a.s.r. real estate buys building The Gallery on campus University of Twente
on behalf of the ASR Dutch Science Park Fund, a.s.r. real estate has purchased building The Gallery from vendor The Gallery B.V. The modern multi-tenant building for knowledge valorisation and innovative entrepreneurship is located in the heart of Kennispark and on the campus of the University of Twente in Enschede. It is a new addition to the portfolio of the Science Park Fund, which was founded by a.s.r. real estate in March 2019, and the first building on the campus of the University of Twente.
Luc Joosten, fund director ASR Dutch Science Park Fund: “The Gallery is a nice addition to the portfolio of the ASR Dutch Science Park Fund. The building meets all the fund’s criteria and also makes a positive contribution to the return target and the desired geographical spread. Moreover, the building is located on a very strong part of the campus, right between the other buildings of the University of Twente. It is our ambition to acquire more objects at this science park and other science parks in the Netherlands”.
Mirjam Bult is vice-chairman of the board of the University of Twente and sees the purchase as positive. “The University of Twente is pleased that The Gallery has been purchased by a party with a long-term vision on campus development and science parks. The Gallery is an important building in literally and figuratively strengthening the cohesion between the campus on one side and the science park on the other side of the Hengelosestraat. As a university, municipality and entrepreneurs in the area, we are working hard to realize the area strategy Knowledge Park, in which strengthening that connection is also the main goal. We look forward to working with the new owner and our other area partners on this together”.
The 300-metre long building houses offices, business premises and laboratories and has a reception, car park, restaurant and grand café. It is located in the heart of Kennispark, as a connecting link between the Business & Science park and the University of Twente, at Hengelosestraat 500 in Enschede.
The Gallery was officially opened in April 2014, after the University of Twente and a group of regional investors decided to redevelop the existing building into this business collection concept. The regional group of investors consists of: VolkerWessels, Weshold, BTC-Twente, Nieuwzicht in Bogt, Reggeborgh Vastgoed and DTME. On behalf of seller The Gallery BV, real estate agent Peter Rotteveel van Snelder Zijlstra was involved in the conclusion of this agreement. The management of the building remains in the hands of BTC-Twente BV.
Kennispark accommodates more than 400 (high-tech) companies, produced more than 900 spin-offs and is a breeding ground for startups that are making a difference in the world. Thanks to the presence of the University of Twente, other educational institutions and a number of innovative large companies, Kennispark plays an important role in the region. Kennispark is one of the adult campuses in the Netherlands and also scores a top 10 position in the Science Park Filter 2020 of a.s.r. real estate. As area director, Anne-Wil Lucas is responsible for the major redevelopment of the area in order to make the science park future-proof. “As area director, I am pleased with the interest shown by investors in Kennispark. It indicates that Kennispark is seen as an interesting area to invest in. This of course also has to do with the future plans we have for the entire area. We do this together with all real estate owners and entrepreneurs in the area. Kadans Science Partner has been selected to further implement the overall area strategy for the Kennispark together with us and all other property owners. We expect to work constructively with the new owner a.s.r. real estate to realize the joint ambitions for Kennispark”.
More about the ASR Dutch Science Park Fund
On 1 March 2019 a.s.r. real estate founded the ASR Dutch Science Park Fund. The fund invests in commercially exploitable real estate at science parks, with a focus on the most attractive science parks in the Netherlands. With this, a.s.r. real estate makes an active contribution to the development of the Dutch knowledge sector. Investments in commercial real estate in the local ecosystem of science parks offers companies the opportunity to be physically closer to new technology and knowledge. This promotes the development of new knowledge into products and services that benefit society.
The ASR Dutch Science Park Fund is the fourth sector fund of the real estate asset manager and focuses on institutional investors. Just as with the retail, residential and office funds, ASR Nederland N.V. acts as an anchor investor.