Gecina and Woodeum sign partnership agreement to develop 1,000 timber-frame housing units in France

To meet the need for rental housing in supply-constrained areas, Gecina and Woodeum have signed a partnership agreement with a view to developing 1,000 low-carbon, timber-frame housing units over four years (indicative timeline) in the Paris Region and major cities across France. Following the introduction of the RE2020 environmental regulations in France, this partnership confirms the ambition of both groups to reduce the carbon footprint of living spaces.

Since 2017, Gecina has been rolling out a strategy to create value within its residential portfolio of 6,000 apartments. In 2020, to further strengthen its capabilities for taking action, capitalise on opportunities for growth and develop its services, the Group created a dedicated subsidiary to house this portfolio.

Founded in 2014, Woodeum is an expert pioneer specialised in producing low-carbon, timber-frame housing units in France. It already has more than 1,700 housing units underway or completed, with 1,800 units secured for 2021 and 2022, and more than 3,000 under development. The company, whose two shareholders are WO2 Holding, owned by Guillaume Poitrinal and Philippe Zivkovic, and the Altarea Group, has been committed from the outset to supporting residents’ wellbeing and effectively tackling climate change, combined with outstanding architectural design features.

This innovative partnership between one of France’s largest real estate groups, Gecina, and Woodeum, the market leader for low-carbon timber developments, aims to offer healthier, more environmentally-responsible housing units with a real architectural signature and living comfort levels that exceed the highest regulatory standards.  This agreement will further strengthen the Gecina Group’s capacity to source and develop new low-carbon residential operations.

The two groups will jointly develop projects based on a partnership, with 60% for Woodeum and 40% for Gecina. By identifying opportunities and launching operations in line with the ambitions and requirements of both partners, each group will be able to further strengthen its expertise, giving Gecina the possibility to get involved from the design stage alongside Woodeum, while offering opportunities for Woodeum to continue moving forward with its development in the Paris Region and across France.

The buildings developed in this way will be acquired by Gecina’s residential subsidiary, which is now called Homya, and let under Gecina’s client-centric YouFirst Residence brand.

“Following a first innovative partnership with a leading developer, this new partnership with Woodeum confirms Gecina’s commitment to responding to the aspirations of middle-class households to live in environmentally-virtuous homes, close to their workplace and with all the facilities needed for a sustainable and balanced lifestyle,” Méka Brunel, Gecina’s Chief Executive Officer. “It marks an acceleration of the large-scale development of housing units offering the best international standards, in line with our CSR policy and CAN0P-2030, our Carbon Net Zero Plan.”

“With French environmental regulation RE2020 starting to be rolled out, and faced with the climate emergency, this partnership will enable Woodeum to ramp up its production of Low-Carbon Timber buildings nationwide, guided by a shared commitment with Gecina to create high architectural quality buildings, offering a unique quality of life for their future residents,” said Philippe Zivkovic, Woodeum-WO2 Group co-founder and Chairman.