Real estate giant Wanda invests in Grand Paris metropolis
In line with the global ambitions of the Wanda group, its CEO Wang Jianlin signed an agreement on February 26 in order to participate to the EuropaCity project, from Immochan group and designed by BIG architects. According to Wanda, this is the largest Chinese investment to date in Europe and in France, as part of a total €3bn project. This complex, located in Gonesse (south of Charles de Gaulle airport), is meant to be a flagship of the Chinese contribution in the new Grand Paris metropolis. The developers planned, on a 80 hectares surface, to build a huge Europe theme park, cultural and leisure areas, a congress center, hotels and lots of shops.
As a local consultation is to begin in March 2016, EuropaCity already faces fierce opposition from both ecologist activists and Environment Ministry, threatening the launching of the construction planned on 2019. The high energy consumption of the complex and its location on an agricultural zone have indeed triggered criticism. Furthermore, various experts and local representatives doubt the economic sustainability of this project, judging the number of visitors overestimated by its developers, and fearing a harmful competition with surrounding commercial activities.