The first phase of construction on the project in Villejuif is due for completion by the end of 2018 with subsequent phases to follow. Located 4 km from the Porte d’Italie and close to Orly Airport, the development is just 10 km from the centre of Paris and therefore in prime commuter belt for the city.
The project is one of the most ambitious urban regeneration projects currently underway in the French capital and when completed will offer a balanced mix of residential accommodation, office and retail space.
“Résidence Apollinaire in Villejuif is a modern apartment complex offering residential units of varying size from single studio apartments to three or four bedroom penthouses,” says Managing Director Alain Jouitteau. “Each apartment is finished to the highest standards and has its own balcony or terrace. Landscaped communal gardens add to the quality of life still further while proximity to urban rapid transport networks ensures commuters a convenient commute to work.”
The development is one of the closest to the city center that PROMO GERIM has undertaken to date. “So far we have focused our construction activities in the I’lle de France region, such as Essonne and Val de Marne in particular,” says Mr. Jouitteau, whose father Yves founded the company in the early 1980s and still holds the company presidency. “We want to remain focused on this area as our work relies very heavily on building up and maintaining contacts with the relevant authorities in the local communes.”
Another reason for focusing on the peripheral districts is the favourable rate of VAT that applies. “Instead of levying 20% VAT in these areas, the apartments we build have a reduced rate of only 5.5% VAT,” explains Mr. Jouitteau. “This makes the apartments much more accessible for first-time buyers and people on lower incomes.”
PROMO GERIM targets its developments at two main customer groups – first-time buyers and buy-to-let investors. Demand for new housing is strong and PROMO GERIM generates between 70 and 100 million EUR each year in turnover.
The family company’s activities are organized into a group owned by a holding company which is in turn owned by the Jouitteau family. Each company in the group is headed up by one of the founder’s children.
“PROMO GERIM is involved in project development and management from the purchase of the land to the design of the building and sale of the individual units,” explains Mr. Jouitteau. “The other operating companies in the group are PLANCHAT INGENIERIE, which carries out engineering work on the projects and PROMOKOM, which is responsible for marketing and sales.”
Mr. Jouitteau and his brother and sister Marc and Elisabeth are joint directors of the holding while their father continues in the role of president. However, a change is ahead at the top of the company as founder Yves Jouitteau looks towards retirement.
“My father will be stepping back his involvement from the summer onwards and leaves us a company in good health,” says Mr. Jouitteau. “We are a relatively small player in comparison to the big national developers. However, we are firmly implanted in our home region with a strong reputation and a solid portfolio of successful references. We set ourselves apart from our competitors through our focus on partnership and close relationships with all of the stakeholders involved in the project. Our direct contacts with decision makers at mayoral level helps us land contracts more easily.”
Another factor in PROMO GERIM’s favour is that it is not an investment group but a group of engineers and technical experts. Its 35 employees do not see the buildings they develop purely as investment vehicles but as homes for real people.
“We want to build the best possible infrastructure to build communities that function,” says Mr. Jouitteau. “The quality and design of the homes we create has a direct impact on the quality of life in our local area. We want to build long-lasting, desirable accommodation with an added value that is more than just financial. My motivation lies in seeing what has become of these communities 20 years down the line and how they have flourished. Our goal is not to grow much more but to continue to offer our clients a superior service. If we build an average of 500 new residential units each year and do so to a high standard, then we will be doing well for ourselves and well for the communities we serve.”