The FINANCIAL — The EBRD has entered a joint venture with the Greek real estate developer Dimand S.A., to invest in brownfield redevelopment and urban regeneration projects.
The aim is to create sustainable green products across various property sectors focusing on offices, mixed-use developments, city hotels and student accommodation projects.
As a starting point, the joint venture will proceed with a redevelopment project in Piraeus, the port of Athens, to transform the former Papastratos industrial site to the highest standards of energy efficiency and sustainability. The project will serve as a springboard for further similar investments in brownfield redevelopment, refurbishment and urban regeneration.
The joint venture is formed to 35 per cent by the EBRD and 65 per cent by Arcela Investments Ltd, a subsidiary of Dimand, one of the leading real estate developers in Greece, Dimand has more than 10 years of experience and a solid track record of delivering brownfield regeneration projects, according to the EBRD.
The building stock of Greece is in urgent need of modernisation and refurbishment following years of underinvestment due to the prolonged financial crisis. Investment in the country’s real estate market is directed at combating climate change challenges and increasing energy efficiency.
Sabina Dziurman, EBRD Director, Regional Head of Greece and Cyprus, said: “We are very pleased to enter into a partnership with Dimand which will be characterised by a strong focus on sustainability and resource efficiency. This is our first equity investment in Greece outside the financial sector and I expect more to follow in real estate next year.”
Vlaho Kojakovic, EBRD Head of Property and Tourism, added: “This is an exciting and promising venture and we are looking forward to working with our new partner Dimand. Already the first project in Piraeus has the potential to demonstrate the depth and breadth of our joint aspirations. There is high demand for the kind of first-class property that we intend to deliver in the coming years. The project addresses the needs of the country’s existing building stock. We hope this will be a stepping stone to reversing the very limited supply of high-quality new products and underinvestment in the greening of buildings.”
Dimitris Andriopoulos, CEO and majority shareholder of Dimand, added: “We are delighted to establish this partnership with the EBRD, one of Europe’s most reputable institutional investors. We see attractive opportunities in certain asset classes in the Greek real estate market and have formed a strong pipeline of projects which we are happy to deliver together with a strong international player. Sustainability and energy efficiency are at the core of our business strategy and are the cornerstones of our partnership with the EBRD.”
The real estate developments undertaken by the joint venture will be aligned with the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition approach supporting energy efficiency and savings. Under its climate change strategy the Bank aims to raise the level of its green investments to 40 per cent of its annual business volume by 2020.
The projects will offer a model for deep renovation of existing buildings, turning them into commercial opportunities and using advanced techniques at the highest international standards, documented by international certification. Dimand is one of the first developers in Greece to pursue building-sustainability certification for its assets and sees the implementation of sustainability at the best international standards as a premium market opportunity and a socially and environmentally responsible contribution to the economy.
The EBRD started investing in Greece on a temporary basis in 2015 to support the country’s economic recovery. Since the beginning of its operations, the Bank has invested over €1.45 billion in almost 30 projects in the country. Property and tourism are especially promising sectors of the Greek economy.