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PARIS-UK-based investor Hammerson has exchanged contracts on a block of buildings centred around 14 boulevard Haussmann in central Paris, for € 175 million ($150 million). The block will be redeveloped to create 335,000 sf of high quality offices in one of Paris’s top business locations.

The buildings are 14 boulevard Haussmann and 1-3-5-7-9 rue Pillet Will, in the ninth arondissement. The properties are currently vacant and have an existing building permit. Hammerson plans to create two adjoining buildings, capable of either being marketed separately or interconnected to provide floor plates of around 21,500 sf.

Estimated total development costs are € 290 million ($247 million) and work will begin on site this year with completion scheduled for mid 2003.

Hammerson has bought the site from Immobiliere Finama, a subsidiary of the French insurance company Groupama, and completion is anticipated in September 2001.

John Richards, Hammerson Chief Executive, said: ‘These buildings are in a prestigious location in the heart of the financial district favoured by major banks and insurance companies. There are market uncertainties at present but the fundamentals for prime office buildings in central Paris remain attractive. The current vacancy rate is only 2.5%, take up of new space remains strong and there is a limited development pipeline of competing schemes.’

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