Catella’s energy-positive residential impact fund has bought a 64-apartment project in north-eastern France yet-to-be-developed by its partner Elithis Groupe.

The Catella Elithis Energy Positive Fund (CEEPF) is investing €14m for the construction of the Elithis Tower project in Mulhouse.

CEEPF, managed by Berlin-based Catella Residential Investment Management (CRIM), is the world’s first real estate investment vehicle to focus exclusively on residential developments that produce more energy from renewable sources than is consumed by the buildings and their tenants.

CEEPF has been created to invest in towers developed by Elithis Groupe. The fund, backed by Norwegian municipal pensions giant KLP and alongside institutional investors, targets a total asset volume of €500m to invest in residential towers and sites.

Xavier Jongen, managing director, CRIM, said: “The development pipeline for our Elithis Fund is gaining momentum in the French market with this investment in Mulhouse. The European energy crisis has highlighted the affordability of these highly sustainable energy-positive buildings relative to standard residential properties.

“Tenants either pay very low bills or actually receive money back in the form of an annual bonus according to how effectively they manage their own energy consumption through a proprietary SmartApp, so increasing household purchasing power.”

Michèle Lutz, the mayor of Mulhouse, said: “Due to its very elaborate bioclimatic design, this building will become an emblematic structure in Mulhouse. The contemporary style of the Elithis tower echoes the general composition of the buildings in the railway station area that surrounds it, with futuristic architecture incorporating materials such as chrome and platinum.”

Thierry Bievre, president of Elithis Groupe, said: “The increasing barriers to developing on greenfield sites in France and other European countries, means we need to both target brownfield locations when we can and also minimise the area footprint of new developments as efficiently as possible.

”In Mulhouse, Elithis is realising a 16-storey tower on barely a 250sqm site, which is five times smaller than the typical area required by similar scale residential developments in urban settings.”

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