‘Dark green’ fund buys €50m Brussels senior living facility

Residential impact fund, Catella European Residential Fund III (CER III) is paying €50 million for a senior living property in Brussels. The asset has been acquired from property company Bassem Certificates, which is managed by Belgian Bank Degroof Petercam.

Maastricht-based Catella Investment Management Benelux (CIMB) and Berlin-based Catella Residential Investment Management (CRIM) bought the asset, on behalf of CER III.

Known as L’Ecrin Vert, the property is located in affluent Brussels suburb Auderghem.

The acquisition brings the fund’s AUM to more than €750 million.

CER III is the first pan-European ‘dark green’ residential impact fund and aims to achieve the highest level of sustainability under the EU’s SFDR Article 9.

“Achieving the status of a true dark green residential impact fund is proving to be a high hurdle for the real estate investment industry to clear,” said Patrick Au Yeung, fund manager CER III, CRIM.

“CER III remains in pole position as the only pan-European vehicle of scale on the market with its assets under management reaching over €750 million after this investment – its second in Brussels.

“Europe’s structurally ageing populations are driving strong demand for the type of high-quality senior living property L’Ecrin Vert represents and the acquisition is well-aligned with the fund’s societal investment criteria. In the next couple of years, the building’s current gas-heating system will be upgraded to ensure it is carbon neutral by 2030 at the latest.”

Property originally designed as a residential apartment block

L’Ecrin Vert was originally planned as a residential apartment block, but the six-storey property was converted to a senior living complex during development. It comprises 108 apartments with a total of 8,938 sq m as well as two retail units totalling 427 sq m. Apartments include 40 studios, 52 single- and 16 two-room units ranging from 43 to 124 sq m.

The ground floor also houses several amenities for the residents including a reception, a library and multimedia lounge, fitness and wellness facilities, such as an indoor pool, massage area and sauna, as well as a hairdressing salon, bar, restaurant and office for the operator, Domitys. There are 52 underground parking spaces.

The acquisition is one of the largest single asset deals ever done in the Belgian residential sector.

Clifford Chance advised Catella on legal matters, Deloitte on tax and structuring with Drees & Sommer conducted technical due diligence. Bassem Certificates was advised by CBRE and Stibbe.