Contact Us

Nuveen Flips, Germans Buy, WeWork Apparently Not An Issue: A Tale From The Birmingham Office Investment Market

55 Colmore Row, WeWork's new Birmingham base

The travails of WeWork, a global pandemic and endemic uncertainty about the future of the multi-tenant office building: Any one of these problems might have spooked Nuveen's efforts to flip 55 Colmore Row, Birmingham. As it turned out, none of them made much difference except, perhaps, to the price.

Nuveen has sold the 157K SF block in Birmingham's prime office core for a reported £100M, Business Desk reported. This a modest but welcome uplift on the £98M it paid in January 2018. The price is, however, down on the £105M understood to have been agreed in April 2020 when the deal was paused.

Apart from chipping the price the German purchaser, Union Investment, was not deterred by the building's 55K SF letting to coworking group WeWork. The coworking provider is now completing a review of its UK regional portfolio expected to result in a reduction of floorspace. WeWork signed in November 2019 and the statement from Union referred to it as anchor tenant.

“The combination of building quality, history and location makes this property a rarity in the transactions market," Union Investment board member Wolfgang Kessler said.

The acquisition is being made on behalf of open-ended real estate fund UniInstitutional European Real Estate, which is targeted at institutional investors, suggesting a more mature risk profile.