Hines, the international real estate firm, has agreed to forward purchase a prime 60,000 sq ft office building in the heart of Edinburgh on behalf of its European Core Fund (HECF).

The Mint Building, located on St Andrew Square in the city’s vibrant and rapidly evolving East End district, will be completed in early 2019 and is already pre-let on a 15-year lease.  The building has been acquired from Edinburgh-based property development and investment company, Chris Stewart Group.

The Hoskins Architects-designed building provides Grade A office space across seven levels, with the upper floors offering panoramic views of the city.  The ground floor comprises three retail units, two of which have already been let with modern Chinese cuisine Tattu opening its fourth UK restaurant in the building, alongside the expanding pizzeria concept, Franco Manca.

Jake Walsh, Director, Hines UK, said: “This development provides us with an excellent opportunity to grow our portfolio of office and retail properties in Scotland.  Edinburgh is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK and has the strongest economy outside London.  The quality of the asset and its prime location meet our exacting investment criteria, and we look forward to the building’s completion and full occupation early next year.”

Peter Epping, Senior Managing Director and HECF Fund Manager said: “The Mint is an exceptional building with best-in-class specifications, located in the heart of Edinburgh’s CBD. The long WAULT and the perfect tenant-mix fit perfectly with HECF’s current portfolio. We will continue to pursue further strategic acquisition opportunities with such strong fundamentals”.

Chris Stewart, CEO of Chris Stewart Group (CSG) added: “The deal with Hines and its European Core Fund is a ringing endorsement of the quality and design of The Mint Building, alongside our approach to urban development. It puts the building on a par with the best in Europe, attracting top tier investment and for Edinburgh and Scotland it justifies the outward looking and ambitious development strategy we continue to pursue”.

The asset represents HECF’s fourth acquisition in the last 12 months, following new investments completed in Dublin, Amsterdam and Copenhagen.  The portfolio of the Fund, which was 99.6% occupied as of Q1 2018, is currently invested in eight different European countries with a current aggregate value close to €1.2bn.

Hines UK has advised on more than four million square feet of projects acquired, completed or in the pipeline in the UK with a total UK portfolio under management valued at in excess of £2 billion. The company’s portfolio includes a range of assets under management in London and key regional cities including Manchester, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

JUNE 2018