Madison International Realty acquires majority of the ground-level commercial assets in Norway
Madison International Realty announced that it is in the final stages of acquiring and consolidating 38,000 square meters (409,000 square feet) of assets in Bjørvika, the new urban infill development in the center of Oslo and the country’s largest urban project.
The Bjørvika development is composed of six distinctive development stages – Sørenga, Sørengkaia, Munch Brygge, Barcode, Bispevika North and Bispevika South. To bring the assets together under one management platform, Madison has acquired Sørenga, Sørengkaia and the associated parking facilities at Sørenga, as well as entered into an unconditional SPA to acquire Munch Brygge. Furthermore, Oslo S Utvikling (OSU) has accepted a bid from Madison for the ground-level commercial assets in Barcode and the northern part of Bispevika. OSU will continue the development of Bispevika South which is not included in the transaction. With these transactions, Madison has secured ownership and control of the majority of the ground floor properties in Bjørvika.
Bjørvika, which is uniquely located in immediate proximity to Norway’s largest public transportation hub and the Oslo fjord, has already established itself as a new CBD in Oslo. It will also become Oslo’s new cultural district with several of Norway’s most prominent cultural institutions such as the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, the new Munch Museum and the new Deichmanske Public Library.
An integral part of the strategy is to create a vibrant, open and inclusive ‘urban floor’ with a focus on the growing F&B segment. The ‘urban floor’ assets are at ground level and will include retail, F&B, leisure and other services and amenities for Bjørvika, while separately-owned and -managed offices and residential units will be located on higher levels. When fully developed, the total area will host approximately 12,000 residences and more than 20,000 employees.
“Our vision is to develop Bjørvika into Norway’s most attractive area, and we are pleased to sell the urban floor to a buyer who will bring this vision to life,” said Rolf Thorsen, CEO of Oslo S Utvikling. “OSU continues to develop residential units and offices in Bjørvika, as well as commercial assets located at other land plots that we control in Bjørvika. Until the execution of the share purchase agreement, we will continue the leasing process in Barcode and Bispevika North.”
Carucel Eiendom (Carucel), owned by Carl Erik Krefting and his family, will oversee the asset management of the assembled properties. The investment represents Madison’s third acquisition in Norway, all facilitated by the Norwegian investment bank Arctic Securities.
Carl Erik Krefting, CEO of Carucel Eiendom, added, “International trends shows that consumers prefer to spend money on experiences rather than consumer products, and we would like Bjørvika to be a place where visitors, local residents and employees can enjoy a wide range of dining, shopping, cultural and outdoor experiences at the doorstep of the Oslo fjord.”
The new company, Oslo Bay District, has through the acquisitions of Sørenga, Sørengkaia and the associated parking facilities at Sørenga and the planned acquisition of Munch Brygge, secured control of 11,000 square meters (118,000 square feet) of gross lettable area and 270 parking spaces in Bjørvika. The Barcode and Bispevika North portfolios will add an additional 27,000 square meters (290,000 square feet) of gross lettable area to the portfolio, leading to a total lettable area of 38,000 square meters (409,000 square feet). The development of Sørenga, Sørengkaia and Barcode was completed over a period from 2016 to 2018, Munch Brygge will be completed in the first quarter 2019, while Bispevika North will be completed in four stages from the first quarter 2019 to fourth quarter 2020. Acquisitions of assets under development (Munch Brygge and Bispevika North) will be structured as forward transactions.
Out of the total lettable area, 25,000 square meters (269,000 square feet) are either occupied or pre-let. The latest addition includes Maaemo, Norway’s first and only three star Michelin restaurant, which according to lease agreement with OSU will take up 1,600 square metres in Bispevika North.