U.S.-Based CIM Group Enters UK Real Estate Market with Acquisition of Cathedral Square, a Three-Building Office Campus in Guildford
LONDON--CIM Group, a community-focused real estate and infrastructure owner, operator, lender and developer, announced today that it has acquired Cathedral Square, a three-building office campus in Guildford, United Kingdom. The acquisition marks the US-based company’s first transaction in the Western European market as part of its Value-Add Strategy in Europe.
CIM Group, headquartered in Los Angeles, has a network of offices from which to manage its extensive portfolio of real assets that include office, residential, retail, hospitality, and logistics properties. The company’s initiative in Western Europe is led by its London-based team, which is pursuing well-located office, residential, retail, and logistics properties in select metropolitan markets that have strong demographics, are well served by public transportation, and have significant knowledge-based economies such as those underpinned by academia, scientific research, intellectual property development, or technology hubs.
“With this UK acquisition, CIM Group is launching its value-add strategy in Western Europe utilizing our community-focused approach that is a hallmark of the company. We identified the UK as a target market to expand our commercial real estate ownership and property operations after an extensive evaluation of metropolitan commercial real estate markets in Western European countries. This thorough process was undertaken by our team of professionals that are experienced in all aspects of European commercial real estate,” said Avi Shemesh, Co-Founder and Principal, CIM Group.
Cathedral Square aligns with CIM’s acquisition focus as it has an attractive location in Guildford, a business center approximately 30 miles outside of London that is one of the UK’s leading video game production hubs.
“Cathedral Square is a premier creative office campus, an asset type with which we are very familiar as we have developed, own, and operate similar assets in markets throughout the US. The property’s location, within a regional innovation hub that is attractive to technology, science and knowledge-based businesses, and in a metropolitan area with strong demographics and public transportation, are attributes that align with our program criteria as we enter the UK,” noted Shemesh.
Cathedral Square benefits from easy access to the A3, a major regional thoroughfare and connector to London, and proximity to the University of Surrey, Guildford town center, Guildford Mainline Railway Station, and Heathrow Airport. Cathedral Square also offers workers easy access to the area’s shopping and dining districts as well as the city’s numerous leisure and recreation options.
Built in 2000, Cathedral Square comprises three buildings: Buildings 1000 and 2000, which were comprehensively refurbished in 2017 and are interlinked three-story, Grade A offices. Building 3000 is a three-story space that is being repositioned into Grade A creative office with a focus on outdoor amenities, outdoor landscape and health and wellbeing with a projected delivery by 2023. In addition, the entire estate will benefit from upgraded facilities including a new fitness studio, additional tenant amenity space, EV chargers and outdoor recreational facilities. Each building features a central atrium and modern, flexible spaces with an abundance of natural light.
Cathedral Square is designed to provide an employee-focused working environment, offering amenities such as collaborative breakout areas, a landscaped outdoor environment, on-site café, changing rooms and shower facilities, bicycle storage and shared electric bikes, and a complimentary shuttle bus. The property hosts a range of classes, services, and events with an emphasis on wellness, including sports and fitness programmes, drop-in retail shops, and more.
In addition, Cathedral Square is committed to workplace sustainability and Buildings 1000 and 2000 have all achieved a “Very Good” rating under BREEAM. Building 3000 will target an “Excellent” BREEAM rating.
CIM Group was advised by Savills in the acquisition.
For more information about Cathedral Square, visit www.cathedralsquareguildford.com.
About CIM Group
CIM is a community-focused real estate and infrastructure owner, operator, lender and developer. Since 1994, CIM has sought to create value in projects and positively impact the lives of people in communities across the Americas by delivering more than $60 billion of essential real estate and infrastructure projects. CIM’s diverse team of experts applies its broad knowledge and disciplined approach through hands-on management of real assets from due diligence to operations through disposition. CIM strives to make a meaningful difference in the world by executing key environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives and enhancing each community in which it invests. For more information, visit www.cimgroup.com.