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Breathing new life into an iconic building: the journey of BNP Paribas Real Estate and 28 Madeleine

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BNP Paribas Real Estate is committed to the long-term success of the commercial buildings we manage, and 28 Madeleine in Paris is a great example of our company’s sustained efforts to create an exceptional retail venue, which also responds to contemporary market trends.

The recent history of 28 Madeleine

The journey of 28 Madeleine with BNP Paribas Real Estate started in 2006. After being remodeled between 2004 and 2007, the building was opened to the public, after being installed by the BNP Paribas Real Estate Retail Transaction Team as the Pinacothèque. It was opened as a private museum that became very popular thanks to its innovative approach to showcasing fine arts. For almost ten years, the museum’s ability to mix genres and time periods made it a hotspot for art lovers worldwide, so much so that it extended its exhibition area with a 3000 square foot venue next to it on the Boulevard de la Madeleine. 

Unfortunately, in February 2016 the private museum closed. When that happened, our Retail Transaction Team, led by Thierry Bonniol, stepped in to help find a new owner for the three shops occupied by the Pinacothèque. Thanks to hard work and concerted efforts, the BNP Paribas Real Estate Capital Market Retail team was successful in getting the building sold to its new owner, Hines, in July 2017. Following the acquisition, the new owner decided to clear the insides of the building to take advantage the space and volume, and have a blank canvas to offer to retailers who wish to move in. 

With its large indoor space (over 1400 square metres) and covered inner courtyard (with a glass roof), this iconic building in the heart of Paris is an exceptional opportunity to create a large-scale retail experience. It can provide excellent visibility for the future tenant and could also become a flagship store. 
 

An iconic neighbourhood

28 Madeleine is located in the heart of Paris, at the crossroads of several different touristic paths: close to the Opera building and famous Parisian department stores. It is also very well connected to plenty of public transportation options and a large carpark. Additionally, thanks to its central location the neighbourhood has a lot of foot traffic.

The retail offer on the square is rich and varied, and currently evolving. The square will soon feature a large store for popular furniture brand. Additionally Leroy Merlin opened on the 19th June 2018, Ikea which will open in 2019, and the famous Hotel Fauchon (an icon of French gastronomy) will open in September 2018. 

Furthermore, the neighbourhood is home to rich Parisian culture. The square itself, and its church, have significant historical importance. Indeed, with its impressive columns, it is a beautiful example of French neoclassical architecture. And the neighbourhood surrounding the square counts several buildings registered with the historical building authority of Paris.

These different elements make this square a very dynamic one, where a wide range of socio-economic groups are represented, but also a quintessential Parisian square mixing luxury shops, broad-appeal retail stores and cafés.

Supporting a successful commercialisation process

In 2017, when the Pinacothèque closed and it became time to repurpose its location, the BNP Paribas Real Estate Retail team knew it was a great opportunity to create an ambitious commercialisation strategy.

The first part of the private museum to be repurposed was its extension on the Boulevard de la Madeleine, where in late December 2016, the BNP Paribas Real Estate Retail team helped install the concept stores with Reebok and Prêt-à-Manger. The location is meant to provide a complete retail experience with an athletic apparel store, a CrossFit gym combined with a social club, and a healthy eatery. 

The same BNP Paribas Real Estate team was co-exclusively mandated to commercialise the 28 Place de la Madeleine. Since the transaction in 2017, the BNP Paribas Real Estate Retail team has fully supported Hines in finding the right brand to move into this extraordinary building. Since the sale, three major events have been organised: the Hines end of year party, an Yves Saint Laurent Beauty pop-up store during the Paris Fashion Week, and in early June 2018, a cocktail party organised by BNP Paribas Real Estate with several brands to introduce the space.

We are also committed to providing our expertise to Hines, and to deliver a broad range of services. Therefore, in 2017 we helped support the Hines marketing team create marketing tools to help the owner find a suitable tenant. They created a commercial brochure showcasing the key components of the building and the attractiveness of the neighbourhood, including visuals created by architects and a promotional video. Furthermore, BNP Paribas Real Estate created an immersive digital viewing experience.

Through this process, we have shown our ability to steadily support the development of commercial real estate projects in the long run. Indeed, BNP Paribas Real Estate has been following the life of 28 Madeleine for over ten years. The commercial retail team has been providing the highest standard of business services possible, creating a multidimensional offering including financial and business advice, but also strategic, marketing, and communication tools. As Thierry Bonniol, Director of Retail, France at BNP Paribas Real Estate, puts it: “this effort comes from our understanding that a successful and innovative commercialisation has to have a holistic approach, encompassing all aspects of the retail experience”. 

Thriving to meet evolving market trends

When looking at the broader market trends in retail, BNP Paribas Real Estate sees how important it is to make decisions and build projects that fit with today’s consumer needs. Indeed, in recent years, brick and mortar retail has shifted from a driver of the industry to a tool supplementing online shopping. In turn, this means that consumer expectations of retail have changed: consumers are now looking to interact with a brand, like they do on social media, and walk into places where lifestyle and brand image play a large role, rather than just look at products. 28 Madeleine fits perfectly with this new approach to retail: it could be the perfect flagship store for a brand, with its airy feel and inner courtyard, which create a refreshing bubble away from the fast-pace of everyday life

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