Record foreign investment in Brussels for Astro Tower

The eastern section of Brussels’ inner beltway (‘petite ceinture’) from the Place Louise to the Place Madou, is defined by four major towers. And over recent times, all four of them have been the subject of considerable activity. The former Hilton hotel, it will be recalled, changed ownership and name and became ‘The Hotel’. The Madou Tower was the subject of a very major refurbishment which also involved its immediate surroundings. In between the two, Bastion Tower has just changed hands, and now the centre of attention has shifted to the fourth tower – Astro Tower’.

Astro Tower has just been fully renovated and bought by a Korean consortium, through the French office of PATRIZIA, subsidary of PATRIZIA Immobilien AG. The seller was a subsidiary of Spanish bank Santander. The price is estimated to be around 170 million Euros, which makes it one of the largest investment transactions of recent years on our market.

Brussels-based real estate advisor ANIXTON played a crucial role in this transaction, acting firstly as tenant representative for the new occupants, employment agency Actiris, its Flemish equivalent VDAB, and training agency ‘Bruxelles Formation’. The organisations are expected to move in later this year during October.

Following this first mission, Anixton acted as investment advisor for ther new owner.

PATRIZIA France points out the attractiveness of the Brussels office market due to its stability, and the appeal this has for long term investors. From the tenants’ point of view, Anixton managing director Vincent Gérin has this to say: “Astro tower is an exceptional choice for both institutional and corporate occupants. It offers outstanding access by public transport – a significant criterion for semi-public bodies – through its location close to both Madou and Arts-Loi metro. It is thus at the junction of the two major metro lines of the capital and a few minutes from both South and Central stations. Its refurbishment also means it offers very low energy use – another subject dear to the hearts of these organisations”.

In view of the importance of this transaction, the 2016 edition of Belgium Real Estate Showcase, which will be published on the eve of, and available at, REALTY in May, will feature interviews with some of the major players fo this real estate success story : Grégoire Chapelle, director general of Actiris, Raphaël Massin for Santander, and of course Vincent Gérin.