City in sight: Building Accessibility into LondonBy Mark Wenlock – Group Managing Director, Developments – Chelsfield
Accessibility for all is a challenge for major cities around the world, and London is no exception. The UK capital’s success means those with different accessibility needs have to navigate a city that is large, densely populated and reliant on a complex transport system.
It’s inspiring to work in Paris, a city which is working hard to transform more of our urban landscape into green space. Currently, only around 10% of the city is whereas in London, that figure is at least one third and in New York, it is close to 30%.
But we are seeing this change, the growing ecological conscience of Parisians is being matched by a state-driven political agenda following the Paris Accords, sustainable development policies from the Paris Municipality, and environmentally-friendly regeneration schemes from local planning authorities. Tackling the carbon footprint may be the objective, but the reinvention of Paris is a consequence.
Chelsfield Asia Successfully Completes Final Close of Chelsfield Asia Fund 1 at US$362.5 Million Plus a US$150 Million Co-investment Commitment
Chelsfield Asia Limited, the Asian subsidiary of Chelsfield Group, an international property company based in the UK, announced the final close of its first Pan-Asia value-add fund, Chelsfield Asia Fund 1 (“CAF 1” or the “Fund”) at US$362.5 million. In addition to the US$362.5 million, Chelsfield secured a co-investment commitment of US$150 million and to date raised US$366 million of co-investment commitments alongside its Fund’s first five investments, bringing the total equity amount raised to US$878.5 million.
How to combine heritage and modernity? This is the complex challenge that Saudi investor Olayan (who owns The Knightsbridge Estate in London, the Ritz Hotel in Madrid and 550 Madison in New York) has set himself. In Paris, he chose a prestigious address: 50 avenue Montaigne in the 8th arrondissement.
Located just a stone’s throw from the Champs-Élysées, this former headquarters of La Banque Privée 1818 was built at the beginning of the 20th century (in 1910 to be exact). By the summer of 2021, it will have almost completely changed its face. Its historic façade will be preserved, but the heart of the building will be replaced by an ultra-modern structure, made of reconstituted concrete and glass to facilitate the entry of light (see our video as the main illustration), designed by the Fresh Architectures agency and by RF Studio for the interior.
In a little over a year’s time, no less than 12,500 sq m of very high-end office space spread over nine floors will emerge from the ground in the heart of the Golden Triangle. Once delivered, they will be able to accommodate up to 1,000 employees, i.e. more than 12 sq m per employee, who will have at their disposal flexible floors of 1,500 sq m each. Up to three tenants will be able to occupy the premises for an annual rent of 930 euros per sq m.
A rate higher than the market rate (870 euros). “The address is prestigious, the size is new, the architecture is audacious because it is open to the outside world and the location is unique” justifies Nicolas Marin, asset manager at Chelsfield, which manages more than 4 billion euros of real estate worldwide, including 50 avenue Montaigne. In addition to this, 2500 sq m of shops will be created in the historic part of the building, inherited from the Lariboisière mansion dating from 1890.
For the common areas, Chelsfield has borrowed the hotel and co-working codes. “The reception hall will include a reception desk where people can come and have a drink. It can be transformed into a space dedicated to evening events, for conferences or seminars for example,” explains Nicolas Marin.
On the relaxation side, future tenants will have a café (420 sq m), a sports hall (390 sq m) and a theatre (510 sq m). Motorists, cyclists and motorcyclists will also have their own dedicated space: 135 parking spaces on 4 levels, bicycle rooms (158 sq m) and 50 spaces for two-wheeled vehicles.
Between the 530 sq m interior garden and the terraces (1240 sq m on 5 levels, accessible from each plateau) – including a 360° roof terrace with a vegetable garden – there will also be room for plants. “We wanted to create a link between the occupants, to surprise with spaces that are unusual for an office building, to make people feel at home at work, and not just rehabilitate a building,” explains Guillaume Canciani, Chelsfield’s development director.