The joint venture vehicle established last year by Redevco, the pan-European retail real estate specialist and Hermes Investment Management, the £28.6 billion manager focused on delivering superior, sustainable, risk adjusted returns to its clients – responsibly, has made a second purchase in France for its €250 million investment programme, acquiring a shopping centre in the heart of Lille. The amount of the transaction is not being disclosed.
The European joint venture vehicle has purchased the 25,000 sq m (269,098 sq ft) “Le 31”, a local landmark on Rue de Béthune, one of central Lille’s main pedestrianized shopping streets. It plans to redesign and redevelop the iconic building to create a retail led mixed-use building in line with the requirements of today’s occupiers. The scheme is planned to complete by 2019.
Andrew Vaughan, CEO at Redevco, said: “The joint venture’s investment programme is gaining momentum as we leverage our extensive network in France to unearth opportunities where we can add significant value to a property. Our French team of retail asset managers will be taking a fresh approach to this landmark building and contribute to the regeneration of Rue de Béthune. Aside from France we will be looking for other opportunities of this kind elsewhere in the core markets of Western and Northern Europe.”
Chris Taylor, Head of Private Markets at Hermes Investment Management, said: “This is our second acquisition in France in recent weeks, highlighting our ongoing focus on the urbanisation trends and demographic lifestyle shifts we are seeing across a number of markets. Working in partnership with Redevco, we believe that we can provide holistic returns through the active management of this prominent asset whilst working in close alignment with our like-minded local partner.”
Lille, located in northern France close to the Belgian border is in the middle of one of Europe’s wealthiest regions. Lille is the country’s fifth largest metropolitan area behind Paris, Marseille, Lyon, and Toulouse, with a population of just over one million people.
Advising the joint venture on the transaction is Etude Monassier, Cabinet Adden, Cabinet Archers for legal services, Gide Loyrette Nouel for legal structuring and tax services, and Féral et Associés for technical services.