Mixed-use and sustainable are the two connected trends that will attract capital in future, experts agreed at Real Asset Media’s Investing Beyond the Crisis briefing, which took place online last week on the REALX.Global platform.
“The urban restructuring theme is very strong and mixed-use is preferred, no one wants 100% offices,” said Thomas Beyerle, managing director and head of research, Catella Property Valuation. “There’s huge demand for urban living from an investment point of view and city density will increase dramatically.”
As people return to the city after the pandemic, there will be more of a focus on places and an emphasis on the quality of buildings.
“Place-making is a real focus now,” said Zoe Ellis-Moore, founder and CEO, Spaces to Places. “But in order to create a place you need to understand the area’s economy and its people, you need to bring together local eco-systems and have a partnership approach. Gone are the days of the top-down approach, when you created an iconic building and moved on. Now you need to engage with the grassroots.”
Finding the right mix is crucial to the success of new mixed-use schemes, which will create new clusters within cities.
The need to congregate means workers are ‘counting the days’
“Cities will remain the drivers of innovation and economic growth,” said Herman Kok, head of research, Mark Capital Management. “People need to congregate and create clusters, which is why workers are counting the days until they go back to the office to create, brainstorm and innovate.”
Sustainability is now a must, driven by legislation and increasingly demanded by landlords and occupiers. Creating new mixed-use buildings and urban hubs will require repurposing and repositioning existing buildings.
“ESG is like the internet, it is here to stay and it’s a great opportunity,” said Tobias Schultheiß, managing partner, Blackbird Real Estate. “But it’s difficult for private small investors, who are the majority in Germany, to know what to do. Unlike institutional investors, they don’t have consultants and lawyers telling them what needs to be done.”
To bridge this knowledge gap Blackbird Real Estate has compiled a checklist aimed at non-professional owners of real estate, so they have the relevant information and understand the requirements and legal obligations and can turn the ESG challenge into an opportunity.
Click below to see the panel discussion in full: