REAL ESTATE – Property investor and manager Corio will redevelop and enlarge its Paris’ office building Le Newton into a high quality complex of 42,000 m2, it has announced.

The €120m project will lead to an almost fourfold increase of the office space in the present 12,000 m2 building, built in the mid-1960s.

The result will consist of three different but connected parts, with floors ranging from 1,500 to 2,200 m2. It will offer 1,400 parking spaces in the basement, Corio said.

Le Newton is situated in Clamart, close the Paris’ second ring road and two other motorways, as well as international airport Orly. In addition, it is to get a station on the future direct tram link to Paris almost on its doorstep.

"Given the equilibrium between supply and demand, the current positive office market developments will continue in the next few years," Corio pointed out.

"Following the 2.6m2 record take-up of office space in 2006, and the reducing vacancy rates in the Paris region of around the friction level of 5%, a further rise of rental values may be expected."

Corio reckons that its project will offer companies the opportunity to rationalise their accommodation, and to make rental savings of over 20% compared to the average price level in the region.

Le Newton is expected to be completed in the first half of 2009.

Meanwhile, Corio said it agreed to acquire a 50% stake in the Esenyurt retail centre - currently under development in European Istanbul – in a €45m transaction.

The centre will comprise of 45,000 m2 of gross lettable area divided over three floors, and 2,500 parking spaces. The lower floor will be anchored b a hypermarket, the upper one by leisure activities, including a cinema and a food court, the company indicated.

According to Corio, the retail centre is located along the main highway between Edirne, Istanbul and Ankara, and has a catchment area of 400,000 inhabitants.

Esenyurt is scheduled to open in the first half of 2009. During its first year of operation, it is expected to generate a net yield of at least 8%, Corio said.

The transaction is subject to approval of the Turkish Competition Board, and has therefore been placed in the company’s variable pipeline, it added.

In addition, Corio has signed a letter of intent for the acquisition of a 35% stake in Edip shopping centre in European Istanbul for over €22m, it said. The complex-under-development will comprise of 65,000 m2 gross lettable area, and is also expected to open in the first half of 2009.

Edip’s expected yield will be similar to that of Esenyurt, Corio stated.

Recently, the company acquired a €49m retail centre in provincial capital Adapazari. It bought a 40% (€55m) stake in a shopping centre in Denizli last year.