With the successful development of Nordic Forum on Torshamnsgatan, the real estate company Revelop has also developed a taste for Kista as a district. Through hard work, improved sustainability and efforts for both the short and long term, Nordic Forum has been given a new life and a new vibe. The tenant mix has expanded, and the occupancy rate has risen from 50 to almost 90 percent. And in the summer, Kista's most international meeting place will open here – AC by Marriott.
In the fall of 2016, real estate company Revelop made an attention-grabbing real estate deal. With the purchase of the large Nordic Forum office block on Torshamnsgatan, the company made its move into the Kista market. Half the block was empty at the time, leading many in the industry to wonder if this really was a good investment. But today, six years later, it’s a completely different story.
“When we bought Nordic Forum, the trend was gloomy and many tenants had left. But that is exactly the type of property we are best at. We work in parallel with development, management and leasing, in line with the business plan we created before the acquisition. This involves many different efforts and measures, both in the short and long term, to create a modern and attractive office property,” says Revelop Development Manager Klas Modin.
After a few years of intensive work, a number of new tenants and services began to move in, giving the neighborhood new life and a new vibe. Nordic Forum is now a strong brand and an attractive office alternative in Sweden's leading tech cluster. Today, nearly 90 percent of the block's approximately 42,000 square meters are occupied.
Broad mix of tenants
Nordic Forum was originally built in two phases in the 1980s. Ericsson was the main tenant for a long time, but today the block contains a broad mix of businesses of various sizes and industries. There are around 60 larger tenants and approximately 40 smaller companies in the coworking concept C/O Workspace.
“We are particularly happy about the mix of tenants. Everyone knows that Kista attracts world-leading companies in ICT (Information and Communication Technology). But at Nordic Forum there are also many other industries, like logistics, insurance, healthcare and consulting,” says Mathias Björkman, Revelop’s Head of Real Estate and Facilities Management.
Mathias Björkman, Johan Spångberg and Klas Modin.
AC by Marriott to open in the summer
One of the newest and biggest tenants hasn't moved in yet, but their part of the block is being prepared. In the summer, it will finally be time for the opening, says Mathias:
“We are incredibly proud that one of the world's strongest hotel brands is not only coming to Kista, but is moving into Nordic Forum. AC by Marriott will not be just a hotel, but also a completely new meeting place with conference facilities, a restaurant, lounge, and a large spa and wellness area – just the international vibe and pulse-raising energy that Kista needs!”
Two other popular meeting places in Nordic Forum are Sabis restaurant, serving well-prepared lunches to many of Kista’s workers, and the neighborhood wellness facility, which is for the property's tenants. The wellness center is run by Revelop in collaboration with Medema Physio, which has offices in the building and also uses the facility as a showroom.
Sustainable properties, more profitable
For Revelop, an important part of renovating a property is to make it more sustainable, for example with the help of solar cells, energy investments and various types of smart property technology. Recycling and reuse are other sustainable methods used as much as possible, for example in the ongoing hotel project.
“We usually say that we make brown properties green. Partly because we want to contribute to a more sustainable society and partly because it is good business. A clear example is energy efficiency, which reduces both our own and the tenants' costs for electricity, heating and cooling. The premises will also be easier to let, as modern tenants want to stay in sustainable properties. They also want to contribute to improved sustainability and strengthen their own green image,” says Klas Modin.
A taste for Kista
Today, Revelop owns properties in Upplands Väsby, Sollentuna, Bromma, Tyresö, Botkyrka and Haninge, as well as in Gothenburg and Öresund. While Nordic Forum is the company's only property in Kista, Revelop is happy to make new acquisitions here if the right opportunities arise. Johan Spångberg is responsible for portfolio management and strategic investments:
“We have strong faith in Kista. There is already a world-leading cluster for ICT companies here, but we also see enormous potential for attracting other industries. Kista has a great infrastructure, with almost all imaginable forms of public transport, proximity to the E4 and E18 motorways, plus the airports at Bromma and Arlanda. There is also plenty of parking and lots of services. But we need more modern housing, a wider range of services, more life and more excitement.”
Collaboration that produces results
Johan Spångberg is optimistic about the future, even though both the general economy and the real estate market are currently shaky. In addition to Kista's good foundation, he thinks the cooperation with other property owners in Kista Limitless, and with the other players in The Kloud, contributes a lot to bright future prospects.
“We lift Kista together. It is an enormous strength that the district's various players cooperate in this way. We must show both visitors and those who work here that Kista is improving in many different ways. And not only in the long term – there are already lots of positive things happening. Just look at all the events and networks, or the exciting initiatives in art and culture. And don't forget that Kista is one of Sweden's largest urban development projects, with the aim of creating 8,000 new homes and as many new jobs,” concludes Johan.