Gaw Capital completes SKY SOHO towers deal in Shanghai

Photo: Gaw Capital Partners

Hong Kong-based real estate private equity firm Gaw Capital Partners has now acquired two towers of the four office blocks in Shanghai’s iconic SKY SOHO through a fund under its management and in partnership with a consortium including Allianz Real Estate.

In an official release, the company said the partnership will “take SKY SOHO through its next phase of growth”.

SKY SOHO is the only property in Shanghai designed by the late award-winning architect Zaha Hadid.

“The acquisition of SKY SOHO presents an excellent opportunity to capture the growth opportunities arising from the Shanghai Hongqiao Transportation Hub. Bringing together the Hongqiao International Airport, a high-speed rail station and local transport, the Hub has served as a strong development catalyst for the local area,” said Humbert Pang, Managing Principal and Head of China at Gaw Capital Partners.

Gaw Capital aims to establish the development as a popular lifestyle destination catering to both the work and lifestyle needs of young middle-class professionals.

“Shanghai, a leading global city, continues to be one of our key investment destinations for commercial real estate. This transaction is the continuation of our strategy to invest in top quality assets with best-in-class operators,” stated Rushabh Desai, CEO of Allianz Real Estate Asia-Pacific, which will hold approximately 23% of the equity of the towers.

According to a statement, Gaw and its partners it will seek to optimize the performance of the property’s office portion by upgrading hardware and curating a new cohort of tenants. For the retail space, plans are afoot to improve the trade mix, introduce fresh marketing initiatives, optimize the utilization of open spaces and leverage the development’s landmark status,

“SKY SOHO is in a prime location to benefit from the Hub’s increasing traffic flows from the greater Yangtze River Delta region, which is creating demand for prime office and retail space in the area,” Pang added.

Gaw Capital specialises in adding strategic value to under-utilized real estate assets through redesign and repositioning. With its in-house asset management operating platforms in retail, hospitality, property development and logistics, the PE firm currently focuses on real estate markets in Greater China and other high barrier-to-entry markets globally.

The private equity firm says it has raised equity of $9.6 billion since 2005 and commands assets of $14 billion under management as of Q4 2017.

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