a.s.r. real estate

a.s.r. real estate launches the ASR Dutch Science Park Fund

On 1 March 2019, a.s.r. real estate launched the ASR Dutch Science Park Fund. The Fund has an exclusive focus on real estate located on science parks in the Netherlands and is the first of its kind. Science parks are unique locations, where education, fundamental research and commercial R&D meet. This fosters strong ecosystems which work as a self-reinforcing magnet to attract knowledge workers and organisations.

The fund focuses on the country’s ten most mature science parks, locations with a critical mass of educational, research and commercial activities. Eight of them are centred around the permanent knowledge anchor of a major Dutch university.
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Science parks offer strong fundamentals
Being located at a science park brings advantages for companies in terms of easy access to knowledge, talent, research facilities, image (‘place to be’) and shared facilities/services. Spatial concentration of economic activity reinforces these advantages. Science parks therefore offer strong fundamentals for real estate investments, such as:

  • High occupancy due to high tenant demand within the science park sector
  • Low turnover due to limited supply and tenants’ investments in research facilities
  • Consistently higher rents compared to local markets outside of the ecosystem
  • Attractive yields compared to traditional core investments

First partnership with TU Delft
undefinedOne of the Fund’s distinctive methods of investing is to establish a preferred partnership with a local anchor (in most cases a university). From this position, the Fund can invest in commercial real estate with a unique risk/return profile, by controlling supply and having first access to tenants and deal flow. This lowers rental risk and creates off-market deal flow.

On 4 February 2019, ASR DSPF signed its first partnership agreement, with Delft University of Technology (TU Delft). This partnership enables TU Delft to focus on its core tasks of education, research, commercial knowledge transfer and associated real estate. Meanwhile, ASR DSPF will focus on real estate for commercial parties on the TU Delft campus.

The partnership establishes a preferred position for the Fund, including right of first refusal for real estate sold by TU Delft, a right to match for new developments on the entire campus and a first-letting right for all commercial tenants.

Through its preferred access to the market, the Fund is able to invest in real estate with a diverse tenant base. This includes large corporate single tenants and multi-tenant buildings, but also short-stay apartments and retail.

Matching investors’ and universities’ long-term focus
Through this strategy, a.s.r. real estate is making an active contribution to the development of the Dutch knowledge sector. By partnering with universities, the Fund is able to invest in buildings which are more challenging to realise but which benefit the ecosystem, such as an accelerator to provide space for young companies beyond the start-up phase. 

This bridges the gap between universities and traditional real estate investors, who lack the long-term scope needed to successfully invest in these locations. By matching the long-term focus of institutional investors and universities, the ASR Dutch Science Park Fund has created a low-risk real estate investment strategy which makes a meaningful and direct impact.

Fund characteristics

Anchor investor

ASR Nederland N.V.

Fund manager

a.s.r. real estate

Fund structure

Dutch Mutual Fund (Fonds voor gemene rekening)

Duration

Unlimited lifetime

Target fund size

> €1 billion

Pipeline

approx. €150 million

Target IRR

> 7%

Direct return target    

> 5%

For more information on the ASR Dutch Science Park Fund, please contact Luc Joosten or Olle Overbosch:

Luc Joosten
fund director
ASR Dutch Science Park Fund
M: +31 (0)6 83 64 81 85
E: luc.joosten@asr.nl

Olle Overbosch
fund manager
ASR Dutch Science Park Fund
M: +31 (0)6 30 50 68 41
E: olle.overbosch@asr.nl