NREP buys 260-room hotel in Oslo city centre from CBRE IM

NREP, the Denmark-headquartered real estate investor, has acquired Comfort Hotel Karl Johan, a 260-room hotel in the centre of Oslo, from CBRE Investment Management, to benefit from increased tourist and business travel flows to Norway’s capital.

Comfort Hotel Karl Johan in the centre of Oslo

The acquisition was made via NREP’s latest fund in the NSF value-add series, NSF V, with the vast majority of commitments coming from existing investors. The fund was significantly oversubscribed and closed at €3.65 billion, making it the largest European real estate value-add fund to date.

“The acquisition of Comfort Hotel Karl Johan is in line with our intention to identify attractive risk adjusted return investment opportunities,” said Jens Petter Hagen, head of NREP in Norway and fund manager, NSF V. “It also meets our sustainability aspirations. It is an attractive and central property with good prospects for improving energy efficiency through our customer-oriented management.”

The hotel has a bar in the backyard terrace and fitness room, is centrally located within a two-minute walk of Oslo Central Station and is surrounded by many of the city’s best shops and restaurants.

CBRE IM recently undertook a comprehensive refurbishment of the hotel and the commercial space. This included adding 79 rooms to the hotel, refurbishment of the retail and office space, and extending the structure over a courtyard, creating an additional 300 sq m of retail space.

“This strategic sale follows the successful execution of our business plan, which led to 100% occupancy of the commercial space,” said Jenny Tuleby, head of transactions and investment operations in the Nordics, CBRE IM. “The successful conclusion of this sale shows that liquidity is available for prime assets like Karl Johan Comfort Hotel.”

NREP already owns another Norwegian hotel asset, the Quality Hotel River Station, in Drammen, as well as central hotels in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki. This will be the fifth hotel in the portfolio. All hotels are operated by the Strawberry Hotels group, a company with a strong focus on sustainability, with locations across the Nordics.

“Common to all of NREP’s hotel investments is the structural tailwind of a growing interest in the Nordic countries as tourist destinations,” Hagen said. “The central locations of the assets are attractive to both national and international visitors, including business travellers. We are continuously looking for good investments, and have plenty of capital available for the right opportunities.”