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Why Avison Young Had To Be In Germany

Toronto Capital Markets

In an ongoing bid for world dominance, Avison Young just opened an office in Germany, its first foothold in continental Europe. Udo Stoeckl, AY’s point man at the Frankfurt outpost, explains how Germany fits into his firm’s aggressive global expansion blitz.

Why Avison Young Had To Be In Germany

There are loads of capital flowing between Canada and Germany, Udo tells us, with pension funds, private equity funds and REITs seeking a safe haven for overseas investment. “Low interest rates and the liquidity when it comes to debt is appealing.” Udo and his team will aim to direct these capital flows, while also helping North American firms that want to set up shop in Germany to find space. Avison Young entered Europe in April when it acquired NAI Haywards and opened offices in London and Thames Valley. On the continent it’s starting with Frankfurt, but Udo says his mission is to launch locations in Munich, Dusseldorf, Berlin and Hamburg, giving the firm a presence in Germany’s “Big 5” markets.

Why Avison Young Had To Be In Germany

Days after the Frankfurt shop opening, Avison Young announced it's brokered the acquisition by two North American pension funds of a six-storey mixed-use property at Weisshausstrasse 20-30 in Cologne (pictured above), with 260k SF of total leasable area, including 142k SF of retail and 50k SF of office space. AY will be asset manager for the property, which is 96% occupied, with Real Hypermarket as anchor tenant. And Udo notes he’s working on several other leasing and financing deals in Deutschland. “It’s a hot market these days," he says. "This is what capital is looking for right now.”

Why Avison Young Had To Be In Germany

A few things you might not know about Udo Stoeckl...

New gig: Managing director of Avison Young’s Frankfurt office. Spearheading AY's expansion in Germany.

Big deal: Brokered sale of 30 Crown Place in London, AY's first investment in Europe.

First-ever job: Delivering rolls with my brother in the neighbourhood where we grew up, in Jena, Germany. We lived off the tips.

Education: B.A. from University of Cooperative Education (Mosbach, Germany); post-grad degree in real estate economics from International Real Estate Business School (Essen, Germany).

Hobbies: I go for runs when I can. And I like to travel a lot. 

Upcoming travel: Sri Lanka over the new year. I like destinations that are different than the usual spots.