Luxembourg — The Brownfields Redevelopment Fund, an innovative operator specialising in cleaning up and redeveloping impaired industrial sites (brownfields) is raising €55.5 million funding. This capital investment fund is being provided with €55.5 million by the European Investment Bank (EIB), Caisse des Dépôts and six other French institutional investors and has a target size of €100 million by the end of the year. The fund specialises in cleaning up and redeveloping brownfield sites according to an innovative model. Brownfields purchases polluted former industrial sites, then finances and carries out all demolition, asbestos removal and clean-up works before redeveloping the sites for new uses.
The fund was launched on the site of the Villeneuve-la-Garenne mail depot, which is a particularly good example of Brownfields’ operations. This heavily polluted six-hectare site was bought by Brownfields from General Motors. In less than 18 months, the company removed asbestos from the existing buildings and demolished them, cleaned up the site, built roads to be returned to the municipality and constructed a 23,000 m2 industrial building to house a mail depot for the “La Poste” group in the Hauts-de-Seine department. Two buildings for small business activities have also been built on the site by a partner operator. The site is now home to nearly 600 workers.
“I wish to thank all investors for their confidence in us. Setting up ‚Brownfields 2″ will enable us to step up the pace of our investment in the redevelopment of brownfield sites. The €100 million of equity provided by our investors will enable us to carry out more than €200 million worth of works, at the rate of around five substantial projects a year”, said Brownfields’ CEO Patrick Viterbo at the signing ceremony.
“The European Investment Bank has been following Brownfields’ activities with a great deal of interest for a number of years. The EIB’s investment is aimed at sustainable development and especially job creation at the heart of our towns and regions. I am delighted that this new investment vehicle attracted the interest of a number of financial players. This shows that investors are interested in the redevelopment of brownfield sites. This is first and foremost an environmentally sound, innovative and socially responsible project”, added EIB Vice-President Philippe de Fontaine Vive.
“Caisse des Dépôts’ operation meets its strategic priorities under its general interest remit of support for local development. Redeveloping brownfield sites to accommodate housing or new economic activities is a major urban policy challenge. This is fully recognised by the ALUR law, which promotes the involvement of specialised operators in this industry, one of whose pioneers is Brownfields. With this investment, Caisse des Dépôts is helping to create a new tool for making urban projects happen”, said Stéphane Keïta, Caisse des Dépôts’ Head of Network and Regional Development.
Source: European Investment Bank