The initial project of Cortex, a global health campus led by Bertin Nahum at Euromédicine north of Montpellier, abandoned

The initial project of Cortex, a global health campus led by Bertin Nahum at Euromédicine north of Montpellier, abandoned

Le projet Cortex tel qu'envisagé dans sa version initiale. ML

The initial project of Cortex, a global health campus led by Bertin Nahum at Euromédicine north of Montpellier, abandoned

Le projet Cortex comprenait notamment un tiers lieu paysager avec des ondulations des espaces. ML

Bras armé de MedValléee dans le quartier Euromédecine, le projet Cortex va être revu et corrigé après l'annulation du permis de construire en début d'année. 

Cortex, the campus dedicated to global health which was to be created in Grabels on Serm land, is in trouble. Muhan Invest, Bertin Nahum's company, requested the withdrawal of the building permit at the start of the year. Having left for Miami for a year to develop the sale of his latest generation robot with his other role as boss of Quantum Surchical, Bertin Nahum entrusted his projects director with the task of explaining the reasons for this surprising withdrawal.  

"A generation 2 project"

"The project is not abandoned. We want to revisit it in order to give birth to a 2nd generation, indicates Marie-Anne Pechinot. The reason ? It is twofold. "The economic and financial situation has deteriorated compared to the moment when Michaël Delafosse approached Bertin Nahum to carry out this project with the Métropole ." She also summons the "delay in the developments around the ZAC where the project should see the light of day above the Tuilerie Delteil". Namely, according to her, the ZAC Gimel where 850 housing units should see the light of day in the years to come. "As Gimel is delayed, road and network developments are also delayed. It was becoming complicated to have a viable technical and commercial project." Not entirely accurate according to Mayor René Revol who does not confirm the postponement of the ZAC: "The permit above is issued, it's the same road. It has nothing to do with Gimel." The ZAC project is continuing its course, says the mayor. "We are awaiting the opinion of the National Commission for Natural Spaces these days. We negotiate between the metropolis, the town hall and the developer to determine the amount of public facilities. We will see clearly between May and June. We will enter into operational studies for the start of construction in 2026. "

A project of 50 to 60 M€ initially

What will become of Cortex in its new version ? Initially, the health campus included an incubator and an accelerator, a business zone, a food court, a training center, a residence for young professionals, a landscaped third place open to the public… All on a floor area of ​​ 19,000 m². A project between 50 and 60 M€ carried out with private funds by Bertin Nahum, the architect François Fontès and the real estate developer Aeko, Thierry Aznar. "We are not starting from a blank page. We are working on new specifications." Notable change although spoken half-heartedly: François Fontès, at the head of the Hugar group, would no longer be part of the project. "We haven'haven consulted an architect yet. We are working on the programmatic note. Bertin Nahum remains the pilot of the project with the support of Aeko and a new player enters the fray: the Icade group. 

Thierry Aznar: “We want to do it more than ever”

What do you think of the abandonment of the first version of the Cortex project at Euromédicine ?

I insist on the fact that the project is not abandoned. We adapt. We have delays left and right. But whether it’s Aeko or Bertin Nahum, we want to do it more than ever. This is a beautiful tertiary project which is part of the Medvallée science campus.

With a new partner ?

Yes, Icade is indeed getting closer. François Fontès will not be part of the project management as a partner. It is the Icade promotion group which replaces it. We are currently in discussions with Serm about the choice of the architect.

Why François Fontès, who was supposed to be associated with Cortex, is no longer part of it ?

I don't know François Fontès' affairs and I can't speak for him. The situation in real estate is increasingly complicated. Even if Aeko is doing well!
Your Folie Vernière project with the architect Odile Decq was rejected by the Drac… 
There's no need to force it, we'll put it elsewhere.

Are the difficulties that François Fontès is experiencing with one of his subsidiaries (Amétis went from 156 employees at the start of 2022 to 72 at the end of 2023) linked to the postponement of Cortex ? "It would be easy to say yes, but no, it's not a consequence of his difficulties. The indicators all turn red or orange in real estate", evacuates Marie-Anne Pechinot.

Towards a new project name  

Cortex – which will perhaps no longer bear the same name during the next building permit application – will be more closely linked to the other projects planned at Euromédicine as part of Medvallée. & ;quot;We work hand in hand with the metropolis which works on Biopôle 4 in order to be complementary. If we have to work with more mature companies than start-ups, we will do it. This is what we're looking at. A new building permit should be submitted by the end of the year. "The phasing of the project will be based on the identification of the needs of the Metropolis or of identified buyers or tenants." To be continued.

Extension of the Biopôle to Euromédicine, but not only that…

Straddling Montpellier and Grabels, the Euromédicine district is changing. Several projects will see the light of day there. Starting with the construction of Biopôle 4 to meet the needs of companies exiting the incubator or in the acceleration phase, indicates the Métropole.

"The issue of the residential path of the innovative company is at the heart of discussions with the leaders of the Life Sciences Campus project to provide a tailor-made response to the companies wishing to establish themselves in this sector."

While it is still too early to reveal the names of the companies, we can cite Diagast. The manufacturer of immunohematology solutions is considering it within a few years after the establishment of its innovation center at the end of 2023. Another promoter is investing in the ZAC Euromédicine II between the Salinier roundabout and the Tuilerie of Massane. This is Sasu Geju. Its activity building project includes two levels of offices and training, a retail level with two levels of underground parking.

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