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AXA Investment Managers buys Milan office for €220m

by Andrea Waitrovich

AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets has completed the acquisition of the landmark office asset in Via Monterosa 91 Milan from MPO, an Italian real estate fund 100 percent owned by funds managed and/or advised by Partners Group and managed by Torre SGR, for €220 million ($244 million).

The asset has been purchased on behalf of AXA Selectiv’ Immo and AXA CoRE Europe funds, both managed by AXA REIM SGP.

The core office complex in Via Monterosa 91 is composed of five office blocks arranged across three buildings, intricately designed into a U-shaped development surrounding a courtyard.

The transaction is in line with both AXA CoRE Europe and AXA Selectiv’ Immo’s objective to acquire core, high-quality assets in key European cities, providing investors with long-term stable income through capitalizing on individual market dynamics and timing.

Located in Fiera, the old trade quarter of Milan, the area has undergone a radical transformation in recent years following various initiatives undertaken to enhance its commercial viability and attractiveness, now making it one of the most popular business locations within Milan.

Office investment transaction volumes recorded during the first quarter of 2016 marked an increase year on year.  As investors remain focused on core products, their interest has shifted toward assets with a value-added component in core submarkets, both in Milan and Rome, according to Cushman & Wakefield Office Market Snapshot First Quarter 2016.

During the first quarter, Milan recorded a level of take up in line with the average of the past 10 years. The most active submarkets continue to be the CBD and the semi-center. In terms of area, although the largest transaction took place in the semi-center, the CBD registered the majority of big transactions (32,000 to 54,000 square feet), all referring to class A high-quality space.

Although available class A space has decreased, the pipeline is strengthening and some development or refurbishment projects are expected to start in the near future, more likely to go ahead should prelease agreements be signed.

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