Equilis sells three major assets to get equity to go back on the hunt for new projects

Didier Van Den Eynde

Equilis Belgium, sold in June three of its Walloon real estate developments during: the ‘Papeteries de Genval’, ‘Court Village’ and ‘Parenthèse’. For Nadia Vrancken, CEO of Equilis Belgium, thoses divestments are just a matter of healthy portfolio arbitration, which gives her group the equity to go back on the hunt for new projects after two complicated years in the retail real estate segment.

The ‘Papeteries de Genval’, one of Equilis’ top references, has been launched more than 10 years ago on a disused urban industrial site of some 7 hectares. The commercial premises of phases 2 and 3 of the mixed redevelopment have been sold to e-maprod. Christian Stenuit, CEO of e-maprod commented. “This acquisition is perfectly in line with our current investment and portfolio diversification strategy. After having patiently and meticulously laid the groundwork for our development, through large-scale projects in Brussels, e-maprod is starting a phase of expansion throughout Belgium. We believe, more than ever, in this retail asset, which is set to become the epicentre of Walloon Brabant shopping.”

Equilis Belgium has also completed the sale of the ‘Court Village’ mixed-use complex to a private investor. Located in Court-Saint-Etienne this ecodistrict includes around 6,700 m2 of shops, 350 housing units divided into three construction phases and a communal crèche. ‘Court Village’ is one of the first sites in Walloon Brabant to have met most of the criteria of the ‘Sustainable districts’ benchmark initiated by the Walloon Region. It responds to the growing need to live close to everything, shops, transport and services within a lively district.

Thirdly, Equilis completed the sale of the retailpark 'Parenthèse’ to a fund managed by Pertinea Property Partners. This retail park located in Gosselies is extending to some 10,000 m² over two levels and benefiting from a 200-space car park. Nadia Vrancken, commented “This transaction demonstrates that despite the uncertainty related to COVID-19 and the impact of e-commerce, interest in retail parks remains very high. The retail park concept, with its affordable rents and attractive yields, remains a winning investment product, especially in a period of rising interest rates. It is one of the few stable real estate products still offering an attractive spread"