Last year saw the latest addition to the a.s.r. real estate fund platform with the launch of the ASR Dutch Science Park Fund, which has already achieved several important milestones. Even before its launch, this unique sector-specific fund, focusing on commercial real estate in Dutch science parks, had already been two years in the making. Since 2017, a.s.r. real estate had been exploring the science park sector, conducting research into the fundamentals of this market and exploring investment opportunities, as well as discussing a partnership model with Delft University of Technology (TU Delft).
Our research provided further insight into this relatively new real estate sector, with its strong macro- economic fundamentals and an attractive risk-return profile, especially compared to the opportunities in the current core real estate market.
On 4 February 2019, a.s.r. real estate signed a partnership agreement with Delft University of Technology, encompassing all commercial real estate on its entire 1.6 million sq. m. campus. Following this first-of-its-kind public-private partnership, the fund was launched on 1 March with an initial investment by Fund Sponsor a.s.r. of €200 million.
The partnership with Delft has proved fruitful, with the acquisition of the Exact Office Building and the forward-funded project Oldelft in the second half of 2019, and an additional planned acquisition in the first quarter of 2020. Additionally, the fund will acquire its first asset outside Delft in the first quarter of 2020.