Hines has announced that it has sold InPost, located at 66-70 Avenue Charles de Gaulle in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Paris, to ING Real Estate Investment Management. Terms of the sale were not disclosed. Hines has been retained by the new owner to continue in its role as development manager on the building's renovation.
InPost, 66-70 Avenue Charles de Gaulle in Neuilly-sur-Seine.
The law firm of Lacourte Balas & Associés represented Hines in the transaction. ING was advised by the law firm of Leboeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae.
The six-story, 5,100-m² office building is located on Avenue Charles de Gaulle, the major axis running from the Arc de Triomphe to the La Défense business district, where Hines developed the EDF Tower.
"I am delighted with this operation which, once it has been renovated, will provide an outstanding office building in Neuilly, reflecting Paris' economic vitality," said Olivier de Dampierre, president of Hines France.
Hines hired architects Carlo Maria Natale and Arnaud Doiteau to completely renovate the existing building and design an extension. The project, currently undergoing restoration, includes 900 m² of retail space on the ground floor, and 4,200 m² of office space on five levels, as well as 50 underground parking spaces. The work began in May 2006, and completion is expected in December 2007. The French Post Office and the Promod clothing chain have already signed a lease, and Hines' Paris office will move into the upper floors of the building.
"Located on the very prestigious avenue leading from Paris to the La Défense business district, this project meets all our selection criteria: excellent location, architectural ambition, modern facilities and services, geared towards the most demanding tenants," said Laurent Babelon, acquisition director of ING Real Estate Investment Management.
This project represents the first asset sold by the Hines European Value Added Fund (HEVAF). HEVAF is capitalized with $370 million (287 million) of equity commitments provided by German and Swiss institutions. HEVAF will invest primarily in office projects, but there is an allocation for other product types. Hines will focus on acquiring buildings in Western European countries, targeting France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, and will seek to add value to acquisitions through tactics such as renovation, strategic leasing or re-leasing, improving operational efficiencies and refinancing.
"This transaction proves that HEVAF is a vehicle which can acquire investments with potential and use Hines' expertise to add value," commented Bahram Motamedian, the fund manager.