Excellent news for the city center: four Agenais and one Marmandais on Thursday bought the former Banque de France, a Haussmannian building on Boulevard de la République. Who are they ? What is their project?
The file on the sale of the former Banque de France had its epilogue on Thursday. The building, built between 1908 and 1910 on a then reviving Boulevard de la République, had not been occupied by staff since April. The doors are closed, the tricolor has been removed, and the half-dozen agents now receive the public in their new premises, the former Groupama building located not far from the station (Boulevard Sylvain-Dumon).
This move responds to a gradual disengagement of the Banque de France, not from the territories but from real estate complexes deemed too large (and expensive to maintain) after a drastic reduction in staff. Hence the sale of the prestigious building in Agen, with the desire, however, to remain in the city center to maintain a local public service.
This file, like others in France, was managed by the real estate department of the Banque de France, and confidential negotiations were conducted. Sensitive negotiations because this building is closely watched by the town hall of Agen (it is located in a commercially strategic location), by the Bâtiments de France (the building is listed) and by the inhabitants who care about this flagship of the local architecture.
Several potential buyers have made themselves known, fueling development projects. Because the potential is there: 500 m2 in the basement, 650 m2 on the first floor, 300 m2 on the first floor with a terrace of 250 m2, 300 m2 on the third, then the same area on the top floor. The building has an interior courtyard (six parking spaces) and an annex overlooking rue Maillé. There are many development prospects with, for example, high-end apartments. Buyers have therefore made themselves known, but it is ultimately five local partners who have “won the day”, names very known in Agen since they are Olivier and Aurélie Caban, Loris and Lucas Tolot, and Yves Bertrand (from Marmande, father of the Rougeline tomato).
Interested from June 2020
As soon as the promise of sale was signed (for an amount which remains secret, but which is estimated at several million euros), the four Agenais were kind enough to answer our questions and specify their real estate approach.
“We are above all driven by the desire to develop our Agen region, they explain. The Caban and Tolot families are very well known, and we are always looking for projects to enhance our city. So when we learned that the Bank de France sold its branch, we immediately went into project mode. It was in June 2020. “
A heritage to promote
“The building is exceptional, adds Olivier Caban. Beautiful facade, magnificent terrace, inside it is sumptuous with moldings, parquet, an incredible terrace. It is really a part of our Agen heritage that” we must not only protect, but also enhance. We have therefore set up a dynamic project, which will allow the people of Agen to benefit from this building. “
For the time being, there is no definitive development project. Brand new apartments (in the heart of town) are a possibility. But commercial development is privileged. “We can have an office on the upper floors, in the apartment too, but the ground floor must be reserved for shops. We are on the boulevard, just in front of the former Galeries Billières (now Muy Mucho), and there are 650 m2! On this premium site, we can accommodate the future commercial locomotive of Agen. “
Works in 2022
Enough to revitalize the first part of the boulevard, while major work is taking shape on Place Jasmin, which will be transformed into a forecourt within two years.
Work on the former Banque de France d’Agen will begin in 2022, and the new owners hope that they will be completed in 2023. Already (the news goes very quickly …) several project leaders have said they are interested in renting the ground floor. “We will study all the proposals, complete the Lot-et-Garonnais. But the criterion of profitability will not be the only one. We will never betray the soul and the history of this site. We will therefore select projects according to the yardstick. of the interest of our city. The project should be useful for the city center, and participate in this dynamic from which Agen benefits today. “