In the centre of Milan, two prime retail assets totalling 716 sqm have been acquired in sale and leaseback transactions. The first property is located on the pedestrianised Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, one of Europe’s most established and popular retail destinations for mid-to-high- end retailers, and is let to baggage and accessories brand Carpisa. The second property is located on the mile-long Corso Buenos Aires, which connects Milan’s historical centre to its business district, and is let to Yamamay, the premium Italian underwear brand. Both assets are located in concentrated areas of footfall defined by limited retail vacancies and continued rental growth, and benefit from a 24-years closed lease term.

Providing the Fund with new diversification into the Danish market, a prominent 3,600 sqm corner property has been acquired in Copenhagen’s city centre. The ground and first floors of the elegant four-storey property comprise retail units which are fully let to nine high-quality tenants, leveraging the asset’s frontage onto Copenhagen’s prime retail street, Strøget. The upper storeys comprise 17 residential apartments for the rental market, providing a highly diversified and resilient income stream. Local infrastructure improvements are set to strengthen the asset’s accessibility and, in-turn, occupier demand, with the imminent arrival of a new metro station at the adjacent town hall square.

BMO’s BVE II focuses on selective, high quality, prime high street retail properties within top tier or dominant European cities that benefit from strong tourism, high footfall and deep international retailer markets. The open-ended fund, which is aimed at institutional investors, has a target equity of EUR 600 million and EUR 1 billion in GAV, with 11 investments to date delivering a portfolio GAV totalling over EUR 300 million.

“These off-market acquisitions further diversify the income profile of the Fund, providing it with new exposure to key cities which benefit from high levels of affluent footfall. The specialised prime area of the retail market continues to outperform as the best brands consider prime located physical stores an integral part of their omni-channel offering. The outlooks for Copenhagen and Milan remain positive, leaving us confident in our ability to generate attractive long-term returns for our investors,” says Ian Kelley, Fund Director Europe at BMO Real Estate Partners.