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PARIS-The quoted French investor Klepierre has bought 74% of the 3000,000-sf l’Esplanade shopping centre, planned for Louvain-la-Neuve on the outskirts of Brussels, Belgium. Figures are not disclosed but the deal values the centre at €125 million ($110 million).

Brussels-based developer Wilhelm & Co–formed two- years ago when DePfa-backed a management buyout of the Swiss-based Groupe Philippe–will hold on to the remaining 26% and has an option to buy back a further 34% within a year of the centre’s completion.

The centre will be complete in September 2004. It will include a mall area and a 70,000-sf ‘high street’. A multiplex cinema on the site is already trading.

Tough Belgian anti-development laws mean that l’Esplanade will be only the fourth regional shopping centre built in the country in the last 25 years. Consequently, it is expected to let well. No details of tenants are released but Wilhelm & Co managing director Peter Wilhelm confirmed that anchors are lining up. ‘We will have all the big names,’ he said.

Quoting rents at the centre range from €1,000 ($880) per sf a year for the large supermarket space to €8,000 ($7,040) per sf a year for kiosks. The average is €2,500 ($2,200) per sf a year.

Healey & Baker is advising Wilhelm & Co.

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