- Reaffirms its strategic direction to secure viable investments in the US Real Estate Market
Doha, Qatar: Qatar First Bank LLC (Public) (QFB) has acquired the Gateway Plaza building in Richmond, Virginia, USA. The new acquisition is a Class AA trophy asset with an area of 330,000 square feet that was developed in 2015 as a build-to-suit building and is a tremendous addition to the bank’s investment portfolio, which will continue to ensure stable cash flows.
The new investment is QFB’s fourteenth investment under its new Shari’a compliant real estate investment strategy, and its eleventh US real estate property with an aim to expand its presence and expertise in the US real estate market.
The LEED Gold certified multi-tenant office property features high-quality construction with top-of-market buildouts and sweeping views of downtown Richmond and the James River. The property and tenants enjoy proximity to an abundance of amenities, modern residences, and a lively entertainment and arts scene. The property is also 98% occupied by the headquarters of prominent firms, with long lease terms and rental escalations. Bolstered by high barriers to entry and no future office developments on the horizon, the property presents investors a best-in-class trophy asset with unmatched stability in a highly desirable growth market.
The Bank’s investment in Richmond is due to its economic growth which continues to outpace the greater US economy with a 3.6% unemployment rate, following a strong recovery post-COVID. Richmond’s Central Business District (CBD) has witnessed a drastic flight to quality over recent years, with over 75% of all leasing in the CBD since 2017 being within the premier Class A buildings. This has driven down trophy vacancy rates to sub 3.5%.
Sheikh Faisal bin Thani Al-Thani, Chairman of QFB said: “We are delighted to announce the successful acquisition of our eleventh Shari’a compliant US real estate investment. QFB has successfully negotiated and acquired the property in this challenging interest rate climate. We have achieved this landmark accomplishment whilst ensuring that the property is acquired at a price which can generate attractive returns for our investors.”
Mr. Abdulrahman Totonji, QFB’s CEO added: “We are very happy to further expand our footprint in the Shari’a compliant US real estate market, especially in light of the current post-Covid environment. The Bank will continue capitalizing on its strategy to be more vigilant and handpick the most profitable investment opportunities for our clients. We are also pleased with the growing demand from local clients where most of our investments syndicated within a short period of time, along with the testament to our successful track records in real estate exits.”
Qatar First Bank LLC (Public) is the first independent Shari’a compliant bank authorized by the QFC Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) and a listed entity on the Qatar Stock Exchange (QSE: QFBQ).