Apollo, Taurus acquire seven properties in Turkey

The two US firms have acquired the sites through their joint venture for development and refurbishment in the country.

Istanbul: foreign property investors again welcome

Taurus of Galata Gayrimenkul Yatirim, a joint venture established between Taurus Investment Holdings and Apollo Real Estate Advisors, has acquired seven properties in Istanbul with a total area of over 10,000 square meters. Financial details were not disclosed.

The €100 million ($156 million) vehicle was set up to acquire, develop and sell residential buildings in Istanbul’s city center and involves both restoration and new construction. All seven of the properties now acquired are residential, and some have retail on the ground floor. They are located in the Beyoglu and Kadikoy city centers. Taurus plans to exit the properties through sales to owner occupiers or investors as rental income.

The acquisitions include The Bereketzade Apartments in Galata Kuledibi, a 2nd degree historical monument built in 1890. That building includes six commercial and 15 residential units with views of the Bosphorus, the Golden Horn, the entrance to the Marmara Sea, Princes’ Islands, and Topkapi Palace.

The deals were made by Tauru’s subsidiary, Taurus Eurasia, led by Ertan Dal. Boston-based Taurus has 14 offices in the US and seven internationally. The firm was founded in 1976 and has purchased and sold over 20 million square feet of office, industrial, retail, residential and hotel assets since its inception.

Recently Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party ended a ban on sales of property to foreigners, reversing a ruling that had caused a significant fall in real estate values and deterred foreign investors. Foreigners can now buy up to 10 percent of land in a zoned area, taking into consideration the significance of issues including infrastructure, economy, energy, the environment, culture and agriculture.

Turkey has been attracting a range of foreign investors recently. Global firm Marathon Asset Management has opened an office in Istanbul, and London-based Cordea Savills said recently it planned to launch the Cordea Savills Turkish Property Ventures fund. Earlier in the year, Apollo Real Estate teamed up with the Turkish arm of Morgan Stanley’s Multi Corporation to acquire a site in Meter, Istanbul, from French hypermarket group Carrefour and partner Sabanci Holding.