If the walls of Paris’s Pointe Amont de l’Île Seguin could talk, they would discuss how their range of uses were envisioned to embody the cultural spirit of contemporary Parisians.
That is how Ardian, the locally headquartered private equity firm, which last month committed approximately €315 million to the 570,000-square-foot, mixed-use development, would have it. The firm acquired a 70 percent stake in the project that broke ground in August and is expected to complete by late 2025.
Located on the Seine in Boulogne-Billancourt, a wealthy area about five miles from central Paris, the development is expected to cater for workers and players alike. One building comprises 236,800 square feet of shopping, auditoriums, cultural space and offices, as well as a Pathé Cinema Multiplex; another will offer 172,200 square feet of offices; a third will be a four-star hotel with 220 rooms. Architects for the project include Catalan firm RCR Arquitectes, France’s CALQ Architecture and Austrian agency Baumschlager Eberle Architekten.
They are working to a brief to create a destination that fits into l’Île Seguin’s cultural agenda, which already boasts other venues including La Seine Musicale, a music and performing arts center designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban alongside France’s own Jean de Gastine. “We will make the Pointe Amont de l’Île Seguin an attractive mixed-use area that is respectful of the surrounding environment and provide a perfect setting for people who want to live, work and relax,” says Stéphanie Bensimon, head of Ardian’s real estate business.
Bensimon tells PERE how the investment exemplified an important pivot in the firm’s strategy for its pan-European Ardian European Real Estate Fund series to mixed-use assets from a focus on office-led properties previously. She says that while Funds I and II, the latter of which closed on €1.2 billion of equity in January, are approximately 80 percent dedicated to office-heavy investments, Fund III will see the office component reduce to between 50 and 60 percent.
“All the trends we are seeing are enforcing the concept of centrality,” Bensimon says. “People are increasingly wanting to do everything in the same place. Post-covid, this has been reaffirmed.”
Ardian European Real Estate Fund III does not currently have a fundraising target, but it is expected to at least match Fund II. Those keen to evaluate the kinds of investments it will contain should look no further than Pointe Amont de l’Île Seguin. Those walls will explain everything.
Jan 2022: Ardian raises €1.2bn for Ardian European Real Estate Fund II
August: Work starts on the Pointe Amont de l’Île Seguin development
September: Ardian commits to funding 70% of the development in a deal valuing it at about €450m
Late 2022-23: Ardian expected to launch European Real Estate Fund III
Late 2025: Pointe Amont de l’Île Seguin development expected to complete