AXA Real Estate to develop landmark office complex in Paris (FR)

AXA Real Estate Investment Managers announces that, on behalf of its Development Venture III vehicle (the 'Venture'), it has been selected as partner of the Opale-Défense consortium to develop a major office project located next to Balard, the future site of the French Ministry of Defence in Paris.

AXA Real Estate will work in partnership with leading global construction company, Bouygues Construction, to deliver a new 90,000-m² office building at the western end of the Balard site for which they expect to submit a planning application for the Wilmotte & Associés designed project later this year.

Construction is expected to commence in 2012, with completion due by the end of 2014. The project will comprise four office buildings, with delivery either in a single phase or via two phases of two buildings each. AXA Real Estate and Bouygues Construction are also aiming to obtain the relevant BBC-effinergie®, HQE® and BREEAM** sustainability certifications.

Following this transaction, the Venture has now fully committed the €377.5 million of equity it has raised to date, with other acquisitions including a 20,000-m² office building project in the City of London, and a further 40,000-m² development project in Paris Region. The Venture recently completed a second closing in January 2011 and is targeting a third and final close of up to €600 million by Q3.

Jean-Manuel Rossi, Global Head of Development of AXA Real Estate, said: "This prestigious project gives us the opportunity to invest on behalf of our clients in a landmark office asset, which will be the largest current development of its kind in France. Our expert in-house development team will work closely with Bouygues Construction throughout every phase of the project as we ultimately aim to deliver one of France's most prestigious office buildings.

"We believe that it will attract strong occupier interest given the high profile nature of the building, its excellent location and its sustainability credentials."

Denis Morel, Senior Fund Manager of AXA Real Estate's Development Venture III, added: "We have secured a number of compelling development opportunities for the Venture to date where we believe we can deliver high quality assets into markets where an ongoing supply / demand imbalance means we can expect to take advantage of robust occupier demand.

"We continue to see strong interest in the Venture from a number of potential investors across the globe, notably overseas, with several already at advanced stages of due diligence. We therefore expect to announce our third and final closing of the Venture by Q3."

Source: FD

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