Neptune / Countryside complete £47m sale to Commerz Real

German fund Commerz Real has agreed to forward fund the new Merseytravel offices at Mann Island for £47m, representing a net initial yield of 7.25%.

Joint developers Neptune Developments and Countryside Properties said the 140,000 sq ft office building will cost £47m to build.

Of the total, 110,000 sq ft of the new building is prelet to Merseytravel at £22/sq ft for 30 years and 30,000 sq ft will be speculative space, publicly funded by a £3m North West Development Agency grant.

Commerz Real has acquired the long lease of the prime waterfront site from the developers and construction by BAM will start immediately.

The neighbouring apartment buildings in the same scheme are already on site and distinctive black granite cladding is being applied.

The office building is designed to achieve BREEAM 'excellent' rating and is the final phase of the £135m Mann Island scheme.

Steve Parry, managing director of Neptune Developments, said: "This acquisition by Commerz Real is a major boost for both Mann Island and for the City of Liverpool. Despite the current economic conditions the deal vindicates our commitment to developing buildings of the highest quality on the site and demonstrates that Liverpool is back on the property investment map. To secure such a renowned overseas investor demonstrates how far Liverpool has come in recent years.

"We have worked very closely with our public sector partners including Liverpool Vision, NWDA and Merseytravel and all of these parties have contributed to our ability to deliver a scheme of international quality."

Hans-Joachim Kuehl, head of acquisitions at Commerz Real, said: "We have a long track record of development in the UK and are delighted to again be able to forward fund such a quality scheme. The asset and wider regeneration of Mann Island will look great once completed and the 30 year lease gives the fund a security of income we cannot replicate elsewhere."

Savills acted for CommerzReal, with Mason Owen and DTZ acting for Countryside Neptune LLP in the negotiations.

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