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Regional embassy on the Champs-Elysées for sale: but how much is it worth?

A beautiful Haussmannian building on the prized Champs-Elysées avenue in the heart of Paris which houses the Alsace regional embassy has been put up for sale. Now agents and experts — and even the owners themselves — are trying to gauge its value. The councils of the Haut-Rhin and Bas-Rhin departments have put the Maison de l’Alsace — the regional embassy of the northeastern Alsace region — up for sale, according to an announcement published on both councils’ websites.

The classified, which also appeared in the press, read: “For sale, Haussman-style building on the Champs-Elysées, at the heart of the central business district, entirely renovated” with completion of the works scheduled for the second quarter of 2016. The building comprises 7 floors and 3 underground levels, containing 4 floors of office space, a 4-level restaurant and a beautifully-decorated entrance hall. The top floor contains a 130 m2 event space with views on the Eiffel tower and the Arc de Triomphe, as well as a terrace overlooking the Champs-Elysées. Located at number 39 of the illustrious avenue, the building’s entire surface is 2,200 m2. Its price on the other hand, remains unknown, as does whether or not the sale will really occur. Frédéric Bierry, the president of the departmental council of the Bas-Rhin told Alsace 20 “we’d like to get an idea of how much the building is worth before deciding whether to sell or not.” 20 Minutes has attempted to estimate the property’s value, taking its prime location on the “most beautiful avenue in the world” into account. Starting from the fact that a square meter on the Champs-Elysées costs 13,255 euros — setting the building at 30 million euros already — it adds a “bonus” for the building being detached, another for its strategic location as well as extra for the unique view it boasts. With all these factors in mind, the publication guesstimates the Maison de l’Alsace’s value at 50 million euros. However, Bas-Rhin senator Guy-Dominique Kennel believes it is easily worth 70 million euros. Frédéric Bierry explains the difficulty in estimating the property’s value: “You cannot apply a price per m2 ratio on the Champs-Elysées, it is not a rational market.” He has added that it would not be worth selling the Maison de l’Alsace for 50 million euros. From 100 million onwards, however, selling might be conceivable in his opinion. Visits have reportedly already taken place: Emiratis looking for long-term investments or financial companies looking to set up on the prestigious avenue, speculates 20 Minutes. The sellers have announced the possibility of renting out the property in whole or in part. They may sell it or keep, depending on offers. “We are running this test to figure out the Maison de l’Alsace’s value because as of now, I’ve been given widely varying estimates,” states Frédéric Bierry. The building was bought in 1968 by the Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin departmental councils who sought to establish an Alsatian presence in the capital, much like Savoie and Bretagne who had already set up regional bases in the capital. The purchase cost them 7.8 million francs at the time. Still jointly owned by both regional councils, the Maison de l’Alsace houses a travel agency, a restaurant showcasing regional cuisine and a business area promoting tourism and regional products. The building underwent significant renovation works in 2012 costing the councils 12.5 million euros. A petition has been launched against the Maison de l’Alsace being sold, collecting all of 332 signatures to date, despite key figures opposing the sale, including Bas-Rhin senator Guy-Dominique Kennel. Photo credit: / Nicolas Chauveau

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