Barry and Glen chose Germany as a market in which to invest, recognising that much of the ‘heavy economic lifting’ had been carried out by 2006/7 in terms of state investment in infrastructure and the reunification of the country. As a result the German economy was becoming increasingly healthy and competitive and the trends were pointing towards continued growth.
In spite of the rising demand for newer, more modern accommodation in Berlin, up until recently, it was not being planned for in a significant way. The market lacked entrepreneurial developers able to assemble and manage the earlier stages in the development process. Local operators lacked entrepreneurial drive and funds.
Beginning in 2007, Barry and Glen began assembling a land bank, anticipating the rising demand for quality, new residential building in Berlin. They focussed on Chauseestrasse and Liesenstrasse in the district of Berlin Mitte. The location was beginning to show signs of ‘gentrification’ due to its excellent links with public transport and easy walking distance to Friedrichstrasse and Unter den Linden.
The acquisitions took courage and foresight, as it was not yet a popular location; the path of new development was still a distance away for historical reasons. Situated next to the historical Checkpoint Chausee, this land was 'no-man's land', abutting the famous ‘Berlin Wall’, which divided the Soviet and French Sectors in East Berlin after World War Two. The land remained ‘no-man’s land’ until the process of restitution was completed by the Re-unified German Government.
Barry and Glen began a series of acquisitions which consolidated the land into development projects of sufficient scale for large developers, or institutional funds that were searching out large new residential developments to service the growing demand for modern residential housing stock. Occupier demand grew as Berlin consolidated itself as new capital city, and the east part of the city became increasingly fashionable.
The decision to locate the BND (German National Intelligence Agency) and its 5,000 employees on Chauseestrasse helped the situation, by adding extra demand for accommodation in the location.
The Liesenstrasse site assembly involved purchases from BIMA (Institute for Federal Real Estate Germany, a German Family Investment house, a War Inheritance Group and TOTAL, the French Oil Company. The final site area assembled was 5,000 square metres approximately.
In 2011 the site was sold to NCC Group, one of Scandinavia's leading developers. They pre-sold the development to institutional buyers and are working on developing the site
The Chausestrasse site was purchased following negotiations with JCC (Jewish Claims Council), Two German companies and a family inheritance group who regained the land through the legal restitution process.
Barry and Glen engaged Eike Becker Architects, and together they sought and obtained building permission for the project which was named as 'The Garden'. On the site area 12,500 square metres, permission was granted for a 215 bed four star hotel, a 5,000 square metre office block, and 230 luxury apartments.
In early 2012, the site was sold to Peakside Capital, an independent real estate investment management firm and Pantera, a high end Swiss property developer.
Peakside Capital is owned and managed by its partners and was created following a management buyout from Bank of America Merrill Lynch (“BofAML”) in September 2010.
In 2006, Barry and a group of investors formed a consortium to purchase a state of the art logistics centre in Dresden, Germany. This 40,000 square metre facility is let to Trinks, a 100% owned subsidiary of AAA-rated Nestle Group.
Currently negotiations are taking place with the tenant on an extension of the lease term.