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Ukraine break political rules with ‘help Mariupol’ plea

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A nail-biting conclusion to the Eurovision Song Contest (RTÉ One 8pm) has seen Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra crowned winner with their track Stefania. Their victory arrives at the end of a marathon broadcast from Turin, where they are pushed all the way by the UK’s Sam Ryder.

But a huge public vote propels Ukraine to the top of the leaderboard, ahead of a chasing pack that also includes Spain and Sweden.

Ukraine’s victory will warm hearts across Europe. But with Ireland’s Brooke Scullion eliminated in the second semi-final, on Thursday, this is obviously a bittersweet evening for Irish viewers. How long ago the 1990s and our famous streak of triumphs now feel. Look at us now: the faded giants of Eurovision, yesterday’s champion reduced to applauding in the wings.

It obviously doesn’t help the songs we have sent to Eurovision have been of wildly varying standards. And yet it is worth acknowledging Scullion’s pleasant bopper, That’s Rich, would have felt perfectly at home amidst this year’s 25 finalists – and is objectively of higher quality than several which made the cut.

Still, even in her absence, the grand decider ticks all the boxes, ranging from the dewy-eyed interstellar pop of Sam Ryder and his tune Space Man to the barking mad Euro-house cranked out by Norway’s Subwoolfers (two men in wolf outfits, plus a DJ in a space-suit –a routine so crazy it’s almost like watching Irish children’s television from the 1980s).

Wacky and sincere have long been the twin poles between which Eurovision has swung – and that juxtaposition continues in Turin. Along with Subwoolfers, the bonkers quotient is ticked by Moldova’s Zdob si Zdub & Advahov Brothers, whose Trenuletul is only moderately less wigged out than Dustin the Turkey’s Irelande Douze Points from 2008 (a gobbling travesty economists now agree triggered the banking crisis and the collapse of the Irish economy).

The obvious difference is that Dustin was booed. Whereas the 15,000 PalaOlimpico laps up Moldova’s mix of Cotton Eyed Joe and Edvard Munch’s The Scream. You do have to wonder if our record seven victories has turned us into pop pariahs at some level.

Sam Ryder performs Space Man. Photograph: EPA/Alessandro di Marco
Sam Ryder performs Space Man. Photograph: EPA/Alessandro di Marco
Chanel from Spain singing SloMo. Photograph: AP Photo/Luca Bruno
Chanel from Spain singing SloMo. Photograph: AP Photo/Luca Bruno

Also striving to crank up the out of body factor are Norway’s Subwoolfer – they’re still dressed as yellow lycanthropes and still singing “give that wolf a banana” – and Serbia’s Konstrakta, who washes her hand while name-dropping Meghan Markle and wins big in the public vote (having scored poorly with national juries).

Her entry is about Serbian health insurance – and given that it made the final, perhaps there is a lesson for Ireland. Next year we need to send a song about turf cutting controversy (we could call it the Peat Goes On).

On the serious side of the aisle, winners Kalush Orchestra top off an impassioned Stefania – it’s the traditional Ukrainian flute solo that makes it, along with the body-popping – with a plea to the world.

“Please help Ukraine… please help Mariupol … right now,” they say. Eurovision has rules against crossing the streams of pop and politics. Understandably – and having already chucked out Russia – the organisers make an exception.

Lashings of emotion are meanwhile served up with weepy turns from Sweden’s Cornelia Jakobs, who delivers a compelling mix of Abba and The Cardigans. And by Poland’s Ochman with River, a hairdryer ballad so gushing you could use it use it to power-wash your front drive. And there is a memorable intermission performance from Mika, one of the trio of presenters, who puts on his pop star hat to race though his greatest hits.

Lebanese-British singer-songwriter and co-host Mika performs during an interlude. Photograph: EPA/Alessandro di Marco
Lebanese-British singer-songwriter and co-host Mika performs during an interlude. Photograph: EPA/Alessandro di Marco
Chanel from Spain singing SloMo. Photograph: AP Photo/Luca Bruno
Chanel from Spain singing SloMo. Photograph: AP Photo/Luca Bruno

It’s all good, clean euro fun. And then there is voice from Marty Whelan, who, after France’s rave-influenced number, claims to experience a flash-back to his rave-going days. “I remember my time in Sonar in Barcelona when I’d be setting in my tent listening to music like that,” he says (do they have tents at Sonar?)

Singer Konstrakta performs on behalf of Serbia. Photograph: Marco Bertorello / AFP
Singer Konstrakta performs on behalf of Serbia. Photograph: Marco Bertorello / AFP

From free wheelin’ Whelan to fireworks and a stage with its own waterfall, this an evening with everything (except Brooke Scullion, obviously). All topped off with victory for Kalush, who have been a frontrunner from the start. And, in front of a global audience of 180 million they deservedly soak up their moment in the spotlight.

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Verdion starts on logistics development in Nettetal (DE)

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Verdion has started the development of a new €30m logistics facility on the outskirts of Nettetal near the German-Dutch border and Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region. The speculative project is part of the value-add strategy of the Verdion European Logistics Fund (VELF) 1, which invests in last-mile logistics and value-add assets in northern and central Europe.

 

On completion in Q2 2023, the new facility at Herrenpfad-Sud 40 will offer 21,560m² of Grade A logistics space in up to four units, with 18,575m² of warehousing with 20 loading bays as well as 950m² of office and mezzanine space.

 

Verdion is targeting a DGNB Gold sustainability certificate for the highly energy-efficient building, which will not be using fossil fuels as a primary energy source and provides charging points for electric vehicles and cycle parking for a carbon-neutral commute. Additionally, the roof and electrical infrastructure will be prepared for solar energy generation. The site itself is located in the established Herrenpfad Sud industrial estate in Nettetal between Monchengladbach and Venlo, directly on the German-Dutch border and within striking distance of Germany’s largest conurbation, the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.

 

Florian Stobe, Head of Investment – Germany at Verdion, said: “Within the framework of Verdion’s sustainability strategy, we determined that rather than modernising and extending the existing building as originally planned, a full-scale redevelopment would better serve this market and meet the fund’s ESG standards. We are already seeing a great deal of interest in the new space, based on its strategic location and the strength of demand for last-mile distribution space for customers in the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region. With this strategy in Nettetal and other assets in the VELF 1 fund coming forward, we are creating value at the same time as providing new space in undersupplied markets.”

 

 

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LaSalle and Accumulata to develop Munich’s first hybrid timber office building (GB)

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LaSalle Investment Management, acting in collaboration with ACCUMULATA Real Estate Group, will develop Munich’s first hybrid timber office building. The building is being constructed on behalf of Encore+, LaSalle’s flagship pan-European fund. Situated on Elsenheimerstrasse in the city’s Westend district, the office building will have a floor area of approximately 16,000m². With dismantling of the existing building on site already underway and construction due to begin in the third quarter of this year, the project is scheduled for completion during the first quarter of 2024. Lettings are already being marketed in collaboration with CBRE, the lead estate agent.

 

Designed by the leading Munich-based architectural firm Oliv Architekten, the asset will provide flexible, multifunctional spaces including a ground-floor café/bistro and landscaped roof terrace, as well as various wellness amenities, including a yoga studio and a relaxation lounge. Tenants will also enjoy bicycle parking, electric charging points and a smart underground car parking facility. Furthermore, the building will provide customisable office units and creative collaboration spaces, ensuring the asset is well-positioned for the future.

 

In terms of its environmental credentials, the project meets the highest sustainability standards across all areas, including construction, materials and operations. Having already received a DGNB “Platinum” precertification, the asset will be constructed using concrete reclaimed from the existing building currently situated at this location. All materials used in construction will be documented in a material passport, showing where and how the various components were sourced and installed, ensuring they can be repurposed at the end of their service life. These measures are projected to reduce embodied carbon by up to 25%. Embodied carbon will be low at 366kg CO2e/m², significantly below the RICS Building Carbon Database (offices) average benchmark of 1291kg CO2e/m².

 

The use of timber in the building’s load-bearing structure will ensure that approximately 1,100 tonnes of carbon will remain stored in the building fabric, rather than emitted into the atmosphere. During the course of the asset’s lifespan, emissions associated with the building’s operation will be reduced by 65% in comparison to a typical office building through the integration of a photovoltaic system, efficient heating, cooling and ventilation systems and the use of a ground water heat pump. The building will also harvest and store rainwater, supplying irrigation systems for the benefit of surrounding green areas.

 

David Ironside, Fund Manager of Encore+ at LaSalle Investment Management, commented: “This is an industry-leading and best-in-class project. The first of its kind in Munich, its design in accordance with circular economy principles and resource-conserving operation will serve as a benchmark in sustainable real estate. Located in one of the most sought-after office submarkets in Munich, the property will be extremely well placed to meet the ever-evolving demands of future tenants around sustainability, quality, amenities and infrastructure while providing attractive long-term returns for our investors.”

 

Markus Diegelmann, Managing Partner at ACCUMULATA Real Estate Group, added: “The start of demolition marks an exciting first step in the development of what will be one of the most sustainable office projects in Munich. At ACCUMULATA, we aim to promote the concepts of urban mining and the circular economy within the construction sector and this project is firmly aligned with this objective. By utilising ultra-high-quality and recyclable materials, we are creating an office building that can meet occupiers’ shifting requirements, both in terms of flexible working environments and sustainability standards.”

 

Georg Illichmann, Managing Director at CBRE GmbH, said: “As the first hybrid timber office building to be constructed in Munich, the project achieves all the modern-day requirements tenants demand from office buildings: easy accessibility to public transport, sustainability credentials and working spaces that promote communication, creativity and innovation. The building’s use of timber, unique to the Munich office market, will not only support the building’s sustainability credentials but also the wellbeing of occupiers. At CBRE, we are proud to be leading on the marketing of this unique asset and be involved in ground-breaking project in the German real estate market as the lead estate agent.”

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Cain provides €99.7m for London office development (GB)

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Cain International has agreed an €99.7m (£86m) development loan with BauMont Real Estate Capital  and YardNine for the development of a 95,000ft² highly sustainable, best in class office-scheme at 100 Fetter Lane in central London known as ‘Edenica’. The asset was acquired by BauMont in January 2021 with development partner, YardNine. Located in City Mid-town, in close proximity to Farringdon, the development benefits from easy access to the newly opened Elizabeth Line via Farringdon, as well as City Thameslink and Chancery Lane stations, with a diverse range of cultural, leisure, retail and educational amenities nearby.

 

The asset received planning consent in September 2021 for the delivery of a new 12-storey development, with over 8,000ft² of roof gardens, a new pedestrian route and garden square at ground level, alongside more than 230 cycle spaces. In addition to the light filled workspace the scheme will include a new café and F&B uses.

 

The building, situated at 100 Fetter Lane, has been named ‘Edenica’, a reference to the extensive outdoor spaces which form part of the scheme and adjoin it. The project is targeting the highest environmental standards of BREEAM Outstanding, WiredScore, SmartScore and WELL certifications.  Sustainability, technology and wellbeing are extensively incorporated into the design. This includes voluminous office space with clear heights of over 3 metres, openable windows to enable mixed-mode ventilation, extensive planted terraces to encourage biodiversity and provide significant external breakout spaces, facilities to encourage active modes of travel, and high-performance 100% electric building designed with the Waterman Group to ensure the building uses as little energy as possible and achieves Net Zero carbon emissions in use. Construction work has commenced on site and the scheme is due for completion in Summer 2024. 

 

Tanja Yerolemou-Ennsgraber, Senior Vice President – Real Estate Finance at Cain International, said: “We are excited to partner with an experienced sponsor and developer duo, joining their journey to deliver a best-in class office scheme. The project embraces the needs and desires of the future occupier, being mindful about their experience and bringing it to the fore. BauMont and YardNine have successfully unlocked a fantastic development opportunity and we are pleased to bring our construction financing expertise to the table and see Edenica unfold.” 

 

Damien Pasini, Director at BauMont Real Estate Capital said: “Following the recepit of planning permission last year, securing development financing is another significant milestone for 100 Fetter Lane. We look forward to working with Cain and YardNine to deliver a highly sustainable and innovative workplace in one of Central London’s most vibrant submarkets.”

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