Sophia : the Danone case

Posté jeu 15/06/2000 - 00:00
Par admin

The giant of the agribusiness was looking for setting up its research and development centre (500 people on 20,000 square metres). Finally, it had to choose the South of Lyon, as it was missing a site to build.

It is a case that revives the current controversy on the property shortage and on the poor land supply that can be quickly mobilized on Sophia Antipolis (see our file). At the beginning of the year, the CAD (Côte d'Azur Développement / French Riviera Development) got in touch with the SAEM (Société d'Aménagement et d'Economie Mixte / Development and Semi-Public Company) to find a place that would allow it to set up its research and development centre in the agribusiness. In words of settling, it was the case of the year.Three solutions are possibleIt was an important case not only for the picture of Sophia. The French giant was looking for a land of 9 to 10 hectares to set up buildings of 20,000 m2, so that some 500 searchers could settle there. The laboratories had to be used in order to perfect new products and to make tests before the products were marketed.However, the matter was to find such a site. Considering the size, the choice was rather reduced. Two places could be quickly available. As the first one, it was better not to think of it : the Funel land, the jewel of Sophia Antipolis because of the wonderful sight it offers (it is near the new Toyota design centre) was reserved by the regional Council that still would like to build the Maison de Sophia. Moreover, a firm request was made in that way.The second land, in the Saint Philippe 2 area, was smaller than it was wished (6.5 hectares), but, it could hold up the square metres that were needed (until 30,000 building square metres) thanks to its great floor area ratio. But, there was an other problem : the standard specifications stated access roads for trucks had to be planned, and the slope of the land implied difficulties to come up with the clause. Further to many studies, the plan to set up buildings in Saint Philippe was abandoned.A third solution remained possible in the urban development zone of the Cystes. But, there was the problem of the timetable that did not fit the solution. The urban development zone still remained to be built, and it seemed difficult to start the works before three good years. Therefore, it will soon be 10 days since Danone has announced to CAD it would rather settle in the southern area of Lyon, where, there, lands could be available. A 'wasted opportunity' that set many teeth on edge in the technopole…

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