Helaba goes digital to refinance Berlin’s prime Quartier 205

Helaba Berlin’s Quartier 205
Quartier 205 is a mixed-use property located between Friedrichstraße and Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin Mitte

The Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen has assumed €250 million of financing for Tishman Speyer on a premium property in a prime location in the heart of the German capital.

Helaba has been awarded Tishman Speyer’s refinancing of the Quartier 205 urban development in the heart of Berlin. The €250 million loan has a 10-year term. Helaba is underwriting the financing in full and syndicating parts of the total amount.

Quartier 205 is a mixed-use property between Friedrichstraße and Gendarmenmarkt in Mitte, comprising about 52,000 sq m of rental space and 484 parking spaces. The remaining two-thirds are used as office space.

Tishman Speyer developed Quartier 205 in the mid-1990s as a building for “dynamic mixed-use working, living and shopping” in the historic centre of Berlin. The infrastructure and public transport connections are exceptionally good due to its location next to the city-centre subway station.

Innovative social component

The loan agreement includes an innovative social component in which the bank and the investor make an annual contribution to a local charity.

This partnership is the fourth of its kind for Tishman Speyer and its Tishman Speyer European Core Fund (TSEC), which is designed to promote environmental and sustainable features under Article 8 of the European Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). It builds on numerous ESG initiatives the company has undertaken in recent years in an effort to make a positive contribution to society.

Fritz Müller, head of real estate finance for German regions at Helaba, says: “I am very grateful for the renewed trust placed in us by our client, Tishman Speyer, with the financing of Quartier 205.

“This transaction is a confirmation of our long-standing, very good customer relationship, and a confirmation of our particular approach to relationship banking here at Helaba.”

“With this refinancing, we are continuing our commitment to the Berlin real estate market over the next few years, which is precisely where we started over 25 years ago with this same building,” Johannes Schmarje, managing director of Tishman Speyer in Berlin, comments.

“We are grateful to Helaba for their continued support and look forward to further strengthening the very good and sustainable relationship we have built with them over the years.”

Digital financing platform 

For the syndication portion, Helaba used VC Trade, the digital financing platform in which the bank has been a shareholder since the beginning of 2022, for the first time. Crédit Mutuel (BECM) invested €50 million, via a traditional process, but the second syndication to Berliner Sparkasse, for the same amount, took place purely digitally.

VC Trade is an independent, bank-centric marketplace for debt capital used by more than 900 investors. The platform enables efficient and intelligent end-to-end workflows and creates new, uniform market standards through process automation. In doing so, the entire life cycle of transactions – from offer to negotiation and closing to portfolio management – is supported with steadily increasing functionality.

In recent years, this multi-bank marketplace has established itself as the market standard for the digital mapping of Schuldscheindarlehen (SSD), or promissory note loan, transactions.

Third asset class

The real estate financing of Quartier 205 is the third asset class to be successfully syndicated via VC Trade. Helaba markets SSD exclusively via VC Trade, and recently placed a corporate loan.

“We are pleased to now be able to offer our syndication partners an innovative platform for participating in syndicated loans in real estate finance with VC Trade,” says Dietmar Klein, head of syndication real estate finance at Helaba.

“VC Trade is indeed convincing, due to its efficient and transparent mapping and processing of transactions, which makes the already very well-established process even faster, and consistently more digital for our partner savings banks,” adds Tobias Werner, who was part of the syndication team responsible for the Quartier 205 transaction.

“Executing this transaction with Helaba via VC Trade was completely new for us. Everything worked completely smoothly – and, in addition, very quickly and intuitively. We are pleased to be part of this signature financing,” says Marcus Buder, division manager for commercial real estate financing at Berliner Sparkasse.

Taylor Wessing advised Tishman Speyer, Helaba by Simmons & Simmons.