Catella energy positive fund picks up French tower

The Catella Elithis Energy Positive Fund (CEEPF) has acquired a 64-apartment project in Mulhouse, north-eastern France, to be developed by its partner Elithis Groupe, the French sustainable engineering company.

The real estate investment vehicle focuses on residential developments which produce more energy from renewable sources than is used by the buildings and tenants.

The low-carbon energy-efficient Elithis Towers produce energy from solar panels on the roofs and facades.
CEEPF invests as a ‘dark green’ Article 9 impact fund, under the EU’s Sustainable Financial Disclosure Regulation (SFDR).

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.'

Norway’s municipal and public health sector occupational pension company KLP, the country’s largest, and a group of Institutional investors, committed close to €100 mln in the first closing of the fund earlier this month.

The Elithis Tower project in Mulhouse will be realized at standard market construction costs and represents a €14 mln investment by the Fund’s manager, Berlin-based Catella Residential Investment Management (CRIM).

The new development will be located close to the affluent Rebberg residential area of Mulhouse, near to the main railway station and 10 minutes walking distance from the historic city centre and Fonderie university area.

The tower will have a bioclimatic design which offers on-site renewable energy production through photovoltaic panels on the roof and facades and also biomass heating, automated window blinds to control temperatures and an ‘energy coach app’ to help tenants manage the energy consumption efficiency of their homes.

Michèle Lutz, the mayor of Mulhouse added: '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.

'This building will be a strong symbol of the city, as it perfectly illustrates our ambition to combine energy and ecological transition with social considerations. Built on a strategic site, it will be seen by thousands of SNCF railway travellers using this axis, not to mention the many vehicles that will pass every day.'

Thierry Bievre, président, Elithis Groupe, concluded: '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 realizing a 16-storey tower on barely a 250 m2 site, which is five times smaller than the typical area required by similar scale residential developments in urban settings.

'Our engineering designs are setting the global sustainability and societal standard for residential construction and refurbishment in three dimensions - energy-positive efficiency; household affordability and minimizing impact on urban topography.'

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