The Puits Morandat Business Park Opens Up New Opportunities South of Aix

Puits Morandat

Puits morandat, a large-scale development

Puits Morandat’s old mining pit, closed in 2003, is undergoing a transformation. On the site’s exceptional 14 hectares overlooking the Sainte-Victoire, the municipality of Gardanne via Semag – a semi-public development enterprise – is investing to transform the old mining area into a business park focused on innovative industries. Pays d’Aix Développement and Provence Promotion – which provide support for business implantation – will promote this new real estate offer. This represents genuine opportunities for entrepreneurs and managing directors!

Following the closure of the Yvon Morandat mine in Gardanne, its mayor Roger Meï had made the promise to reconvert the ideally located 14 hectares and to create a thousand jobs within four years. The transformation into a business park began with the opening of a Business center for innovative companies in 2009 inside the old miners’ dining hall. This 2,000 m2 building, managed by Pays d’Aix Développement, houses 19 companies – mostly startups – that operate in the following fields: e-commerce, the environment, design, micro-electronics, digital and even biotechnologies.

Business center for innovative companies

“We have reached an 80% occupancy rate but we have additional land capacity. The companies can spend four years in an incubator. After that and as they develop, we provide them with solutions. The Puits Morandat business park is very timely, opening new possibilities for us as we finalize the commercialization of the Meyreuil Activity Zone’s 10 hectares. This new and strategically located zone represents a magnificent development project that is part services, part industrial”, explains Isabelle Corbin, director for Pays d’Aix Développement.

Responsible for facilitating the implantation of businesses, the economic development agency has advised IP Energy amongst others. A next generation network integrator, the SME (19 employees, €2.5M Sales) will leave the incubator upon completion of its headquarters at Puits Morandat. “We orient the companies towards financial real estate aid. If they purchase land to erect a building, they can qualify for a subsidy of up to 20% of the investment”, adds Isabelle Corbin.

Steripure completes its new factory

Based in Rousset, Steripure – a company specialized in the pasteurization of nuts, herbs and spices – will inaugurate its new factory in Puits Morandat in July 2018. The company has invested €2.4M to triple the capacity of its production facility. “I was looking for a location with easy access, close to both the TGV and the airport because I have many foreign customers”, explains Olivier Bourgeois. Steripure’s Managing Director is delighted to be able to offer his employees a work environment located in the countryside while still being easily accessible.

Semag, the semi-public company responsible for commercializing the 10 hectares of building lots, has entrusted the construction of marketable buildings on 17,000 m2 of land to Eiffage Immobilier, with a 2020 delivery date. Eiffage will offer offices and workshops with storage areas for sale or for rent. The Yvon Morandat business park will use renewable and geothermal energies to heat and air condition the buildings. The location enjoys a reservoir of 35 million cubic meters of groundwater created by the old mining galleries.

Puits Morandat in Provence Promotion’s portfolio

“With Provence Promotion, we are going to help you locate the best projects outside the territory. We will accompany businesses focused on innovative technologies and the circular economy. 12% of the companies we have helped establish operations in the ‘eco-industry‘ and 34% in the digital sector. From now on, we will recommend Puits Morandat”, noted Jean-Luc Chauvin, president of the CCIMP as well as of Provence Promotion during his visit of the activity zone this past 16 May.

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