US developer Hines has made its first-ever acquisition in Japan on behalf of its flagship pan-Asian fund, picking up a Yokohama office tower for an undisclosed amount.
The 1993-vintage New Stage Yokohama has a gross floor area of 50,304 square metres (541,468 square feet) and will undergo a renovation in 2022 to be completed in mid-2023, Houston-based Hines said Tuesday in a release.
The 17-storey building is the second acquisition overall for the core-plus Hines Asia Property Partners fund launched in April, following the purchase of a Brisbane office asset for A$205 million ($148 million) in September.
“This asset represents a significant milestone for Hines as we continue to grow our presence in the region and throughout Japan,” said Drew Huffman, managing director at Hines. “We look forward to revitalising this asset over the coming year and providing our tenants with Grade A office space complete with additional amenities, enhanced building features and significant outdoor activation.”
The seller of New Stage Yokohama was undisclosed, but as recently as 2017 the property was owned by Sigitech Holdings, a Singapore-based investment firm.
The building features expansive indoor and outdoor common areas, a large tenant dining area, an atrium-style lobby, a tenant sky lounge and large column-free floor plates, Hines said. The existing tenants include Mizuho Bank, Foodpanda and companies in the real estate, technology, R&D, automotive and financial services sectors.
Located 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) from Tokyo Station, Yokohama is the second-largest city in Japan and home to 3.8 million people. With a sizeable millennial population and a high concentration of technical universities, Yokohama is the type of top-tier market targeted by Hines Asia Property Partners, a multi-sector, open-ended vehicle investing in Japan, Australia, South Korea, Singapore and China (including Hong Kong).
“This asset is situated in an urban location with a strong tenant mix and fits well into HAPP’s approach of investing in assets with solid current income and strong value creation potential,” said fund manager Simon Shen. “Across Asia, we are continuing to see opportunities to acquire high-quality assets in major cities.”
The fund closed on its first investment, the State Law Building in downtown Brisbane, just two months ago. The 30-storey office tower at 50 Ann Street — known locally as the Gotham Building for its architectural style reminiscent of superhero Batman’s hometown — opened in 1977, and its 25,519 square metres of office space is fully leased by the state government of Queensland.
Hines first entered Asia Pacific in China in 1996 and has expanded throughout 15 cities across Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea and Singapore, with $4.2 billion of assets under management and 200 employed in the region.
The firm signalled its commitment to the world’s third-biggest economy with the appointment last month of its first country head in Japan, Jon Tanaka, whose 20-year career includes more than a decade spent as head of real estate for Japan at US private equity firm Angelo Gordon.
Tanaka joined Hines’s growing central Tokyo office, which first opened in 2017, to build on the base created by Huffman, who moved to the Japanese capital from Hong Kong over a year ago to oversee acquisitions, development and new-business generation in Japan and South Korea for the company.
Privately held Hines has more than 171 developments underway around the world and investment assets under management totalling $83.6 billion.