Future developments foresee the arrival of 20,000 new residents over the next 20 years. Located at the entrance to Kirchberg-Village, the 14-apartment FIRST residential project is fully in keeping with this diversification of the local area.
Interview of Laurent OLMEDO, Director of CREAHAUS
Can you tell us about FIRST, your new residential real estate project in Kirchberg?
The project is a conversion of old office buildings, located at number 1 rue du Potager, at the entrance to Kirchberg-Village and just a stone’s throw from the European Investment Bank. We are going to transform this entire space into a residential complex, comprising 14 flats with a total surface area of 950m2. This will
involve completely stripping the existing building in order to create new, comfortable spaces that are up to the demands of the residential market.
What will be the development’s strong points?
Its main strength, without doubt, is its location. Currently, Kirchberg suffers from a significant lack of housing. Here we have the opportunity to participate in the diversification of what has been a primarily business district to date. The building itself will contain a wide variety of accommodation, with three-bedroom properties of 44, 60, 80 or even 100 m2. The aim is to offer exceptional properties with a high level of comfort. Take the pandemic, for example. Clients have new priorities.
More than ever, people want access to a balcony that is big enough to sit on and green spaces. The context in which the FIRST project is being developed is also truly exceptional.
How will this housing be positioned on the market?
With regard to the market prices, which are largely in excess of 10,000 euros/m2, we are talking about high-end properties, with genuine research having gone into the architecture and materials used. Given that homes are tending to get smaller, we are making sure that we optimise the available space by designing the best possible layout. Our aim, through all our developments, is to off er high-quality places to live. During the design process we imagine ourselves in each of the apartments, so that we make the best choices. In this specific case, we are carrying out the entire project and will be selling a finished product to owner-occupiers or possibly investors who want to purchase the entire building.
“The FIRST project is a perfect example of how to create additional housing on an existing property in a market under pressure due to the lack of housing. The various typologies correspond to market expectations in the Kirchberg district. For its occupants and future tenants, the fact it is near the European institutions and international companies is a huge asset.”, explains Robby Cluyssens, Director Agency, JLL.
Interview of Christophe NADAL, CEO & Owner of MIMCO Capital.
What attracted you, as a co-investor, to this residential project?
First of all, the human factor, the partners with whom we are implementing this high-quality, top-of-the-range project, located in a very desirable district of Luxembourg. It’s a project with many strong points and it’s the perfect fi t for MIMCO Capital’s investment strategy. As part of a wider property development strategy, we are looking to acquire buildings that are in a state of disrepair and in which we can invest to bring them up to market standard and ensure they meet the expectations of future users.
How does this strategy translate into the project itself?
The building that we have acquired with CREAHAUS and ESPACE INVEST is an office property built in the 1980s. The space is no longer suitable for today’s professional activities. However, the dimensions and structure of the building lend themselves perfectly to residential conversion. At the same time, we are also taking the opportunity to bring the building up to environmental standards, in order to meet the latest energy performance requirements. This trend of converting office space into residential property is one that is evolving in Europe and one that we intend to take further in Luxembourg. The overriding idea is not let old buildings decay. In the Grand Duchy, where there is a lot of pressure on the housing market, this conversion is even more important.
What’s your take on Kirchberg, the district that will be home to the FIRST building?
Kirchberg is a key district of the capital, but it has never been very diverse. The FIRST project is a direct response to the authorities’ plans for diversifying the area. In the years to come, the district will gradually welcome more and more residents. It will still be a few years, however, before the major residential projects currently in the planning stage become reality. With its location right at the entrance to Kirchberg-Village, which off ers a real quality of life, our project provides direct access, on foot, by bicycle or scooter, to major institutions such as the EIB or the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Elodie Rouyer, Senior Consultant at JLL underlines: “Several investment options exist in the Grand-Duchy. The first being the most common and well-known: purchasing a property, wether as a main residence or for rental. Participatory investments such as crowdinvesting and crowfunding are present in the market. They allow the investors to diversify their assets.”
* Article published by JLL, « Le magazine de l’immobilier professionnel à Luxembourg », n°19, 2021