DENMARK – Danica Pension is investing DKK1.2bn (€161m) in a new 40,000 square meter residential, office and retail project on the outskirts of Copenhagen, having already agreed a lease on planned office space with US corporate giant Microsoft.

The DKK325bn pensions subsidiary of Danske Bank said the project would produce 40,000 square meters of floor space including 300-400 residential units and 800 parking spaces.

The new complex in the Lyngby district north of central Copenhagen will house Microsoft's new headquarters in Denmark, Danica Pension said.

Peter Mering, director of real estate at Danica, said: "This type of property investment is attractive for our pension customers because we can make a safe, long-term, satisfactory return."

Danica Pension has a history of investing in Lyngby – the area where the commercial pension provider has its own headquarters – and already owns the Lyngby Storcenter shopping centre, he said.

"Our decision to get involved in such a big investment was partly based on the fact we had already signed a lease agreement with Microsoft at the project stage, which goes a long way to securing the economic underpinning of the project," he added.

Planning had involved close cooperation with Lyngby-Taarbæk district council and Microsoft, the pension provider said.

The council sold the 16,350 square meter plot of land to Danica following a tender process.
The pension provider described the building project as ambitious, and said it was an important step towards realising the council's 'city of knowledge 2020' vision.

It was also a good example of how the commercial sector and councils could work together for the good of both parties, it said.

Simon Pihl Sørensen, deputy mayor of Lyngby-Taarbæk, said: "The development of Kanalvej has been a goal every since the council plan of 2010. This is a striking example of how the city and the university can be integrated."

Architects for the project are Henning Larsen Architects.

Engineering firm Cowi and advisory firm Alectia are also working on the project.

Construction will run from 2013 to 2016.