Pierre Paumelle, Val-de-Marne development director, says manyfirms are already moving out of central Paris for economic reasons,and the improved transport infrastructure of Grand Paris will makethis even more attractive. "A lot of companies are moving out ofthe centre of Paris for cost reasons and are looking for newerpremises in much less expensive locations, and the Val-de-Marneoffers exactly this type of product," he told PIE. Val-de-Marnewill benefit from the Grand Paris' driverless Orbival metro linelinking the main business and residential areas of GreaterParis.

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The 140 kilometer, figure-eight configuration will cross thedepartment, providing a direct link to La Défense and main Parisairports. Planning is more advanced than other parts of thenetwork, although it is still likely to be around 2020 before thesystem is up and running.

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But Val-de-Marne can boast extensive transport links even beforethe arrival of Orbival. It is crossed by four motorways, five RERregional express railway lines and three Paris metro lines, one ofwhich will be extended in early 2011. It also boasts thesecond-largest river port in Ile-de-France at Bonneuil-sur-Marneand, most importantly, Orly which serves more than 300 destinationsacross the world and carries 23 million passengers a year. Thesetransport links and Val-de-Marne's lower costs are a major factorin such a decision. The region claims the lowest rental values inGreater Paris. Annual rents are $33.74 per square foot for realestate of international standing compared with an average of around$44.05 per square foot for Ile-de-France as a whole and around$63.01 per square foot for Paris central business district. Andmedian real estate purchase prices are only $264.60 per square footcompared with $516.54 per square foot for Greater Paris.

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Val-de-Marne currently has a stock of some 37.7 million squarefeet of office space, about 7% of total Ile-de-France - but it isexpanding more quickly than the rest of the region, with anincrease in office floor space overall of 18% between 1997 et 2008compared with 11% in the French capital. It also has the lowestvacancy rate of any department in Ile-de-France, accounting forjust 5% of vacant office space in 2008, Paumelle notes.

AllanSaundersonis a managing editor of Property FinanceEurope and a contributor to GlobeSt.com.

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