06 August 2018

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Dutch institutional investor Bouwinvest Real Estate Investors and MacFarlane Partners, a real estate investment manager and developer that specializes in investments promoting smart growth, urban revitalization and sustainability, have formed a joint venture to own and operate newly built residential high-rises in New York and Los Angeles.

The joint venture’s two investments are a partial equity interest in Level BK, a 40-story rental apartment tower along Brooklyn’s Williamsburg waterfront in New York that was completed earlier this year, and full ownership of the 24-story Park Fifth high-rise rental apartment project that is currently under construction in downtown Los Angeles.

Level BK consists of 554 apartment units, many of which feature unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline. The property is adjacent to an East River Ferry terminal and East River State Park, which hosts Smorgasburg, a weekly foodie market that is one of Brooklyn’s most popular destinations. It was developed by Douglaston Development, a real estate development firm based in New York, in partnership with MacFarlane and AIG Global Real Estate. Both Douglaston and AIG Global Real Estate will continue to be equity partners in the property alongside the new Bouwinvest-MacFarlane joint venture.

The Park Fifth high-rise will consist of 347 apartment units and 5,300 square feet of retail space. It is located across from Pershing Square, one of the largest public spaces in downtown Los Angeles; the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel; and a subway portal to the Pershing Square Metro Station. It is being developed directly by MacFarlane adjacent to a seven-story rental-apartment mid-rise that the firm is also building. Both properties are expected to be completed during the first half of 2019.

International growth strategy

Bouwinvest’s North American investments are part of a broader international growth strategy where the institutional investment manager is also expanding across Asia-Pacific and European markets to raise the proportion of real estate assets held outside its domestic Dutch home base to 40% of the total portfolio. Within the Netherlands, Bouwinvest manages its assets in-house, and internationally it is aiming to do more direct investments with local operating partners such as MacFarlane.

Gijs Plantinga, Bouwinvest’s Director of Northern America Investments, said: “The new joint venture with MacFarlane Partners is the spearhead for Bouwinvest’s strategy of expanding its investments in North America through co-investments and joint ventures as we target lifting our assets under management in these markets to € 1.5 billion by 2020. The residential sector with its positive market fundamentals, driven by U.S. population growth, sits at the center of this core investment strategy.”