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PARIS-The locally headuartered real estate firm Genecia has signed a forward purchase agreement for a planned 105,000-sf class A office building here that will rise in Boulogne-Billancourt (Hauts de Seine). Dallas-based Hines’ European Development Fund is the developer.

The development, on part of a former Renault factory site, sits on a bend in the Seine River across from Seguin Island. Hines will begin construction of the estimated $90.6 million (€75 million) office project in late 2007. Completion is slated for mid 2009. The selection process for an architect is underway; the winner will be announced this summer.

The purchase represents the third time Gecina has acquired buildings built as part of the master-planned redevelopment of the Renault factory. In 2005, Gecina acquired roughly 431,000 sf of speculative office space, including: L’Angle, a 118,000-sf office building in Boulogne; Building D2, a 215,000-sf office building in Boulogne; and Pyramidion, a 97,000-sf office building in La Défense (Courbevoie).

With property holdings valued at nearly $10.9 billion (€9 billion), Gecina is considered one of France’s largest privately listed rental real estate firms. Hines European Development Fund is the first pan-European fund managed by Hines. The fund was launched in 2002 with $467.7 million (€387 million) of equity.

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