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Oxford Properties and Novaxia to invest €1bn in French life sciences market

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Oxford Properties Group and Novaxia have entered into a long-term strategic partnership to invest in and, primarily, develop a much needed new supply of life science real estate in France. Novaxia will act as development manager and co-asset manager alongside Oxford with the Partnership targeting approximately €1bn of investment over the next few years.

 

The fast growth of France’s life sciences sector has accelerated further following the COVID-19 pandemic, and become a key priority for the French government. Still, there is a critical lack of specialist technical real estate infrastructure to support this growth. The Partnership aims to bring forward new supply of space to help meet that demand and is already in active discussions with local regulators. It will announce its first investments in the near future, which are focused on the development of lab and research centres for biotech and medtech companies.

 

The first phase of the Partnership’s investment activity will focus on Paris, which is experiencing an acute supply shortage of lab and life sciences incubator space. Paris attracts 80% of all biotech venture capital funding in France, which doubled between 2020 and 2021 to €1.6bn and is expected to underpin growing demand for life sciences space. The Partnership will invest across France and is exploring other emerging markets such as Lyon and Strasbourg.

 

Joachim Azan, President and founder of Novaxia, said: “Novaxia is opening up to partnerships and breaking new ground by adding another string to its urban recycling bow. Following housing, Novaxia will recycle obsolete buildings into places of innovation in the life sciences. Following on from the project to install one of the largest incubators in Europe at the Hotel-Dieu Paris, Novaxia is developing the means to deploy suitable sites for the entire life sciences value chain throughout France (research laboratories, incubators, accelerators and production plants). Real estate will thus be the starting point for scientific innovation so that France retains its best researchers, its best companies and strengthens its scientific sovereignty.”

 

Pierre Leocadio, Head of Investment, Europe at Oxford Properties, commented: “Building a global life sciences business of scale remains one of Oxford’s highest priority investment strategies and France is one of our strongest conviction markets in Europe for growth. Having undertaken significant investment into strategic life science markets in North America and UK in recent years, our sights are firmly set on replicating those successes in France. Historically, France has been at the forefront of R&D in the fields of medicine and pharmaceuticals, it is, therefore, well-positioned to maintain this leadership position as technology continues to disrupt and accelerate new innovations in this sector. It boasts leading academic institutions, university hospitals and research institutes, plus robust access to financing—particularly from venture capital funds. We are aiming to invest approximately €1bn over the next few years to create highly-technical real estate infrastructure which can support the country’s fast-growing biotech and medtech industries. Alongside Novaxia, we want to be a leader in life sciences real estate investment in France. Powered by a shared vision, we have moved quickly to identify and evaluate several potential life science sites that are adaptable to the wide range of uses required by a rapidly growing life sciences ecosystem.”

 

Aude Landy-Berkowitz, Executive Director of Novaxia Developpement explained: “The development of Life Sciences requires a suitable real estate that meets the technical needs and uses of a community. Real estate in France today is not designed with this in mind. For example, there is a significant lack of L1 to L3 type laboratories and their development requires specific expertise. There are multiple and specific needs for water, air, overhead room or even in safety. This partnership will work on their future-proofed design and operating modes, imagining reversibility between laboratory and office. We will develop a real estate that is complementary and synergistic, adaptable with closed and shared spaces in the service of research and innovation. This partnership is a tremendous step forward for the Life Sciences community in France. The need is urgent, and we need to be able to develop innovation and research hubs that offer a real-estate pathway from small start-ups to large enterprises.”

 

Abby Shapiro, Senior Vice President & Head of Office, Retail and Life Sciences, Europe at Oxford Properties, added: “This strategic partnership with Novaxia will enable us to develop a large scale, dedicated life sciences portfolio in France. Novaxia has an excellent track record in real estate investment and development, taking a responsible and innovative approach to each of their projects, underpinned by a deep understanding of local market needs. Through this partnership, we will look to capitalise on our complementary skill sets. Oxford has a committed and permanent source of capital as well as a global viewpoint on best practices within the life sciences sector. Combined with Novaxia’s deep local market knowledge and relationships with local life science firms and key stakeholders, we believe we can offer a compelling solution to deliver the critically needed real estate infrastructure to help ensure France remains a leader in life sciences.”

  

Antoine Papiernik, Chairman & Managing Partner of Sofinnova, a world leader in investment in life sciences firms (start-ups, SMEs and ETIs) commented: “Novaxia and Oxford’s partnership confirms France as a key hub of the future for developing biotech and medtech innovations, and positions the country as a leader in Europe. This exciting partnership will grow the number of cutting-edge firms in France, allowing the country to reach the scale needed to attract much-needed international investment.”

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Verdion starts on logistics development in Nettetal (DE)

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Verdion has started the development of a new €30m logistics facility on the outskirts of Nettetal near the German-Dutch border and Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region. The speculative project is part of the value-add strategy of the Verdion European Logistics Fund (VELF) 1, which invests in last-mile logistics and value-add assets in northern and central Europe.

 

On completion in Q2 2023, the new facility at Herrenpfad-Sud 40 will offer 21,560m² of Grade A logistics space in up to four units, with 18,575m² of warehousing with 20 loading bays as well as 950m² of office and mezzanine space.

 

Verdion is targeting a DGNB Gold sustainability certificate for the highly energy-efficient building, which will not be using fossil fuels as a primary energy source and provides charging points for electric vehicles and cycle parking for a carbon-neutral commute. Additionally, the roof and electrical infrastructure will be prepared for solar energy generation. The site itself is located in the established Herrenpfad Sud industrial estate in Nettetal between Monchengladbach and Venlo, directly on the German-Dutch border and within striking distance of Germany’s largest conurbation, the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.

 

Florian Stobe, Head of Investment – Germany at Verdion, said: “Within the framework of Verdion’s sustainability strategy, we determined that rather than modernising and extending the existing building as originally planned, a full-scale redevelopment would better serve this market and meet the fund’s ESG standards. We are already seeing a great deal of interest in the new space, based on its strategic location and the strength of demand for last-mile distribution space for customers in the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region. With this strategy in Nettetal and other assets in the VELF 1 fund coming forward, we are creating value at the same time as providing new space in undersupplied markets.”

 

 

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LaSalle and Accumulata to develop Munich’s first hybrid timber office building (GB)

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LaSalle Investment Management, acting in collaboration with ACCUMULATA Real Estate Group, will develop Munich’s first hybrid timber office building. The building is being constructed on behalf of Encore+, LaSalle’s flagship pan-European fund. Situated on Elsenheimerstrasse in the city’s Westend district, the office building will have a floor area of approximately 16,000m². With dismantling of the existing building on site already underway and construction due to begin in the third quarter of this year, the project is scheduled for completion during the first quarter of 2024. Lettings are already being marketed in collaboration with CBRE, the lead estate agent.

 

Designed by the leading Munich-based architectural firm Oliv Architekten, the asset will provide flexible, multifunctional spaces including a ground-floor café/bistro and landscaped roof terrace, as well as various wellness amenities, including a yoga studio and a relaxation lounge. Tenants will also enjoy bicycle parking, electric charging points and a smart underground car parking facility. Furthermore, the building will provide customisable office units and creative collaboration spaces, ensuring the asset is well-positioned for the future.

 

In terms of its environmental credentials, the project meets the highest sustainability standards across all areas, including construction, materials and operations. Having already received a DGNB “Platinum” precertification, the asset will be constructed using concrete reclaimed from the existing building currently situated at this location. All materials used in construction will be documented in a material passport, showing where and how the various components were sourced and installed, ensuring they can be repurposed at the end of their service life. These measures are projected to reduce embodied carbon by up to 25%. Embodied carbon will be low at 366kg CO2e/m², significantly below the RICS Building Carbon Database (offices) average benchmark of 1291kg CO2e/m².

 

The use of timber in the building’s load-bearing structure will ensure that approximately 1,100 tonnes of carbon will remain stored in the building fabric, rather than emitted into the atmosphere. During the course of the asset’s lifespan, emissions associated with the building’s operation will be reduced by 65% in comparison to a typical office building through the integration of a photovoltaic system, efficient heating, cooling and ventilation systems and the use of a ground water heat pump. The building will also harvest and store rainwater, supplying irrigation systems for the benefit of surrounding green areas.

 

David Ironside, Fund Manager of Encore+ at LaSalle Investment Management, commented: “This is an industry-leading and best-in-class project. The first of its kind in Munich, its design in accordance with circular economy principles and resource-conserving operation will serve as a benchmark in sustainable real estate. Located in one of the most sought-after office submarkets in Munich, the property will be extremely well placed to meet the ever-evolving demands of future tenants around sustainability, quality, amenities and infrastructure while providing attractive long-term returns for our investors.”

 

Markus Diegelmann, Managing Partner at ACCUMULATA Real Estate Group, added: “The start of demolition marks an exciting first step in the development of what will be one of the most sustainable office projects in Munich. At ACCUMULATA, we aim to promote the concepts of urban mining and the circular economy within the construction sector and this project is firmly aligned with this objective. By utilising ultra-high-quality and recyclable materials, we are creating an office building that can meet occupiers’ shifting requirements, both in terms of flexible working environments and sustainability standards.”

 

Georg Illichmann, Managing Director at CBRE GmbH, said: “As the first hybrid timber office building to be constructed in Munich, the project achieves all the modern-day requirements tenants demand from office buildings: easy accessibility to public transport, sustainability credentials and working spaces that promote communication, creativity and innovation. The building’s use of timber, unique to the Munich office market, will not only support the building’s sustainability credentials but also the wellbeing of occupiers. At CBRE, we are proud to be leading on the marketing of this unique asset and be involved in ground-breaking project in the German real estate market as the lead estate agent.”

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Cain provides €99.7m for London office development (GB)

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Cain International has agreed an €99.7m (£86m) development loan with BauMont Real Estate Capital  and YardNine for the development of a 95,000ft² highly sustainable, best in class office-scheme at 100 Fetter Lane in central London known as ‘Edenica’. The asset was acquired by BauMont in January 2021 with development partner, YardNine. Located in City Mid-town, in close proximity to Farringdon, the development benefits from easy access to the newly opened Elizabeth Line via Farringdon, as well as City Thameslink and Chancery Lane stations, with a diverse range of cultural, leisure, retail and educational amenities nearby.

 

The asset received planning consent in September 2021 for the delivery of a new 12-storey development, with over 8,000ft² of roof gardens, a new pedestrian route and garden square at ground level, alongside more than 230 cycle spaces. In addition to the light filled workspace the scheme will include a new café and F&B uses.

 

The building, situated at 100 Fetter Lane, has been named ‘Edenica’, a reference to the extensive outdoor spaces which form part of the scheme and adjoin it. The project is targeting the highest environmental standards of BREEAM Outstanding, WiredScore, SmartScore and WELL certifications.  Sustainability, technology and wellbeing are extensively incorporated into the design. This includes voluminous office space with clear heights of over 3 metres, openable windows to enable mixed-mode ventilation, extensive planted terraces to encourage biodiversity and provide significant external breakout spaces, facilities to encourage active modes of travel, and high-performance 100% electric building designed with the Waterman Group to ensure the building uses as little energy as possible and achieves Net Zero carbon emissions in use. Construction work has commenced on site and the scheme is due for completion in Summer 2024. 

 

Tanja Yerolemou-Ennsgraber, Senior Vice President – Real Estate Finance at Cain International, said: “We are excited to partner with an experienced sponsor and developer duo, joining their journey to deliver a best-in class office scheme. The project embraces the needs and desires of the future occupier, being mindful about their experience and bringing it to the fore. BauMont and YardNine have successfully unlocked a fantastic development opportunity and we are pleased to bring our construction financing expertise to the table and see Edenica unfold.” 

 

Damien Pasini, Director at BauMont Real Estate Capital said: “Following the recepit of planning permission last year, securing development financing is another significant milestone for 100 Fetter Lane. We look forward to working with Cain and YardNine to deliver a highly sustainable and innovative workplace in one of Central London’s most vibrant submarkets.”

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