In 2019, the Fund acquired two high street retail assets and sold a total of seven assets. Furthermore, the Fund invested in the optimisation of the quality of its assets. The total property value remained almost unchanged at
€ 957 million at year-end 2019.
The Fund invested a total of € 22 million, which was € 58 million lower than our original plan, due to funding limitations. The two acquisitions, for a total of € 8.6 million, were fully in line with our Experience strategy.
The Fund acquired two high street assets, Steenweg 41 in Utrecht (€ 3.0 million) and Demer 20-22 in Eindhoven (€ 5.3 million). Both acquisitions are a good fit with the Fund’s Experience strategy, which targets the top 15 largest shopping cities and most vibrant shopping streets in the Netherlands. The Bouwinvest Retail Fund also owns the adjacent Steenweg 43 retail unit in Utrecht. The Fund also owns the retail stores at Demer 38 and 48 and at Rechtestraat 35 in Eindhoven.
In October 2019, the Fund completed the redevelopment of the Muntpassage shopping centre in the southern city of Weert. The main objective of the redevelopment was to secure the dominant position of this asset in the city centre area. We achieved this by adjusting the non-rentable retail space, improving the commercial appearance and subsequently actively (re)leasing to strong retailers. The largest upgrade took place around the main entrance area on the Grote Markt. The design, look and feel and architecture of this part of the shopping centre has changed significantly. The floor has been replaced throughout the shopping centre, the appearance of the passage walls has been adjusted and lighting levels has been improved. The redevelopment has been used to increase fire safety through the integration of a sprinkler system in all passages and retail units. De Muntpassage now complies with current legislation and regulations.
The redevelopment led to a significant reduction of the vacancy rate. The most important new tenant is retailer H&M, which is now an anchor with a 2,300-m² unit. In addition, 11 retailers have renewed their retail units. We have also welcomed a number of new tenants that moved to Muntpassage from other retail units in Weert. But most importantly, we have managed to retain all current tenants. The redevelopment has been a success thanks to good communications with the tenants and their support for the plans.
In November 2019, the Fund also completed the expansion and upgrade of the Goverwelle shopping centre in Gouda. The 1,000-m2 extension created space for the expansion of the Albert Heijn supermarket and for the addition of a second complementary discount supermarket, Dirk van den Broek. The new supermarket is a powerful anchor for the shopping centre and ensures that Goverwelle attracts new target groups. Despite the expansion of the shopping centre, the number of retail units has been reduced to 20 from 27. Not only is has the vacancy rate been strongly reduced, the new lay-out is now also more suited to a neighbourhood shopping centre. The Fund has closed new leases with half of the tenants, which has considerably improved the WALT. It also added additional parking facilities for 235 cars. A number of the current retail tenants have also agreed to make substantial investments in upgrades to their own stores. The redevelopment activities changed the Goverwelle shopping centre to the category Convenience from Other and has made the shopping centre future-proof again.
In 2019, the Fund budgeted € 25 million for the divestment of non-core assets. These assets did not fit our strategic requirements due to their location, size or economic outlook. In 2019, the Fund completed the sale of the Makado shopping centre in Purmerend (€ 9.2 million), the Maasplaza shopping centre in Dordrecht (€ 12.2 million), two supermarkets in Hengelo, two supermarkets in Enschede (€ 5.1 million) and two non-prime retail units in the Achterdoelen shopping centre in Ede (€ 0.5 million), taking total sales to € 26.8 million last year.
Active asset management
In addition to its redevelopment activities, the Fund also carried out active asset management in the portfolio. For example, the optimisation of the Amarillo portfolio, consisting of 13 supermarkets acquired for approximately € 34 million. The portfolio was purchased in December 2018. Of these supermarket locations, 11 were transformed into the new Jumbo formula with a strong emphasis on (fresh) experience and food service. Two supermarkets were leased to Emté supermarkets and would be empty by mid-2019. In total, nine supermarkets were a perfect match with our Convenience strategy. The purchase ensured a stable rental income from a strong retailer with new 10 and 15-year leases. Via active asset management, the Fund was aiming to sell four supermarkets and to strengthen two supermarkets together with Jumbo, by realising expansions and by improving the lay-out and entrance. We fully realised this ambition; the four supermarkets were sold in three separate sales deals in 2019, with the total selling price slightly above market. In addition, the Fund and Jumbo are in the final phase of expanding the supermarkets in Hasselt and in Denekamp, strengthening their market position in the region.