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Green Village: Sale of an office building and start of the second development phase

Green Village, the real estate development project in the heart of the Quartier des Nations in Geneva, has successfully achieved a further milestone towards completion of its first phase. Convinced by the innovative and sustainable concepts initiated by the World Council of Churches (WCC) and Implenia, Swiss Life Investment Foundation has bought the “Kyoto” office building, which will have a gross floor area of some 14,000 m². The second phase for Green Village comprises two new office buildings of 8,000 and 9,000 m² and the renovation of a listed building, the Ecumenical Centre, headquarters of the WCC and a hotel/hotelresidence of 250 rooms.

Following steady work together over ten years, the WCC and Implenia have achieved a major milestone in the development and realisation of Green Village, a sustainable real estate project in the heart of international Geneva. The sale of the nine-storey “Kyoto” building – each storey having a gross floor area of some 1,250 m² – to Swiss Life Investment Foundation at the end of June is a major success. It follows on from the successful sale in 2020 of the “Montreal” residential building and its 48 freehold flats, to be delivered this year. These two buildings together represent the first phase of the Green Village project.

A new dimension

The success of the first phase against a challenging economic background (COVID pandemic, a receding office market, the conflict in Ukraine and rising interest rates) is a reward for the close and fruitful collaboration between the WCC, owner of the land, and Implenia, developer and builder of Green Village since 2012. The arrival of “Kyoto’s” new owner – Swiss Life Investment Foundation, one of Switzerland’s largest institutional real estate investors – allows the development of the Green Village site to take a significant step towards the creation of a neighbourhood which will be a model of its kind in sustainability. Scheduled for delivery in June 2024, “Kyoto”, in common with the buildings of the second phase, will be certified under the SNBS Swiss Sustainable Building Standard.

The second phase comprises four buildings: the renovated Ecumenical Centre, headquarters of the WCC, with works scheduled between 2024 and 2026, the “Lima” building, which will be built at the same time and will house the WCC’s sister organisations, as well as WCC’s tenants, the 250 rooms hotel/hotel-residence “Rio”  and the seven-storey “Stockholm” office block, which is being sold on a per-floor freehold basis, each having 1,250 m² or so of gross floor area. In all, the fitted-out premises in “Stockholm” offer 9,000 m² of office space. Marketing of the floors is underway; several international organisations have already expressed their interest and negotiations are underway.

Sustainability at the heart of the project

Green Village aims to become an attractive, sustainable place to live and work in Grand-Saconnex. With a new conference centre, and the Promenade de la Paix through the natural parks, the scene is set for international work, as well as intergenerational interactions. Green Village uses the One Planet Living principles developed by Bioregional and WWF International. The neighbourhood’s sustainability performance is certified by the Swiss Association for Sustainable Neighbourhoods, founded by WFF Switzerland and Implenia. A first audit, assessing the planning for phase one, has been successfully completed.

Each Green Village building will symbolically bear the name of a city which hosted a significant international climate change conference: Kyoto, Montreal, Rio, Lima, Durban and Stockholm.

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Reference

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