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Sonar Real Estate takes over asset management for "The Squaire" at Frankfurt Airport

Hamburg/Frankfurt, 20 May 2021

Sonar Real Estate GmbH, an owner-managed real estate company for investment and asset management as well as project developments, has been entrusted with the operational management of Frankfurt's landmark property "The Squaire" at Frankfurt Airport.

Christoph Wittkop, CEO of Sonar Real Estate, comments: "‘The Squaire’ is one of the most iconic commercial properties in Germany. To be entrusted with the operational management of this unique complex is a particularly important task - especially now that the Corona pandemic is presenting the real estate industry with special challenges."

“The Squaire” is a 660 meters long architectural masterpiece, up to 65 meters wide and 45 meters high, that was built between 2007 and 2011 according to the plans of JSK International Architekten. The total leasable area of “The SQUAIRE” is of around 143,000 square meters spread over eleven floors, which includes around 93,400 square meters of office space and approximately 5,900 square meters of retail and restaurant space. “The Squaire” is an extremely well-connected micro-city within Frankfurt, where customers can find many restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, as well as other high-end retail options.

“The Squaire” also accommodates two award-winning Hilton hotels, offering 583 rooms, 3 restaurants and prestigious conference rooms with capacity of up to 200 people. Integrated into the complex is "The Squaire Parking," which offers tenants and visitors 3,125 parking spaces on a total of nine levels. It was the first parking garage in Europe to be awarded LEED Gold certification.

Sonar Real Estate will work with Fraport's real estate management team, which has successfully managed the property as property manager since its inception.

"We have set out to increase the synergy effects between the various users and tenants as quickly as possible. Measures for this include the development and implementation of new space concepts, a further improvement of the tenant mix and of the services offering", says Holger Hosang, Managing Director of Sonar Real Estate and responsible for the Transaction and Asset Management divisions, explaining the upcoming plans.

In addition to the Hilton hotels, anchor tenants include KPMG, Michelin, Atos and Porsche Consulting. Other tenants include renowned companies such as Nemak, Arthur D. Little, REWE, Rossmann, Plug and Work.

“The Squaire” is the best-connected property in Germany: it is directly connected to Frankfurt airport's Terminal 1 via a convenient walkway, and it is situated atop of an ICE long-distance high-speed train station. In addition, it is located directly between the A3 freeway and the parallel B43 federal highway near the Frankfurt interchange.

“German Commercial Property for The Anglosphere” with Christoph Wittkop, CEO of Sonar Real Estate

29. March 2021

Christoph Wittkop, CEO of Sonar Real Estate, talked to Paul Norman from CoStar as part of Realla’s “Commercial Property Pioneers” podcast series. Among other things, he explains why he saw more opportunities than risks in the founding of Sonar, even during the Corona pandemic, what his personal real estate Bible is and which coalition he expects after the elections in Germany in autumn 2021.

Sonar Real Estate nominated for immobilienmanager Award with "Roxy Palast Berlin"

20 January 2021

Sonar Real Estate is among the top five nominees for this year's "immobilienmanager Award" in the "Management" category for its involvement with the "Roxy Palast Berlin".

The listed Roxy Palast, designed by architect Martin Punitzer in Berlin-Friedenau, was extensively renovated and successfully repositioned by the end of last year. The focus was on the substantial restoration of the building's original appearance from 1930.

Approximately 4,800 square metres of usable space in the property was fully let over the duration of the renovation project. The largest occupier is the BBA - Akademie der Immobilienwirtschaft e.V. (Academy of the Real Estate Industry). On the ground floor of the property, in the former cinema hall, the lease with the existing tenant LPG Bio Markt was also successfully extended on a long-term basis. The coworking operator St. Oberholz, which uses large parts of the ground floor and the newly created studio in the former stage tower, rounds off the range of users. The result is a tenant mix of a training centre, coworking space and local amenities that further enhance the Friedenau submarket around Breslauer Platz and returns an important historic building to the Berlin real estate market.

On 11 March, the winners of the im-Award 2021 will be announced in a freely accessible online stream.

Holger Hosang to be director of Sonar Real Estate

Hamburg, 18 November 2020

Holger Hosang

Holger Hosang, 49, a fully qualified lawyer, will join Sonar Real Estate GmbH as a managing director on 1 January 2021. Sonar, the real estate company for investment, asset management and development, was founded in October 2020. Following a strategic repositioning, Barings transitioned their non-core German third party asset management and advisory business to Sonar.

Jointly with Nick Puschkasch, Holger Hosang will lead the Transaction & Asset Management division at Sonar Real Estate. The other directors are Christoph Wittkop (CEO), Matthias Gerloff (fund management & investment solutions) and Daniel Jäde (development & project management). Like Nick Puschkasch, they have joined the new company from Barings Deutschland.

Holger Hosang joins Sonar from Allianz Real Estate, where he has worked since 2015, most recently as Director Germany and Head of Asset Management North & Central Europe, leading the asset management team in central, eastern and northern Europe.

Until 2015, Holger Hosang worked for PAMERA Asset Management GmbH, which was co-founded by Christoph Wittkop. The company was taken over by Barings in 2014. Previously, Hosang was Director Asset Management at SVP Global, where he was in charge of the company’s real estate portfolio.

At Sonar Real Estate, in addition to his position as Director and Head of the Central/Southern region, based in Frankfurt, he will develop and manage the Sonar offices in Frankfurt and Munich.

Christoph Wittkop, CEO of Sonar Real Estate, comments: "I have great respect for Holger Hosang as a person and as an experienced professional in the asset and transaction management of commercial real estate, particularly office and retail properties. I am therefore delighted that he is coming on board with us. Due to his excellent network in the market he will be a great support in establishing Sonar Real Estate as a partner for domestic and international investors in Germany.”

Holger Hosang explains: “I am looking forward to the challenge managing the newly-founded company, in association with the other directors. I will apply my expertise to support the team, who I have known and worked with for years, in establishing Sonar Real Estate in the market. Innovations, particularly the freedom and flexibility to implement new ideas, have been one of the main drivers of my career and I am looking forward to this even more in the future. I am confident that there will be good opportunities for successful real estate investments - and that we will take advantage of them.”

Sonar Real Estate is set up for German and foreign investors seeking an entrepreneurial local partner in Germany and, if required, a co-investor, with a primary focus on Value-Add and opportunistic investments. In addition, Sonar is looking to expand its business in the areas of development, club deals and individual client instructions in regulated vehicles with German institutional investors.

Team around Christoph Wittkop founds Sonar Real Estate, anticipates initial EUR 1.2 bn of assets under management

Hamburg, 12 October 2020

On the attached group photo are from left to right from left to right: Daniel Jäde, Christoph Wittkop, Matthias Gerloff, Nick Puschkasch

Sonar Real Estate GmbH is a new company for real estate investment, asset management and development that is expected to commence operations from its head office in Hamburg in December 2020. Christoph Wittkop (48), formerly Managing Director and Real Estate Country Head Germany at Barings, one of the world's largest real estate investment managers, will be the Chairman of the Management Board.

In an agreed deal with Barings, Barings will transition their German non-core third party asset management and advisory mandates that will no longer be part of the company's core business to Sonar Real Estate, whilst retaining their investment management assets, which Barings Germany will continue to manage.

Sonar Real Estate will focus on commercial property in the office, retail and logistics sector in Germany. The risk profile of the properties managed ranges from Core/Core+ through Value-Add to Opportunistic. Special attention with also be paid to in-house or partnership development projects in these segments.

The target clients will be German and foreign investors seeking an entrepreneurial local partner in Germany and, if required, a co-investor, with a primary focus on Value-Add and Opportunistic investments. The existing business of club deals and separate accounts from German institutional investors in regulated vehicles will also be further expanded. For this, Sonar Real Estate will take over the mandates previously awarded to Barings by investors via the investor-KVG Institutional Investment Partners (2IP) and will continue the successful cooperation since 2012. Some EUR 750 million of the assets under management are already administered by 2ip.

In addition to Christoph Wittkop and Matthias Gerloff (Head of German Institutional Investors and Fund Management), the other founding members of Sonar Real Estate are Nick Puschkasch (Head of the Eastern Region and Head of Asset Management) and Daniel Jäde (Head of Development and Project Management), all of whom transition from Barings Germany.

Sonar Real Estate begins its operation with offices in Hamburg, Berlin and Dusseldorf, and 17 employees. A new office in Frankfurt will shortly be established, which will be managed by a further managing partner from January 2021.

Christoph Wittkop, Managing Director/CEO of Sonar Real Estate, comments: “Following our success at Barings, my co-founders and I are looking forward to the challenge of once again leading and expanding an owner-managed company at Sonar Real Estate. Our competent and experienced team, who have successfully worked together for many years, have an excellent network in the industry.

“We know what makes the market tick and how to manage, with success, challenges that are off the beaten track. For this reason, and in view of our impressive track record in recent years, we are firmly convinced that Sonar Real Estate will quickly become established as a competent partner for domestic and international investors in Germany.”

Christoph Wittkop, a qualified business economist and real estate economist, has been active in the real estate sector since 1997. In the past he has successfully managed a number of asset management companies. Prior to joining Barings, he was a co-founder and managing director of PAMERA Asset Management GmbH, until the company was acquired by Barings in 2014. Between 2005 and 2010, as partner and CEO of Asset Manager Resolution GmbH, he headed the management of a real estate portfolio for well-known investors, focussing on Value-Add and Opportunistic properties. Other positions held during his long career include those at UBS Global Asset Management, Deutsche Bank and Eurohypo.