Germany’s Big Deal
The Sun Ship, a five-story mixed-use building in Freiburg, Germany, is the world’s first commercial structure that creates more energy than it uses. The building was designed and built by solar architect Rolf Disch and financed by two private real estate funds. Disch’s PlusEnergy buildings sell the surplus energy back to local power grids for profit, increasing the return for building investors. He sees opportunities for such structures in the U.S., particularly in states that have local incentives for green buildings. For more information visit www.rolfdisch.de.
Markets to Watch
Large portfolio deals have returned to the continent, proof that REITs are back in the market, according to Jones Lang LaSalle. In Europe’s largest deal since 2007, Corio purchased a shopping center portfolio with properties in Germany, Spain, and Portugal for $1.8 billion. In 1Q10, the top four European REIT deals added up to $3.2 billion, surpassing 2009’s REIT total of $3.0 billion.
Taking advantage of London’s recovered office market, owners BlackRock and Hermes Real Estate have put Tower 42, the tallest office building in London’s CBD, on the sale block. The 43-story tower and five other properties on a 2.2-acre site are expected to sell for around $462 million. The weak English pound along with a lack of prime office space has pushed up property values over the last 12 months in London’s CBD, now the world’s eighth most expensive office market, with average rents around $110 psf.