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2021-06-23 9:08 CET, Europe, France, Germany | Property Investment Management | Press release

Catella Residential IM Acquires Energy-Positive Elithis Tower in Dijon, as €2.0 bln Impact Project Gathers Pace

The world’s first energy-positive residential development programme at scale is gaining momentum as Catella Residential Investment Management (CRIM) acquires its second Elithis Residential Tower project in Dijon, France, on behalf of an institutional mandate and steps up its investments in a planned €2.0 billion rollout of 100 towers across Europe.

The development, located in Dijon’s Arsenal district, will provide 59 affordable and sustainable homes, together with more than 1,000 sqm of office and retail spaces and was purchased for around €15 million. The deal closely follows the acquisition of a first Elithis Tower project in Saint-Etienne, east-central France, in April for the CER III Fund on the Catella Residential pan-European platform, which also meets the impact investing criteria for the EU’s highest level of institutional ESG investments -- the ‘dark green’ SFDR Article 9  category.

Catella has an exclusive supply agreement with Elithis, the French engineering and design company that conceived the energy-positive building concept. The Elithis towers produce more power than they consume at cost levels comparable to standard buildings and by eliminating tenants’ energy bills directly link the ‘E’ and the ‘S’ in ESG impact investing, delivering affordable rents than aim to be around 5% to 10% lower than the average for the surrounding neighbourhoods.

Xavier Jongen, Managing Director Catella Residential Investment Management said: “In April, the EU announced a new target for cutting CO2 emissions - by 55% by 2030. Elithis towers already outperform this target, and the 2050 carbon neutral end goal, through the use of technologies which render the buildings energy positive from the outset while also providing social benefits as the apartments are more affordable than regular rental units due to the fact that substantial reductions in tenants’ energy costs are possible. This second acquisition in Dijon is particularly symbolic, since this is where our partner Elithis Group developed its first energy positive tower in 2009, which is now the company’s office headquarters. This was the world’s first energy positive office tower at the time and it continues to far outperform industry regulatory requirements and recognised standard certifications and has become the blueprint for Elithis’ residential towers. Catella is now looking for enlightened investment partners to help drive the expansion of this impact investing concept across Europe ”

The residential development is located at the heart of Dijon’s Arsenal eco-district, a 12.6 hectare regeneration scheme which is transforming former military and industrial land into a new residential quarter, with parks and promenades around the Burgundy canal and the T2 tram line. Construction of the more than 4,600 sqm project will be completed by mid-2023. Upon completion the building will provide 59 apartments, two floors of offices and ground floor retail units.

The tower is well connected to the city centre via Avenue Jean Jaures and has a tram stop directly outside linking it to a nearby shopping centre, the train station in one stop and the city centre in two [to] four stops. BE REAL Investment Management the local operating partner of Catella Residential IM led the  acqusition due diligence process.

Thierry Bievre, CEO Elithis, said: “The urgency to act on climate change is getting ever greater as the world hopefully gets back towards normal, post-pandemic, in the second half of this year, but that will also mean a resurgence in carbon emissions. Net carbon neutral in Europe in 30 years is no longer good enough and the EU has to raise the bar further and force real environmental and social impact investing in the property industry, which accounts for 40% of global CO2 emissions, overwhelmingly in the residential sector., The Catella/Elithis combination in one of most serious contenders in being able to deliver energy positive assets at scale and -- through this sharp reduction in overall household costs -- affordable homes across Europe.. There is a need for government and municipalities to clear the way by reforming planning regulation for the new age and releasing land, so this green revolution in the largest asset class of all can get underway.”

The building will be constructed in such a way that it can easily be converted for other functions than residential use, should this be necessary. The systems and technologies employed i.e. photovoltaic panels, the advantage of being connected to a district heating network and its bioclimatic design, make it energy-positive from the outset.

Dijon is the regional capital of Burgundy with a growing population of some 158,000 people.  The city is well known for its gastronomic heritage and was designated the Cité internationale de la Gastronomie et du Vin under a UNESCO classification of its  surrounding vineyards from 2005.. It is also the first ‘Smart City’ in France - a new initiative to use the digital data produced by connected public facilities to offer new public services to residents - and is among one of the top five in the country for investment. The local economy is reliant on agriculture and agronomy, and the city is home to many innovative companies (Dijon Céréales, Agronov) and universities (I-SITE and ESIREM) active in this field. Healthcare and biotech companies located there include Urgo, Sanofi, and Merck Médication Familiale among others and large industrial groups such as Schneider, Safran, Tetra Pak and Sundyne.


About Catella Residential Investment Management GmbH (CRIM)
Catella launched its first European residential fund in 2007 with a volume of €1.6 billion and it has since achieved an average net return for investors of more than 9% per year until the end of Q1 2021. The team also launched the first dedicated European Student Housing Fund in 2013.

CRIM is a subsidiary of the Stockholm-based Catella AB Group and its residential real estate business comprises portfolio management, acquisitions, sales and asset management. CRIM manages and advises several funds and mandates and has assets under management of more than €5.0 billion across 10 European countries.

For more information contact:
Lisette van der Ham
Head of PR & Corporate Communications
Catella Residential Investment Management GmbH
Upper West, Kantstraße 164, 10623 Berlin
M: +31 (0)6 83200561

About Elithis
Based in Dijon, the Elithis Group is a French building engineering, consulting and real estate developer which ranks among the leading players in the fields of sustainability, environmental and energy efficiency. The Group has traditionally supported construction and renovation firms operating in the energy and engineering sectors with solutions that are innovative, sustainable and competitive. Elithis has more than 150 employees worldwide and has worked on over 2,500 projects over the last 10 years.

Contact Presse Elithis:

Claire Cauchetier
Brand & Communications Manager
Mobile : +33 (0) 6 26 28 18 10
E-mail :

Alan Kirsch
Head of Business Development & Investor Relations
Mobile : +33 (0) 7 77 73 55 34
E-mail :

Groupe Elithis:

Tour Elithis, 1 C, boulevard de Champagne
BP 41249 – 21012 Dijon CEDEX – France

Site internet :