US developer Hines seeks to expand South Korean presence Houston-based real estate developer opens its third office in Seoul

Translated by Ryu Ho-joung 공개 2021-10-20 08:10:48

이 기사는 2021년 10월 20일 08:08 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

US real estate developer Hines is aiming to expand its presence in South Korea by opening a new office in Seoul, as it pursues more partnerships with South Korean institutions and explores investment opportunities in the country’s real estate sector.

The Houston-based developer established Hines Korea Real Estate earlier this month, according to industry sources. The limited company, incorporated in South Korea, provides advisory and consulting services to local building owners. The only registered director of the company is Drew Huffman, managing director of South Korean and Japanese operations.

This is the third time that the US real estate firm opened its office in the country. In October 2013, Hines Korea was established as a limited company, and its subsidiary, Hines Korea Advisors, was created in January 2018.

Hines, founded in 1957, specializes in developing, managing and investing in real estate. It operates in 255 cities across 27 countries, with assets under management of $83.6 billion as of the end of June 2021.

The opening of its new Seoul office comes as the US firm ramps up partnerships with South Korean institutional investors, especially the state pension fund National Pension Service (NPS). Hines has had a close relationship with the NPS for more than a decade as the two investors teamed up to invest in real estate assets in the US and Europe.

Hines and NPS announced a $1.5 billion joint venture in December last year to invest in real estate projects globally. The venture pursues a build-to-core strategy that encompasses residential, office, logistics and mixed-use opportunities worldwide.

They also jointly acquired Pacific Gas & Electric Company’s headquarters in California for $800 million in September this year as part of a $2.5 megaproject to transform the utility company’s campus into commercial and residential spaces.

Hines in January this year hired Harry Lee as part of efforts to enhance its business in South Korea. Prior to joining Hines, Lee worked for DWS as head of transactions and Rutter Associates Private Equity, a Seoul-based private equity firm.

In May this year, Hines announced an investment in the development of a logistics center in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, in partnership with Pebblestone Asset Management – the US firm’s first investment in the South Korean commercial real estate market.

“Foreign investment firms’ interest is growing in South Korean institutions, whose global presence has grown in recent years,” said an official at one private equity firm in Seoul. “On top of this, Hines is expanding its South Korean operations as it believes there are large growth opportunities in the country’s real estate market.” (Reporting by Gyoung-tae Kim)
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