Allianz acquires prime office icon in fast-growing western Business District of Paris
Allianz Real Estate, acting on behalf of several Allianz Group companies, has acquired two prime office buildings which form part of the landmark CityLights office complex in the Paris region.
This off-market transaction of approximately EUR500 million represents the largest office transaction that Allianz Real Estate has closed in Europe.
Citylights is located in Boulogne-Billancourt, one of the best-established office markets in the Western Business District of Paris, and comprises three towers. Allianz has acquired the 23-storey City 1 and the nine-storey City 3, providing a total gross lettable area of 48,500 sq m and representing approximately 60 per cent of the entire development.
Formerly known as the Pont de Sèvres Towers, the complex was built in 1978 before being redeveloped and refurbished in 2014 and 2015 by the internationally awarded architect Dominique Perrault. The buildings adhere to the highest environmental standards with certifications such as HQE Exceptional and BREEAM Excellent, offering tenants a high-quality working environment, including concierge services, multiple restaurants, an auditorium and fitness facilities. The office towers are connected by a central hall serving three lobbies.
“The acquisition of Citylights constitutes a further milestone in our global investment strategy. It is a one-of-a-kind office asset in a strong market that offers its tenants top quality in terms of architecture, design, amenities, sustainability and user experience. We are convinced that, by offering superior quality and services to the users of our buildings, we will secure our ongoing success,” says Alexander Gebauer, Chief Executive Officer for West Europe, Allianz Real Estate. “As long-term investors, we look to maintain our market leading position by adding outstanding assets like Citylights, but also by continuously upgrading our existing office portfolio through our Building Signature Programme. The aim of this programme is to ensure our assets meet the highest standards in terms of innovation, digitalisation and connectivity as well as social and environmental impact.”
In the coming years, Boulogne-Billancourt will benefit strongly from the Grand Paris project. The arrival of the Grand Paris Express Line N15, which is in front of Citylights, alongside the existing metro station Pont de Sèvres, located at the foot of the property, will offer tenants excellent public transport facilities.
"Paris and specifically the Grand Paris continues to be very attractive within the broader Allianz Real Estate strategy, which is why we have increased the portfolio in France with this significant acquisition,” says Sébastien Chemouny, Head of France, Allianz Real Estate. “More broadly, core assets provide attractive long-term returns and we plan to further expand our portfolio with sustainable high-quality buildings like Citylights, in strong, resilient and liquid markets like in Boulogne."
The transaction reaffirms Allianz’s conviction to further invest in prime assets in the Paris market. Including Citylights, its French equity portfolio now stands at EUR8.7 billion of AUM. In December 2019, the firm acquired two large develop-to-core office developments in Saint-Ouen, strategically located in the gateway to Paris. The V2 an V3 will also offer tenants the highest environmental standards, placing tenant well-being and sustainability at its core.
“Despite the current environment, this important deal reinforces our commitment to increasing our exposure to prime assets and highlights the long-term value creation that our team is capable of executing in respect of complex deal structures. Allianz Real Estate has built a strong execution credibility in the market which places us at an ideal position to capture key transactions in cities with strong potential,” says Donato Saponara, Head of Transactions for West Europe, Allianz Real Estate.”