AXA Real Estate Investment Managers has commenced construction of the first phase of an 86,000 square metre office development in Paris.
The project is being undertaken on behalf of Development Venture III (DVIII), the pan-European development vehicle, which is managed by AXA Real Estate and acquired the site in May 2011, having been selected as a partner of the Opale-Défense consortium. AXA Real Estate has appointed SODEARIF/ ICADE and Bouygues Construction as respectively development and construction managers.
The project is located in Balard, Paris inner-city, next to the new 340,000 sq m headquarters of the French Ministry of Defence which is currently under construction and will accommodate around 9,300 people once complete in 2015. Designed by Wilmotte & Associés, the project comprises four office buildings totalling nearly 86,000 sqm to be constructed in two phases.
The first phase will deliver two buildings of 20,000 sq m and 26,000 sq m of rentable area, each set over eight floors, and able to accommodate around 4,100 people. It will also have space for 375 car parking spaces. The second construction phase, which will comprise an additional 40,000 sq m of space and 325 more car parking spaces, is expected to commence during 2015 although the delivery schedule is flexible and could be brought forward in accordance with demand.
Development finance for the first phase of the project has been agreed with a consortium of French banks.
Situated in south-west Paris, the scheme is in a prime location in an established district of the city. The project comprises 1.3 hectares of new landscaped gardens, connected to the Sarrabezolles Square, which will provide the entire site with a “campus” environment.
In line with AXA Real Estate’s commitment to sustainable development, the new buildings have been designed to minimise energy consumption and include other environmentally conscious initiatives such as rain water harvesting and solar heating / power use. AXA Real Estate is also aiming to achieve maximum recycling targets during demolition and is targeting a HQE sustainability certifications as well as BBC-effinergie and BREEAM Very Good certification for the project.
Jean-Manuel Rossi, global head of development at AXA Real Estate, says: “This project provides us with a unique opportunity to build a real office campus in a well-established and sought after area of Paris. With its surrounding park space and proximity to the River Seine, this exceptional workspace will provide occupiers with a highly desirable alternative to the Central Business District of Paris given its location and the high profile of the public transport serving the property. ”
Laurent Vouin, head of opportunistic funds of AXA Real Estate, says: “This project is highly indicative of our ability to source value–add and opportunistic investments for our clients by leveraging our European network and capitalising on our in-house development expertise. This development has the potential to both deliver significant returns to our investors, and to create one of France’s most prestigious new office buildings.”