HSH Nordbank is providing the finance as lead arranger, amounting to €220 million, for the French real estate company Gecina SA to acquire the Défense Ouest real estate project. Gecina, in which the Spanish real estate group Metrovacesa SA has a majority holding, is France's largest listed real estate company with property assets of about €11 billion.
Défense Ouest is a complex of five partly connected, partly separate buildings, each with between four and seven floors and two levels below ground. The project, which is still under construction, will after completion scheduled for the first half of 2007 have 58,000 m² of high quality office space as well as 1,100 car parking spaces. Howard Ronson, a developer well known for his high standards of quality, is in charge of this large-scale project.
The site is within the recently developed Portes de la Défense business district in Colombes, in the immediate vicinity of the internationally renowned La Défense office and services center to the west of Paris. The property will thus benefit from being very well connected to the road network and to the public commuter transit system of the Paris region. From the nearby La Garenne Colombes train station there is a direct line to St. Lazare station in the center of Paris, with a journey time between the two of just eleven minutes.
"The Défense Ouest project provides outstanding conditions for successful marketing," said Judith Steinhoff, Deputy Head Real Estate of HSH Nordbank. "The close proximity to La Défense and the very well developed infrastructure make the location highly attractive to office tenants. The significant increase in demand for office space over the past two years underscores this as well."
Défense Ouest is, along with the 43,000 m² Portes de La Défense office building already the fourth Gecina project in the French metropolis that HSH Nordbank's Real Estate division has funded.
Source: HSH Nordbank