Barings acquires historic Paris building for build-to-core strategy

Barings has acquired an office refurbishment opportunity in a prime location at 163 rue Saint-Maur in Paris, France, from Groupe Financière JL, represented by its family office Family Partners.  

Barings, which has made the acquisition on behalf of a pan-European core strategy, intends to fully reposition and upgrade the property once it receives vacant possession, in order to meet the demand post-Covid for high quality, sustainable low rise buildings with strong amenities.
 
Located on the corner of 163, rue Saint-Maur and Rue Darboy and originally constructed as a school in 1875, the building has a distinctive historic facade. The building has been used as an office since 1995 and comprises c2,600 sq m of lettable space across five floors. Around 1,000 sq m of the property is configured as workshops and showrooms for the current sole tenant, a luxury fashion brand which has been based there since 2004 and whose lease expires at the end of 2021.
 
The finished office will be to a Grade A standard and will maximise the impact of the building’s distinctive architecture. The building’s 70m façade affords plenty of natural light, which promotes occupier wellbeing. 
 
A key focus for Barings will be to improve the property’s ESG credentials, targeting a minimum BREEAM/HQE excellent. 
 
The property is situated in the 11th arrondissement, in the east of central Paris, in an area that has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its strong provision of bars, restaurants, boutiques and hotels. It also benefits from excellent public transport connectivity with three metro lines nearby.
 
Barings has appointed Nexity to undertake the refurbishment works which are currently expected to complete late 2023 early 2024. This will be Barings’ third project with Nexity.
 
Séverine Maumy-Laffineur, Managing Director and Country Head Real Estate France at Barings, says: “This transaction gave us an exciting opportunity to undertake a full refurbishment of an unusual and historic property and reposition it into a Grade A office.  With a focus on high quality office and amenity space, occupier wellbeing and excellent environmental credentials, we have designed this building to meet the specific demands of the modern occupier in a post COVID world.  This burgeoning, sought-after area in the east of the city has established itself as a popular hub, especially among start-ups and fashion brands, as well as more traditional occupiers in part due to healthy mix of office space and leisure amenities.
 
“Our expert team on the ground continues to look for further opportunities in Paris following the recent refurbishment and successful sale of 9, Rue du Helder. With Nexity, we have a trusted partner that we have worked with before, and Axel Schoenert Architectes, we are confident that this redevelopment will be of high standard.”
 
Gunther Deutsch, Head of Transactions Europe at Barings, adds: “This transaction underlines our belief that there is continued robust demand for newly repositioned Grade A offices. Refurbishment and development opportunities such as this one remain a key area of investment for us both in France and across our other target geographies across Europe, where we can utilise our expert on the ground local teams to source and deliver projects and drive returns for our investors. We are also targeting further transactions in purpose built student accommodation and Build to Rent as we aim to reach our European investment target of EUR2 billion in 2021.”
 
Barings was advised by Oudot & Associés (Notary), Delpha (technical and environmental), Linklaters (legal, tax & structuring), LPA (financing), Delsol (development contract), JLL (real estate buy-side). La Banque Postale, who has provided financing, was advised by Wargny & Katz and Depardieu Brocas Mafféi.
 
The Holding Financière JL, represented by its family office Family Partners, was advised by Cushman & Wakefield and BNP Paribas Real Estate (co-exclusive mandate), and Roquépine Notaires.