence.”