Banque des Territoires launches its real estate revitalization companies in the Pays de la Loire.

This is one of the means used by the Banque des Territoires to combat the devitalization of rural municipalities and urban centers of medium-sized cities. A solution that can be used where promoters do not want to invest and where communities (EPCI, city halls, etc.) lack the financial means or know-how.

Realized with the creation of Métropolys in the Vendée in September 2019, the “land of rebirth” deployment has since been extended to the Loire-Atlantique and Maine-et-Loire. “The establishment in Mayenne is in progress. Sarta will be covered at the end of the year or early 2023. It is in the French region that the highest density of real estate is.”assures Philippe Jusserand, regional director of the Banque des Territoires, today a minority shareholder in seven departmental real estate companies (Métropolys in the Vendée, Centralités 44 in the Loire-Atlantique, Anjou commerce and Centralités in Maine-et-Loire), as well as metropolitan (Nantes, Angers, Le Mans, Saint-Nazaire).

“It is a SAS made up of a mixed economy company such as SEM Oryon in the Vendée and local investors, which may be the Chamber of Commerce, banking players (Crédit Mutuel, Crédit Agricole, etc.) or a government agency. Vendée, which entered the capital in 2020.”he explains.

“SEM is essential in this build. It is she who provides technical teams to instruct operations and ensure project management », he said. Banque des Territoires provides, in addition to projects, financial engineering, feasibility studies, etc. of projects covered by the Action Cœur de Ville (ACV) and Small Towns of Tomorrow (PVD) programs implemented by the government to revive France. In addition to government loans, these programs allow you to attract participants such as Action Logement, the National Housing Agency (Anah), and others.

Basic engineering work

In the Pays-de-la-Loire, eight territories (ACV) and one hundred and five municipalities (PVD), including twenty-two in the Vendée, have been awarded these schemes. Banque des Territoires has already begun engineering work on ninety-four projects under the Action Cœur de Ville, provided nine loans worth €19.5 million and brokered agreements with five departments, and subsidized the appointment of fifty-eight projects. the managers provided seven loans worth €16.6 million, financed a number of trade-related measures and made the first investment with Métropolys in Benet (85) to finance the purchase and maintenance of a butcher shop in the city.

“It could be an operation. And this is the whole point of the earth. It can intervene in very small projects worth 200,000 euros … or larger ones worth several million euros. Where investors don’t want to gonotes Sébastien Bonnet, general manager of SEM Oryon and Metropolys, who has been involved in five LCA projects in La Roche-sur-Yon and Fontenay-le-Comte, as well as in PVD in Baine, in the south of the department.

Among them are the rehabilitation of a business, the installation of a start-up after the removal of asbestos from the premises, the development of offices, the reconfiguration of a 1000 m² commercial premises divided into four to five cells, various activities, including a grocery store next door. , the restoration of a vacant lot that had been vacant for fifteen years after the departure of France Telecom, where a store would be opened on the ground floor and a law firm upstairs. This time a project worth two million euros. In Fontenay-le-Comte, negotiations are once again underway with the owner of a shopping center with twelve outdated retail outlets whose regulatory requirements require urgent repairs. Negotiations are underway and a dozen more projects are being considered.

Massing investments for balance

“Thanks to its shareholding, the real estate company has the ability to invest a lot of capital through partners’ current accounts, up to 60% in operations, and have little recourse to bank financing and therefore debt. As a result, we are able to carry out operations that private operators, investing less capital, would not be able to carry out, remaining in the market rent. As a result, the balance of operations is simplified”notes Sebastian Bonnet.

The principle of a real estate company is to intervene at the request of the community, purchase property, refurbish it and rent it out again at a moderate rent. In fields as diverse as commerce, housing, transport, digital technology, healthcare…

In the state of Maine-et-Loire, where a real estate company is just starting out, fifty-four projects have been identified. By what criteria will they be selected? “It’s the economic model that needs to be found, and the importance of the upstream studies, the business plans we’re putting together. We have a reasonable ROI target. The main thing is that the operation is done. In the eyes of local authorities, the financial package is secured. There are assets that are difficult to make profitable, such as businesses, where it is very difficult. The interest of a real estate company is to be able to consolidate operations. And let us go into a loss-making business, and at the same time equip additional, more profitable offices that will achieve balance, ” he explains.

By choosing to be a minority shareholder in real estate companies and favoring funds provided from partners’ checking accounts, Banque des Territoires thus intends to prevent local authorities from raising excessive funds through the SEM while keeping the project going. control.

“The idea behind property companies is to develop them in stages. The more they develop, the more we will add to the boiler,” Philippe Jusserand says

White and safe operation for Benet

A municipality of 4,000 inhabitants, twelve kilometers from Niort and on the edge of the marshes of Poitevin, Benet was the first local authority in the Pays de la Loire to benefit from the intervention of the Metropolis and the Bank of the Territories through the PVD program.

“We had a historic butcher who wanted to retire. Despite his title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France, the young butcher who wanted to take over managed to finance the business, but not the purchase of the walls of the former PMU bar opposite the butcher shop where he wanted to work. However, for five years the place was deserted.explains Daniel David, Marie from the city.

Investments amounted to 105,000 euros plus work.

“It was impossible for us to finance it. It ignored the development of other activities. Building this type of file is quite cumbersome. And that’s not our job.” he admits.

“That’s where we came” recalls Sebastien Bonnet.

“Today the butcher shop is always full! »

The company purchased the property, financed the works for around 50,000 euros and implemented an adapted installment purchase process.

“The interest is the speed of execution and the use of specialists in the field of finance, urban planning, real estate … For us, this is a white and safe operation. And today the butcher shop is always full! “, notes the mayor, who twelve years ago decided to sacrifice part of the fairground to allow the expansion of the large Place Benet, wishing to connect with the Niort-Fontenay-le-Comte road and its traffic of 10,000 cars a day..

“We managed to keep this locomotive in the city. Today, shops, services, cultural events are an integral whole for which a real strategy is needed, despite the risk of seeing urban centers decline as demographic progress is made. We are thinking about programs for the sale and rental of real estate. Difficult to provide… to meet population growth”he says, completing the construction of a media library, the development of a social center that is to give birth to a thrift store, a DIY library and a bookstore, and Microfolies, these platforms are supported by the Ministry of Culture to promote art and new technologies.

“In order to have a village that is pleasant to live in, we try to work on all fronts. We used to be able to do it naturally with our strategy, today we see that without outside intervention it is more difficult to do it.”notes mayor Benet, who does not rule out another knock on the door of the real estate company.