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Oxford Properties purchases its fourth Paris asset

by Andrea Waitrovich

Oxford Properties, the real estate arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, has acquired Window, a 476,00-square-foot office building located in the La Défense business district of Paris.

Window has been acquired from SCI Window La Defénse, a company owned by French insurer Groupama. It is currently undergoing a significant redevelopment and restructuring. Hines is the project manager.

Window has been fully pre-leased to Reseau de Transport d’Electricite on a new 12-year firm lease, commencing in October 2018.

This transaction increases Oxford’s investment in Paris to more than €1.3 billion, with a portfolio comprised of four assets: 32 Rue Blanche, 92 Avenue de France, Paris Bastille and Window.

The acquisition is consistent with Oxford’s European strategy to focus on growing its exposure to Paris, targeting modern, efficient office product in locations that are expected to outperform as a result of infrastructure improvements, and changing occupier dynamics.

Having sold down more than €2 billion ($2.3 billion) of assets in London since 2015, Oxford is now focused on growing its platform in Continental Europe, with a focus on Paris and Berlin. The acquisition of Window will complement Oxford’s Paris portfolio, adding exposure to the key La Défense submarket.

Established in the 1960s, La Défense is the largest purpose-built office business district in Europe and was specifically designed to meet companies’ demand for large and modern office buildings in Paris. With approximately 3.4 million square meters of office space, La Défense is twice the size of Canary Wharf in London. Comprising mainly high-rise office towers, it is home to 2,950 businesses with approximately 180,000 employees. With the highest concentration of Fortune Global 500 companies in Europe, La Défense is the location of choice for domestic and international corporate headquarters.

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