Stockholm (HedgeNordic) – After 15 years stationed at the Helsinki Cable Factory, Finnish asset manager Helsinki Capital Partners (HCP) is relocating its office to the former laboratory of the University of Technology. This historical redbrick property in the heart of Helsinki’s city center was just acquired by HCP’s Bricks fund, an open-ended alternative investment fund launched in cooperation with real estate advisory firm Cobbleyard Real Estate.
HCP Bricks, born out of the HCP-Cobbleyard partnership, aims to meet investors’ interest in commercial real estate across the largest cities in Finland and in Stockholm. With the acquisition of the redbrick property at Eerikinkatu 32-36, originally built in 1933 for the University of Technology, HCP Bricks adds a second asset to its portfolio. The building spans approximately 7,000 square meters across five floors and is set for transformation into a dynamic loft office space. “This valuable red brick building dates from 1933 and was originally a laboratory of the University of Technology,” says Mattias Lindfors. “Now this historic building is being transformed into a modern and creative working environment.”
Despite acquiring the property vacant, tenant interest has exceeded expectations, with a pre-letting rate of nearly 50 percent, according to Lindfors. Tenants are expected to occupy the premises during 2024. Helsinki Capital Partners has moved to the property at Eerikinkatu 32-36 as of today. Substantial renovations and energy investments are slated for the upcoming year, with the distinctive laboratory halls being converted into contemporary loft-style offices boasting ceilings reaching up to six meters. Enhancing the property’s appeal is a central tower within the building, along with a rooftop terrace and a sauna that offers a panoramic view of the entire Helsinki city center.
The current environment of higher interest rates has proven beneficial for real estate buyers. Lindfors notes, “Acquisitions have been executed in the context of higher interest rates, resulting in noticeable reductions in purchase prices.” Despite the challenges in the real estate market, Lindfors expresses confidence in the future, stating, “We believe we can already see the light at the end of the tunnel. The decrease in inflation is expected to lead to lower interest rates, fostering increased transactions and improved financing conditions in the real estate market.”