Skanska has sold Buildings C and D of the Silesia Business Park, a four-building office complex in Katowice. The buyer is ISOC Group, a diversified real estate and infrastructure investment group, based in Manila, Philippines. This is Skanska’s first CEE office divestment transaction to a Philippine investor. With the sale of buildings C and D, the developer has now sold all four properties in the Silesia Business Park complex. Buildings A and B were divested in 2015 to a Swedish investor.
These two A-class office properties offer a total leasable area of around 24,600 square meters (12,300 sqm each) and 250 parking spaces on two underground levels. The buildings benefit from excellent exposure in one of the most sought-after locations in Katowice – the city's rapidly developing Business District. The two buildings are already 72% leased to technology and IT sector tenants such as PwC, Accenture and NGA Human Resources.
“Over the last few years, the CEE commercial real estate market has seen an increasing flow of newcomers from Asia, South Africa and the Middle East. In 2016, Skanska divested a hotel in Warsaw to a Qatari investor and now we are delighted to welcome our first partner from the Philippines. The growing awareness of Polish regional markets among newcomers is a very encouraging sign for the Polish and CEE investment market,” says Adrian Karczewicz, Head of Divestments at Skanska’s commercial development unit in CEE.
“The ISOC Group is investing in Poland, particularly in Katowice as it reinforces the company’s push towards technology and innovation. With its booming BPO and BSC market, a highly educated labor force, a good infrastructure already in place, and the quality of international investors, Katowice is ISOC’s most significant entry into the European market. We see Katowice as a vibrant center that has connections with two other major destinations in Poland, Krakow and Wroclaw. We are excited and eager to develop and expand upon our partnerships and presence in the country,” Michael Cosiquien, chairman of ISOC stated.
Katowice is the beating heart of the Silesian Metropolis with close to 3,000,000 citizens and the highest regional population density in Poland. Katowice has an unemployment rate of just 2.3% and an average gross income that is 23% higher than that of the region. 21% of Silesian GDP is generated in Katowice alone. The region has great investment potential within the Special Economic Zone in Katowice with 41,000 people working in 180 companies.
Silesia Business Park is a well-known landmark of Katowice. The area between the buildings of the complex includes a docking station for the ever popular City By Bike urban bicycle scheme. This is a great amenity for people who commute to Katowice by train – they can rent a bicycle at the railway station and get to Silesia Business Park in just ten minutes. The complex offers its employees a medical center, an outdoor gym and a kindergarten.
Building C of the complex is already LEED Gold certified (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design), while Building D is expected to receive the certification in Q2 2019. Both properties are part of the four-building office complex, which is now entirely divested.
During the sales process, Skanska was advised by GVA and Colliers International, while ISOC Holdings Inc. was advised by Augusta Cracovia and CBRE. Legal advisers for the transaction were Hogan Lovells for the purchaser and Dentons for the seller.