Dutch headquartered Orange Investment Managers (Orange IM) and Germany’s Catella Real Estate AG (CREAG) have acquired a €49 million (DKK 365 million) underground car park in Odense beneath the central Thomas B. Thriges Gade (TBT) thoroughfare for the Catella Parken Europa Fund, which they jointly manage, from the city’s municipality. The proceeds of the sale will contribute to the financing of a new sustainable central urban district achieved by transforming the four-lane highway that split the heart of Denmark’s third largest city.
Peter Rahbæk Juel, Mayor of the City of Odense, said: “This sale is an important step towards accomplishing our ambitions of providing Odense with a new urban centre over the former Thomas B. Thriges Gade highway. Soon, the last brick will be laid reuniting the two halves of the city centre, creating a space that will attract urban activity and new communities. Good parking facilities are essential, if we are to ensure that the city’s guests and citizens are able to access all of the events and experiences that Odense has to offer.”
Odense Municipality’s ‘From Street to Town’ project aims to increase the density of the city centre by creating a new urban neighbourhood with homes, offices, cultural institutions, restaurants, and cafes. Sustainability will underpin every facet of the new quarter, including green spaces, social diversity, transport and economy, from the construction phase to after completion. The area will be car-free. All traffic will be on foot, by city bus or light rail. Motorists visiting the city centre can leave their vehicles in the TBT car park which currently accommodates around 1,000 vehicles a day.
Michiel Gerritsen, Director at Orange IM, said: “The decisive factor for us was the car park’s location and its accessibility. Due to its former function at a high-traffic axis, it is situated primarily under the city centre which makes it quite unique and very well suited for use as a mobility hub. The underground garage is an important facility for the city as it will divert the previous traffic flows and allow a sharp reduction in vehicle movements in the heart of Odense, boosting the quality of the environment while maintaining access to car mobility for those requiring it. The asset also offers great potential as the new city centre district above evolves.”
The investment partnership has entered a long-term agreement with Q-Park, who will be responsible for operations at the underground car park.
Johan Juncker, Q-Park, Business Development Manager, said: “This is a fantastic project in every way, with lots of potential. In the future, the car park could include a logistics centre for dropping off, or collecting, parcels and packages, charging stations for electric taxis, or serve as a centre for car sharing.”
Odense Municipality was advised by Colliers International (commercial) and Kromann Reumert (legal) and Catella Parken Europa was advised by Plesner (legal).
Orange Investment Managers is a leading specialist with a focus on operational real estate and invests throughout Europe. Orange Investment Managers is the exclusive partner of Catella on parking real estate investment and jointly manage the Catella Parks Europe. Currently, Orange IM manages car parks in 6 countries (the Netherlands, England, Ireland, Germany, Italy, and Denmark).