Mark, the privately-held real estate investment management firm with €10 billion of assets under management, has secured a French government ESG certification for its Paris Urban Regeneration Fund (MPUR). It is believed to be one of the first value-add real estate funds to do so in Paris.
The Socially Responsible Investment label was created in 2016 by the French ministry of Economy and Finance and extended to real estate in 2020, recognising funds which demonstrate concrete and measurable results from socially responsible investments.
Its scope was extended to real estate in 2020, and made available to funds which complete the renovation of old buildings to achieve better standards of insulation and energy performance.
“The ISR-label of our first Paris-focused fund is a recognition of the positive environmental and social impacts our investments will have,” said Philippe Bidaud, managing director, Mark France. “Obtaining this certification has only been possible thanks to a robust ESG strategy that is backed by a rating framework and reporting process for our various project stakeholders.”
Targeting €750 million of assets under management, the fund’s strategy is to acquire prime-located but obsolete or underutilised buildings in Paris and redevelop them into mixed-use commercial-led spaces with unrivalled ESG credentials.
MPUR is managed with Stepling, Mark’s development partner in France, and Assembly, a mixed-use urban real estate promotion and development structure.
“The rising tide of environmental regulation in France, coupled with the growing importance of a building’s ESG credentials for investors, lenders and occupiers, will continue to polarise the market by way of ESG and non-ESG focused assets, with the former offering a green premium to investors,” said Marvin Marciano, head of investment, MPUR.
Mark France has already completed some projects, such as Pershing Hall, a former 1920’s mansion repositioned into a prime mixed-use retail, F&B and office asset, now home to New York streetwear brand Kith and brunch spot Sadelle’s. The building was sold to Allianz this year.
Another project Mark brought to completion is Toko, Yahoo’s former Paris HQ that was redeveloped into a mixed co-living and co-working scheme which was forward sold to DWS and La Française REM.
Mark also developed the former W Paris Opera Hotel into a mixed retail and office asset and recently acquired the former headquarters of Libération newspaper Le Marais, which will be transformed into a state-of-the-art office building of 6,000 sq m with industry-leading ESG, amenity and technology credentials.
The accreditation was awarded to the fund after independent bodies undertook a strict assessment (AFNOR Certification) of MPUR’s strategy, which is based upon six key pillars: promoting urban regeneration, reducing the carbon impact in the construction and operational phase; systematic consideration of biodiversity in buildings; reducing operational energy consumption by 60%; use of 100% green loans for projects; and finding a community organisation to occupy the building until building work starts.