Ghent is the second largest city in Belgium after Antwerp and ahead of Brussels. In the Middle Ages the city became rich in Flanders through its textile industry, and today it is still one of the economically strong centres of our neighbouring country. Right next to Ghent’s main railway station “Sint Pieters” is the “Diamond” office building, recently acquired by Union Investment. This article is based on the unique List of the 400 largest German real estate investors in Germany.
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Office property in the heart of Ghent in the “diamond look”
The site next to the railway station is an inner-city development area where office space, apartments and parks are to be created as part of a neighbourhood development. The developers are the city of Ghent and the Belgian railway company NMBS. The office building acquired by Union Investment was completed at the end of 2019. The eight-storey building has a rental area of 16,000 square metres. There is a public underground car park with 3,000 parking spaces under the building. The office building stands out with its unusual glass facade. It consists of asymmetrical, partially bevelled glass surfaces, which are reminiscent of a cut diamond. The building owes its name “Diamond” to this design.
The building was erected by a joint venture of the two Flemish project developers Global Estate Group and Life Tree Group. The joint venture also acted as seller to Union Investment. Both parties have agreed not to disclose the price. The office space has already been permanently leased to Belgian Railways and Dutch financial group ING. Union Investment, based in Frankfurt, is the investment company of the German Volks- und Raiffeisenbanken. The purchase was made for the special fund “UII EuropeanM” of the Hamburg subsidiary Union Investment Institutional Property GmbH. This company sets up real estate funds for institutional investors.
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