WARSAW, Sept 10 Poland's richest man Jan Kulczyk
and New York real estate mogul Larry Silverstein have launched a
fund that plans to invest up to 1.5 billion euros ($1.9 billion)
in Central and Eastern European commercial property.
While the region's real estate markets were hit hard by the
second wave of the financial crisis and transaction volumes
slumped by about 40 percent in the first half of 2012, Poland
and the Czech Republic have remained relatively resilient.
KSP Real Estate Investment Management, part of a joint
venture called Kulczyk Silverstein Properties (KSP), initially
plans to raise 200-300 million euros to invest in property in
the largest Polish and Czech cities, its representatives said on
"This is a good time to be a buyer," said Otis Spencer,
co-manager of the new fund, adding that the yield on
good-quality offices in Warsaw is about 6.5 percent.
Spencer said that the Polish and Czech real estate markets
offer opportunities outside the countries' capital cities,
unlike other countries in the region, whose markets still need
time to recover after overinvestment in the past few years.
He expects Romania, the second-largest country in the
region, to become more attractive in 24 to 36 months.
KSP's project, now in a pre-marketing phase, targets
insurers, pension funds and endowments. If successful, KSP will
attempt to raise a total of 750 million euros over the next five
years and match the figure with debt it will take on.
The Kulczyk-Silverstein joint venture currently owns and
manages several office buildings in Warsaw.
It is co-controlled by Kulczyk Investments, a vehicle
targeting emerging markets, and Silverstein Properties, a New
York-based real estate group that is redeveloping the World
Trade Centre, among others.