Purchase of the iconic IT Tower at the most prestigious address of Brussels CBD
Alides and Cityforward, a fund managed by Whitewood, are the new owners of Tower Bell, the company owning the IT Tower
The family group from Ghent and the Brussels’s fund have bought in joint venture the company owning the most iconic tower of the Avenue Louise.
Brussels, 20th December 2022 – The promotor and real estate investor Alides and Cityforward, a fund managed by Whitewood, have acquired the shares of the Tower Bell Ltd., the company who owns the landmark tower of Avenue Louise, the iconic IT Tower. With this purchase from AG Insurance, the two partners set off for a long-term partnership.
The IT Tower, a modernist building designed by the Belgian architect Walter Bresseleers, appeared in the Brussels landscape in 1972 as the headquarters of the American company International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation.
With its exceptional height of 102 meters, the IT Tower is the highest tower of the Avenue Louise. Its 23 floors offer 21.181m² of office space and 516m² of retail space, together with 5 below ground levels and 306 parking places. With around 30 tenants, amongst which the star rated restaurant La Villa in the Sky, the tower has an occupation rate of 87%.
The new owners aim a « fully let » building by the end of 2023. They will continue to invest in the property and improve its sustainability performance.
“The building’s allocation, its architecture and its exceptional location, fits perfectly in our real estate portfolio of office buildings in Brussels. This acquisition confirms our ambitious expansion in the capital”, says Rikkert Leeman, CEO of Alides. « We are happy that this purchase marks the start of our cooperation with Whitewood. The partnership between our two companies offers many synergies which will be beneficial for the project.”
“This purchase is the second investment of the Cityforward fund after the acquisition of the Engie Tower late July. The fund was established by Whitewood together with Ethias and SFPI. The IT Tower is a perfect match with Cityforward’s strategy and brings along great opportunities: an iconic building in the capital and a collaboration with a well renowned Belgian partner. We are delighted to work with Alides and hope that this will be the first of many”, explains Frédéric Van der Planken, CEO of Whitewood.
No financial detail will be communicated. The transaction was realised together with the brokers CBRE and JLL.
Alides, a family-owned real estate player which is part of the Group Maes from Ghent and founded in 1892, has been recognised as a high-quality professional in the entire real estate business for generations. Thanks to its hybrid profile of investor and developer, and always aiming for quality, sustainability, and innovation, Alides realises its expansion strategy on prime city locations in Belgium, Luxembourg and Poland.
With its expertise in offices and the residential market, Alides is looking to reinforce its position as a reference real estate actor. Thanks to its long-term vision and a centralised approach towards its clients which it offers personalised solutions, Alides will continue to fulfil its mission as “your partner in real estate”. Today, Alides holds a real estate portfolio of more than 600 million euros and has a development pipeline of more than 800 million euros.
The Cityforward fund has been created for the purpose of buying large buildings in city districts and to transform them into exemplary buildings in Environmental and Social Governance. From the very beginning SFPI, the investment funds of the Belgian Government, and the insurer Ethias, supported the fund in its ambitions to set an example regarding sustainable transformation for the market
The fund is managed by Whitewood, a Belgian development, investment and property management company founded in 2008. With this purchase the group manages a real estate portfolio of well over 2,2 billion euros.