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Nuveen Real Estate bets on return to offices, launching bespoke operating service across European portfolio

Amsterdam office building

Nuveen Real Estate, one of the largest investment managers globally, will become the first major landlord to implement a pan-European office operating platform across its entire European office portfolio, worth c. €7 billion.

Nuveen’s European office portfolio includes some of the continent’s most prestigious and cutting edge office buildings, such as cube berlin, a a 17,500 sq m (c. 188,000 sq ft) ‘Smart Building’ and EDGE Olympic, a 11,117 sq m (119,663 sq ft) high-tech redevelopment in the heart of Amsterdam’s CBD.

The firm’s new operating platform will provide innovative and flexible solutions, tailored to each asset and occupier, to help entice workers back to the office. These could include an improved food and beverage offering, fitness and wellbeing initiatives and enhanced concierge and hospitality services, taking inspiration from the hotel sector. It will also help roll-out new technologies and support Nuveen in implementing its ambitious sustainability goals at scale.

BNP Paribas Real Estate will be responsible for establishing and running the central operating platform, having been appointed by Nuveen to act as the ‘face of the landlord’, going far beyond traditional property management, and helping to create engaging and dynamic workplaces of the future.

The new offer will aim to future proof assets for the long-term and tackle the headwinds facing landlords. Research from CBRE’s Occupier Survey found that more than 85% of respondents were planning to optimise their portfolios, with more than 75% having temporarily halted or cancelled expansion plans.

Nuveen is seeking to create a more transparent and collaborative relationship between owner and occupier to respond to global office market trends, such as dedensification of offices in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and increased use of technology, while addressing issues around sustainability. Nuveen also believes the new platform will allow for a nimbler process when implementing changes both across the portfolio and at individual asset level.

“Currently, and in a post-pandemic future, this type of customer-focused approach will be even more relevant, with community, health and wellbeing increasingly at the fore of employer and employee priorities. Nuveen’s operating platform has been designed with this in mind, allowing it to get even closer to tenants and providing services that are no longer just a ‘nice to have’ but are now essential,” comments Nick Deacon, Head of European Offices, Nuveen Real Estate.

“We firmly believe that offices will continue to be relevant, but they cannot continue operating in the way they have done previously. Occupier expectations have increased significantly over the past five or so years, with technology, sustainability and wellbeing now at the heart of their needs, and these trends have only been accelerated as a consequence of the pandemic. The office sector needs to reinvent itself to stay relevant. This is not a secret, but we feel that there is a need to go beyond what is being provided now – occupiers are looking for what they can’t get at home. BNPPRE’s pan-European expertise and best-in-class property management track record make them the ideal partner to help achieve this,” he adds.

Csongor Csukas, CEO Real Estate Property Management (REPM) France - Deputy Head of International PM, BNP Paribas Real Estate, says: “BNP Paribas Real Estate shares the same people-centric values as Nuveen. Beyond the traditional management of real estate, we also take care of human interactions and user experience. Services and user experience represent the main purpose of our business. Property Management has evolved from Property Administration to Tenant Relationship Management, placing people at the heart of our approach. This customer-centric approach is what we call ‘Human Estate’.”

The platform will initially cover all office assets within Nuveen’s Cityhold Office Partnership (CHOP), Central London Office strategy and European Cities strategy, but will subsequently be rolled out across its entire European office portfolio, representing c. €7 billion AUM, throughout 2021 and 2022. The majority of assets are located across the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy.

It will be led by Nicolas Bastid, Senior Portfolio Manager and Andy Booth, Senior Portfolio Manager, out of Nuveen’s Paris and London offices respectively. Meanwhile, from BNP Paribas Real Estate Property Management, the partnership will be led by Antoine Delomez, Account Director, and Grégoire Tripon, Head of Business Development – Europe, who will handle Tenant Relationship Management.

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