Denmark’s AP Pension, the DKK104bn (€14bn) commercial mutual pensions provider, has signed a contract worth DKK350m to develop and build three large buildings in Odense.

AP Pension has signed the contract with contractor Aarsleff to construct on the last available plots on Thomas B Thriges Gade street in the city centre.

The turnkey contract is for residential as well as commercial units on a plot which AP Pension won in mid-2016 in a public tender held by the municipality and Realdania — a private association that supports architecture and planning projects in the country.

The three buildings — Albani Karréen, Fisketorvs Karréen and Nørregadehuset  — will form the link between the streets Overgade and Vestergade in Odense, which lies on the Danish island of Funen.

Peter Olsson, director of AP Ejendomme, said: “At AP Pension, we are always on the look out for striking locations, where we can build property projects from scratch, and which make a difference both for the local residents and our customers.”

The project which Aarsleff will undertake on behalf of AP Ejendomme, will be in close cooperation with the firm Arkitema Architects and consultancy Midtconsult Holding, AP Pension said.

The idea is that the project’s housing and attractive shops will help to concentrate the city centre and support the aim of turning Odense into a vibrant city, the pension fund said.

AP Pension and Aarsleff have worked together before, on projects in Copenhagen.

The three blocks of the Odense project will be built to provide 28,000sqm of space, and divided into between three and seven floors, with the ground floors established as shops and a grocery store, and with stairwells leading to homes above the shops on the upper floors.

All homes have access to a balcony or courtyard, the pension fund said.

Olsson said Odense was undergoing rapid development, which made the city very attractive for AP Pension as an investor.

The planning process is starting now, and the construction itself is expected to begin in the summer of 2018, with building work set to finish by the end of 2020.

At the beginning of last year, AP Pension said it was expanding its investment team for alternatives as it needed more staff for current property investment activity, as well as for future plans