Leading private equity real estate manager MARK, together with local development and investment partners Assembly and Stepling, is to launch a new vehicle enabling investors to access positive impact projects in Paris that focus on improving environmental and social outcomes.

The MARK Paris Urban Regeneration platform will focus on real estate projects with value-add potential that help tackle major social and/or environmental issues. The strategy will support Paris’s densification and help preserve the city’s built heritage, and is also targeting ISR certification and a strong performance on other globally established ESG certifications.

MARK will initially target €500m in Gross Asset Value, acquiring prime Parisian assets with high repositioning potential in off-market transactions, using MARK’s strong local presence to source attractive opportunities.

MPUR will be the latest vehicle in MARK’s multi-platform strategy, with the investment manager creating specialised real estate platforms that target particular opportunities within specific sectors and geographies.

Earlier this month, MARK launched DOMA in partnership with Credit Suisse Asset Management. The residential investment platform will acquire centrally located under-managed residential assets in core European cities and commuter belt locations, bringing the homes up to modern environmental and design standards.

Philippe Bidaud, Head of France at MARK, said “In real estate, a lot of the debate has been centred around how future developments can meet the ESG considerations of investors. However, there is a huge opportunity in repositioning existing assets to improve their environmental performance and deliver positive social outcomes.

“The new Paris urban regeneration platform will build on our extensive track record in the city, supported by our established on-the-ground team, and allow investors to access positive impact real estate projects that meet their sustainability and social goals.”

This month MARK completed a forward sale agreement with Swiss Life Asset Management for “Maison Trévise”, a high-end office building in the 9th arrondissement of Paris.

Ideally located at 32 rue de Trévise, Maison Trévise is composed of three buildings, including a private mansion that has been listed in the register of historic monuments since 1976, and sits in the heart of a vibrant neighbourhood amidst many cultural venues, cafés, restaurants and shops. MARK acquired the site in 2019 on behalf of its third value-add closed-ended fund Meyer Bergman Retail Partners III (MBERP III).

Working with Assembly, MARK secured a building permit to combine the buildings to create new, modern high quality office space. The 4300 sq. m. complex enjoys approximately 800 sq. m. of greenery and will be completely restructured by the Bortolussi and CALQ architectural agencies.

Reflecting investor demand for green assets, Maison Trévise will obtain the High Environmental Quality, BREEAM, WiredScore and BiodiverCity certifications and is easily accessible by public transportation and from the many nearby cycling paths.

Jean Charles, CEO of Assembly, said: “The built environment has a pivotal role to play in improving environmental and social outcomes and so creating assets that are sustainable and have a positive impact will be crucial to meeting the ESG considerations of investors and governments.

“Green offices are typically nicer places to work, and we are seeing evidence of a green premium, with occupiers willing to pay more to have their employees work somewhere that is good not only for the planet’s wellbeing but also that of their staff.”

Last year MARK, together with local development and investment partners Assembly and Stepling, agreed the sale of TOKO, the former Paris headquarters of an American web services firm, to asset managers DWS and La Française REM.

MARK and Assembly secured planning permission to add c. 1,750 sq. m. of building space to the asset, which is located on rue Héliopolis in the 17th arrondissement, on the outskirts of Paris’s Central Business District.

The two companies are repurposing the office building to deliver a new genuinely mixed-use ‘work-live’ development.  The six-storey building will host a new 1,000 sq. m. residential element pre-leased to European co-living pioneer Colonies, with the 8,060 sq. m. office component successfully pre-leased to Webhelp, a world-leader in Business Process Outsourcing.

TOKO will serve as the headquarters for Webhelp and be the first Parisian site for Colonies. DWS has acquired the office element, La Française the residential element.

Last year also saw MARK sign leading luxury brand KITH as the flagship occupier to its Pershing Hall asset, a former five-star hotel transformed into a mixed retail and office development with a high profile F&B offering, Sadelles

KITH signed 1,500 sq. m. of space across the lower three floors on a 10-year lease. The store is KITH’s largest to date and the retailer’s first European flagship.

Marcus Meijer, CEO of MARK, added: “Urban repositioning has always been at the heart of our value-add strategies, leveraging our vertically integrated capabilities and global network of occupiers to identify and integrate new uses and operators to breathe new life into buildings.

“In Paris we have been particularly successful thanks to the strength of our local team and the forward sale of Maison Trévise to Swiss Life Asset Management builds on our achievements with TOKO and Pershing Hall.”