The complex, situated in La Defense business district, will feature two towers of 320m height each, compared to 310m of Shard building in London, currently the tallest in Europe. In Paris, the towers will only be surpassed by the Eiffel Tower.

"The buildings will be visible from within the entire city. We hope to finalize the financing agreements by the end of this year and to start the works next year", has declared in an interview for Bloomberg the general manager of Hermitage, Emin Iskenderov.

The project in Paris will be the first skyscrapers complex in France to combine offices, apartments and a hotel, launched in a period marked by the fall of rents and residential prices.

In 2010, the architect Jean Nouvel has dropped its project Signal, a 301 m tower with offices and apartments planned for La Defense area, as he didn’t manage to find investors.

Iskenderov sustained that he is not discouraged by the difficult economic situation and speaks about the success of this type of project in Asia and Middle East. The so-called mixed-use projects became very popular in China, United States and Dubai. The Arab emirate holds the record for the world tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, offering offices, apartments and a luxury hotel.

Some analysts consider that the Russian businessman could be successful, as France doesn’t offer currently such services.

"They intend to develop services that aren’t available today in Paris. The owners will have access to the luxury hotel services, chamber maids, room service, etc. If to become reality, I believe a new market will developed. It will offer an incredible view", declared for Bloomberg Alexander Kraft, the head of Sotheby's International Realty for France & Monaco.

The design of the red by Foster+Partners and will be named Hermitage Plaza. The towers will have 85 and 86 floors respectively and the construction will be completed in the beginning of 2019, according to Iskenderov.

Hermitage has obtained the construction permits for the two towers and for other four smaller buildings within the complex in March 2012, according to the authorities responsible for La Defense urban area.

The project will offer 165,000 sq m apartments, 40,000 office spaces, 40,000 commercial spaces for stores and restaurants, while the five stars hotel will occupy 35,000 sq m.

The tours will be probably erected by the French group Bouygues, which has previously worked with Hermitage for different projects in France in the past five years, Iskenderov said.

The office request in Paris will decrease with 20% this year, estimates the analyst Olivier Gerard from Cushman & Wakefield France. The average vacancy rate of the office spaces is 7.8% in Paris and 12% in La Defense, where the market offered 422,136 sq m in mid-year.

The construction group Vinci will complete next year the D2 tower, contracted by divisions of Bouygues and Societe Generale, as well as a 343 roomed hotel situated in the financial district. Eiffage builds the office tower Majunga (195 m) for Unibail-Rodamco, in the same area. Unibail also plans the construction of another two towers in La Defense, but is not in a hurry, Bloomberg notes.


Hermitage will invest EUR 853 million from own funds in Hermitage Plaza project, the remaining financing needed to be insured by the Russian State bank, Sberbank and "a big international bank", as well as by pre-sales, Iskenderov stated. (source: