The largest transport project in Europe, which will transform the public transport network in Paris, is creating new areas, regenerating neighbourhoods and boosting the real estate market, experts told Real Asset Media’s France Investment Briefing in London.
‘Grand Paris is really unique, it is the kind of thing that happens once every 250 years,’ said Paul Raingold, Founder & President, GCI. ‘It will have a major effect on the market and it’s already changing property values in some areas’.
The project is due to be completed by 2030, but many important developments are being speeded up to be finished in time for the Olympic Games in 2024. The so-far neglected Northern suburb of Saint-Denis, for example, will be a hub for the Olympics and will also have the largest Grand Paris metro station with four new lines.
The conversion and development of housing, offices, industrial and retail premises is expected in Saint-Denis and other suburbs that will be within easy reach of the city centre for the first time.
‘Grand Paris creates great momentum in the market,’ said Serge Bacconnier, Deputy Head, Paris Office, Berlin Hyp. ‘We tend to focus on the CBD because of cashflow and security, but the project improves connectivity so we can have a larger and deeper market to work in, which is a very positive development’.
Grand Paris is also a great calling card for foreign institutional capital.
‘Our long-term investors with a 15 to 20-year view really like the demonstrated ability to commit to a complex infrastructure project and deliver,’ said Andrew Angeli, Head of European Strategy & Research, CBRE Global Investors. ‘Paris is a great story at the moment, unlocking areas of the city in a targeted way for the residential and the office sectors’.
As for the Olympics, the French organisers have studied the positive outcomes of Barcelona 1992, which put the city on the map and boosted tourism and of London 2012, which regenerated the East of the city and want to avoid the negative examples of Montreal or Athens.
‘Paris is looking at the competitive examples and will try to emulate them and to do even better,’ Angeli said. ‘There is a lot of scope to improve some areas of the city and I can see a bright future for places like Saint-Denis’.