Paris 18th-Century Abbey Put on Sale by French Defense Ministry

The French Defense Ministry put a former convent and military buildings in central Paris up for sale as it consolidates offices in the capital and raises funds to help pay debt.

The 18th-century Abbaye de Penthemont, as well as the Hotel du Genie and Pavillon de Penthemont from the 19th century have about 12,438 square meters (134,000 square feet) of office space. The buildings will be vacated by the end of March 2016, the Finance Ministry, which is handling the sale, said on its website.

France sold more than 4.7 billion euros ($6.5 billion) of real estate from 2005 to 2012 to increase efficiency, reduce costs and contain mounting debt, Budget Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in May. President Francois Hollande’s government is continuing the policies of previous administrations by selling buildings across France. It plans to put the Defense Ministry’s current headquarters, Ilot Saint-Germain, up for sale in 2015.

The Defense Ministry is building headquarters on the southern edge of Paris to replace a series of buildings spread around the city and to put civil servants and the armed-forces command under the same roof by 2016.

Offers for the Paris properties, which feature carriage gateways leading into paved courtyards, luxury offices and salons as well as technical space, are due by April 2, the Finance Ministry said.