(Bloomberg) -- Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is betting that prime retail and office space in Europe’s top capitals still has a bright future.
The firm’s asset management unit has agreed to acquire a block in the French capital that it plans to transform into an upscale store, with office space above, according to Tavis Cannell, who is co-head of EMEA real estate. It’s the latest in a series of real estate bets the bank is making on the future of cities as the world begins its gradual recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
“We never believed that cities were going to die through Covid and that everybody was going to move to the suburbs,” Cannell said in an interview. “And we do believe in the future of the office and continue to see bifurcation between high-quality buildings and everything else.”
Goldman is not alone in that view. Private equity firms including Brookfield Asset Management Inc., KKR & Co. and Tishman Speyer Properties LP have been snapping up plots in cities around the world that can be transformed into workspaces designed to lure workers back to the office.
Goldman and venture partner Immobel SA paid about 100 million euros ($119 million) for the property at 277 Rue Saint-Honoré in one of Paris’s toniest districts, a block north of the Place de La Concorde, according to people with knowledge of the deal. Goldman is investing a mix of clients’ and the firm’s capital for the transaction as part of its opportunistic real estate investing business.
A spokesman for Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the price or the fund.
“Post-corona there are huge opportunities,” Immobel Executive Chairman Marnix Galle said in an interview. “People who are used to working in chicken coops and have spent the past year working from home want a completely different environment now, they want much better buildings.”
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