Bouwfonds to launch second Euro parking fund

The real estate investment arm of the Netherlands-based firm is looking to raise €500m in equity for its follow-on effort in the parking sector, which has 'outperformed the overall real estate sector' despite the economic downturn, according to a senior fund executive.

Bouwfonds Real Estate Investment Management (REIM) plans to launch a second European parking fund for institutional investors during the first quarter of this year. The Hoevelaken, Netherlands-based fund manager is targeting a total fundraise of €500 million in equity, which will be raised in several closings.

The new fund, Bouwfonds European Real Estate Parking Fund II, will invest in a diversified pan-European portfolio of prime parking facilities. The fund will target investments with a value of at least €10 million in key markets across the Eurozone, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. The term of the fund will be 10 years.

“Car parks offer great investment opportunities,” said Ruud Roosen, director of Parking Fund II. “Over the last five years, car park investments have outperformed the overall real estate sector, generating solid returns despite the economic downturn.”

Indeed, Bouwfonds REIM has built a solid track record in the niche market with its first parking fund, Bouwfonds European Real Estate Parking Fund I. That fund currently is fully invested and has a projected return of more than 9%.

Furthermore, the outlook for the parking market is strong, with demand still rising as a result of long-term macroeconomic trends and demographic developments. The growth in car ownership and the spatial constraints in many European cities is leading to more pressure on parking, with the restrictive parking policies of local authorities only enhancing that pressure, Roosen explained. As a result, there is an ongoing upward pressure on parking tariffs, from which car park owners can benefit, he said.

Bouwfonds REIM is a manager of real estate investment funds for private and institutional investors throughout Europe. The firm, which is part of the Rabo Real Estate Group, has total assets under management in excess of €7 billion.