Berlin, 22nd February 2016.
- GSG lets over 68,000 square meter in 2015 and increases the occupancy rate to over 87% at year-end
- GSG celebrates its 50th anniversary
- Increased funding of EUR 55 million
- Its subsidiary GSG Solar becomes a power supply company (PSC)
The Gewerbesiedlungs-Gesellschaft (GSG Berlin) looks back on a very successful year, 2015. In June it celebrated its 50th anniversary with its employees, tenants and business partners. In addition to the history of GSG Berlin, the governing mayor, Michael Müller, in his opening address, paid tribute not only to the history of the GSG but also to its role as an important partner for Berlin’s small and medium sized businesses (SME).
Sebastian Blecke, Operative Manager: „For eight years in a row we have continuously increased our occupancy rate and expanded services for our tenants. Thus, GSG Berlin provides impressive proof that the decision of the Senate to privatization in 2007 was correct. GSG Berlin continues to be a reliable partner for the Berlin industry
and provides a business home for around 1,800 companies“.
Although the rates of increase have slowed, in 2015 the occupancy rate stood at 87.2% after reaching 85.5% at the end of 2014, but at the same time, the average net rent in portfolio increased by 6% from EUR 6.45 / m² to 6.80 EUR / m². A total of approximately 68,800 square meters of commercial space involved re-lettings, while about 51% of new leases were made by existing tenants i.e. extensions to existing space, and around 49% by new tenants. The net absorption (move-ins minus move-outs) for commercial leases was nearly 14,400 square meters.
In particular, the Wolfener Straße Econopark in Marzahn has shown a significant increase in occupancy rate. When in 2014 the rate for 32-34 Wolfener Straße amounted to 50 % and the rate for 36 Wolfener Straße almost 76%, many lettings to new tenants as well as expansions by existing tenant meant that the quotas at the end of 2015 increased to about 58% and almost 87% respectively. So among others, an engineering office already based on site has enlarged their premises by around 1,150 square meters and a manufacturer of measuring, testing and navigation instruments by about 400 square meters. Numerous new leases at the Wolfener Straße Econopark have been completed in size segments of 200-500 square meters by businesses from different industries.
There have also been very good results in other districts of Berlin. This includes the renewal of the lease with APCB Automotive Plastic Components Berlin GmbH & Co. KG (formerly Visteon Germany GmbH) on over 52,000 square meters in Berlin-Zehlendorf. At the Humboldthain in Berlin-Mitte / Wedding location, several major new leases have been concluded for premises in two commercial complexes: among others, a brand and communications agency with some 1,800 square meters in the Gustav-Meyer-Allee and a Coworking provider with around 1,600 square meters in the Wattstraße GSG-Hof. In Berlin-Mitte / Moabit a hall with 2,400 square meters has been leased to a taxi company and around 1,300 square meters to a sales agency for office machines in the Reuchlinstraße GSG-Hof.
Shortage of space in the downtown area
A very significant and sustained upward trend is the shortage of space in the downtown area (urban railway-inner ring), along with very high occupancy rates, low fluctuation, and rising rents. This benefits somewhat outlying situated locations with cheaper rents. Therefore, existing tenants are increasingly utilizing the lower price level of an average of 4.20 EUR / m² to 5.35 EUR / m² net rent in peripheral locations and are expanding. In comparison, the net rent at GSG locations in Berlin-Kreuzberg for new leases stands at about 9.90 EUR / m². So a smoothie maker and a manufacturer of smoke detectors have relocated large parts of their locations from Kreuzberg to Marzahn and expanded their respective space together by more than 3,200 square meters in a more favorable
price submarket of Berlin that allows for even further expansion needs in the future.
GSG Berlin continues to grow, also thanks to the additional approved increase to the existing funding of EUR 55 million to a total of EUR 305 million by its banks in April 2015. The portfolio has now been expanded with the purchase of the approximately 17,000 square meter historic property complex at 73 Ullsteinstraße in Berlin-Tempelhof. With its subsidiaries GSG Berlin now manages an inventory of nearly 900,000 square meters of office and commercial space at 45 locations in the capital.
GSG Solar becomes an energy supplier
At the end of 2015 GSG Solar, a 100% subsidiary of GSG Berlin, achieved the status of an energy supplier. In 2014/2015 the largest photovoltaic system with an installed capacity of over 6 MWp was installed on roofs of 28 of the 45 Berliner GSG locations and put into operation. The PV systems thus produce CO2-free electricity. Only the surplus power not needed locally is fed into the public grid. The main part of the solar electricity produced by the PV system is used by GSG Berlin for common areas in their commercial complexes; a further share can be sold on the spot directly to their commercial tenants with the newly granted permit as power supplier. „Thus another important milestone in our 2014 started GSG-solar project has been reached and we can expand our business model from a pure power producer through to power provider“, said Blecke. The next step in 2016 is the concrete implementation of the business model through to power marketing. GSG Berlin understands the establishment of an energy supply company as a response from the real estate industry to the missing customized solutions on offer in the energy industry. GSG Berlin is thus promoting market integration of renewable energies, reducing the need for network expansion and contributing substantially to the success of energy transition by saving approximately 5,000 tons of CO2 annually.
„GSG Berlin is in a very solid position and looks ahead to the future more optimistically,“ said Oliver Schlink, Commercial Manager. „We will continue on our growth path, consider further acquisitions but be mainly investing in the existing portfolio. For this, space will be enhanced and existing space potential activated. In this respect, we are currently pursuing ideas of compression in the form of heightening/adding additional stories or additional new buildings on our existing land.“