REAL ESTATE – ING Real Estate Development has sold the office and retail section of the A7 Arena Holesovice project in Prague.

The €37m sale - 15,500m2 of gross lettable area and 200 parking spaces - was made to FHA Czech, a subsidiary of Pramerica Financial, a US investment fund, the firm said.

"Based on the sales price, the property is expected to provide a yield of about 6.6%," ING added.

According to ING, FHA Czech acquired two extensively refurbished brewery buildings. One is fully let, and two new buildings are under construction in the A7 Area Holesovice project, a mixed-use redevelopment of a 19th century industrial complex.

The project entails the refurbishment of three listed industrial buildings of the former First Burgess Brewery, plus four new buildings and an underground 441-spaces car park. The complex will be used as office, commercial and residential premises, ING said.

"We have acquired an excellent re-development project for our investors. We see high upside potential in this up-and-coming location," Georg von Hammerstein, Pramerica’s director of acquisition, commented.

ING will keep the residential sector of the project: 129 apartments and 26 loft apartments. So far, over 50% of the apartments have been sold, it said.

Meanwhile, ING Real Estate announced that its China Opportunity Fund (COF), will set up a joint venture with Gemdale Corporation, to develop a residential property project in Foshan, one of the most populated cities in Guangdong province.

The company will invest over €30m in a 49% stake in its second joint venture with Gemdale, one of China’s largest property developers, it made clear.

The project is located in Foshan’s city area and consists of 110,000m2 to be developed into a mainly residential complex and to be sold into the domestic market, ING said.

"We believe that this joint venture has high growth potential, and will enable us to take advantage of the fast growing market in Guangdong province from where Gemdale originates, Richard van den Berg, managing director and China country manager with ING Real Estate Investment Management, stated.

"Having opened our first office in 1996, ING Real Estate is one of the earliest foreign property investors in China. Our strategy supports the long-term development of the country’s real estate market, by partnering with select domestic developers who have superior local track record and sector experience," he added.

Last year, ING’s China Opportunity Fund raised a total of €266m. Apart from the joint venture with Gemdale Corporation, the fund has joint venture projects with other leading domestic developers, such as Shanghai Forte Land and Raycom International, ING said.