offices Market News: Spanish Real Estate Intelligence

French Executive Castel Acquires (Some of) the Torres de Lisboa
16 December 2018 The Castel Group, which is owned by Pierre Castel, is thought to have paid about 100 million euros for four of the eight buildings in the office centre. The Castel group, which is owned by the French executive Pierre Castel, bought part of the office centre known as the Torres de Lisboa - located on Estrada da Luz, next to the Second Ring Road. Castel finalised the transaction in October. Expresso learned that the French businessman paid just over €100 million for the assets. The other buildings in the complex, which were not in the deal, include buildings that are occupied by Galp Energia. One of those towers belongs to the oil company and the other, Tower A, belongs to the Spanish company Merlin, which bought it last year together with the shopping centre Monumental. Castel bought the buildings from ECS, a management company that works with asset recoveries and restructuring. In this case, the four buildings had previously belonged to the Spanish company Chamartín, which also owned the Dolce Vita shopping centres, and which went into insolvency in 2015. Expresso contacted ECS regarding the deal, but the company declined to comment. More than €400 million invested With the purchase of these four buildings, Pierre Castel has reinforced its existing portfolio of offices in Portugal. The French billionaire already owns the Justice Campus, in Parque das Nações; the headquarters of Nos, Campo Grande, and one of the Colombo Towers. Pierre Castel is now the owner of four major office developments in the capital and has already invested about €420 million in Portugal, according to calculations by Expresso. Castel’s first acquisition took place in 2015 when the French billionaire bought one of the Colombo Towers by way of a Singapore-based fund. The tower, called the West Tower, was the second to be completed in 2011 and is fully occupied by companies such as BNP Paribas. The 14-storey building belonged to a consortium formed by Caixa Geral de Depósitos, Iberdrola Imobiliária, Sonae Sierra and CBRE Global Investors and was sold for about €70 million. The second investment came about a year later and was the largest that Pierre Castel has made to date in Portugal. In 2014, Castel acquired the Justice Campus in Parque das Nações, an eight-building venture belonging to the Office Park Expo fund, for a little more than €200 million. Four months after that, Pierre Castel bought another of the city’s iconic buildings - the NOS headquarters in Campo Grande - for which he paid €50 million. The 9-floor building, which can be seen from the 2nd Ring Road, right next to the Sporting stadium, was designed by CPU Urbanistas and Architects and TT Design, has an area of ​​15,000 square meters and was completed in 2012 by the Dutch company Multi Development, the same that developed the Forum shopping centres, including Almada Forum and Montijo Forum. In 2013, the building was acquired by Blackstone when it bought Multi. It was Blackstone that sold it to Pierre Castel in what was the largest real estate deal in 2016. Tenants to remain In these types of real estate deals, the property changes hands while the tenants are allowed to remain, just paying rent to a different account. Good tenants mean stable income for the owners. Hence, so far, all the properties bought by Pierre Castel have had well-known tenants and long-term contracts. Castel’s main line of business is also not real estate development, focusing on the wine and spirits sector. Original Story: Jornal Expresso - Ana Baptista Photo: Alberto Frias Translation: Richard Turner      
Cosec’s Former Headquarters Sold to a Portuguese Real Estate Developer €7.7 Million
10 December 2018 After moving to a shared building on Avenida da Liberdade, Cosec has now completed the sale of its former headquarters to a Portuguese real estate developer. Months after leaving its old headquarters, Cosec finally sold the asset. Located in the area of Campo Pequeno, the 16-story property recently sold for 7.7 million euros. The developer plans to convert the office building into housing. Contrary to recent trends in the Portuguese real estate market, with international investors at the front of most major acquisitions, the building was acquired by a Portuguese developer. ECP - Estoril Capital Partners intends to convert the building into housing, and the deed has already been signed, Worx, who is responsible for the sale, stated. Located at 58 Avenida da República, the building has 16 above-ground floors and a gross construction area of ​​3,658 square meters, not counting the two basement floors. The target of "considerable interest", according to Worx, Cosec’s former headquarters attracted the attention of several investors, both national and international, each with different objectives. However, the buyer is opting to invest in the housing sector, considering the boom in residential real estate. "It is important to state that we have concluded another sale to a Portuguese developer, a sign that, fortunately, there are still alert investors in Portugal who are capable of acting quickly in this type of operation," says Pedro Valente, the head of capital markets at Worx, in a statement. In an interview with the Jornal de Negócios, Maria Celeste Hagatong, the president of Cosec, said that the sale occurred at an opportune time in the market. The insurer posted a gain of 2,504,581 euros on the transaction. The company moved to a shared building on Avenida da Liberdade. Original Story: Economia Online - Rita Neto Translation: Richard Turner    
EMEL Park in Alcântara on Sale for Development into Condominium
6 December 2018 The last phase of the Alcântara Rio condominium was projected for land that EMEL adapted into a car park for 200,000 euros. A parcel of land in Alcântara, where the Municipal Mobility and Parking Company of Lisbon (EMEL) built a 200-spot car park, is on sale for 14 million euros. Inaugurated in June 2017, the park has an expiration date, as a housing development is planned for the site. The land measures more than five thousand square meters and currently belongs to Enerparcela, Empreendimentos Imobiliários, SA, a company belonging to the Millennium BCP group, whose real estate department is responsible for the sale. In response to questions from Público, EMEL stated that it pays 4,000 euros in rent per month, but that "this amount will only begin to be effectively paid after accounting for our investment" in the park, which was around 200,000 euros. The second phase of the Alcântara Rio condominium is expected to be built there. The building will include 74 flats and three shops and, according to the announcement that was published on the Internet in newspapers, is "in the final phase of licensing." The building will have seven, above-ground floors and two below ground for 154 parking spaces. Alcântara Rio is an old project of the architect Frederico Valsassina, who, since the 1990s, has worked on designs for the area which was once home to the CUF factory (the chimney still stands), and which was later converted into a Pão de Açúcar hypermarket and the Cinema Las Vegas. Situated between Calvário and Avenida de Ceuta, the condominium also occupied the space where a Pingo Doce operated, next to Rua da Cozinha Económica. Despite its history of controversy (the works were suspended in 2005 due to a request by the Public Prosecutor), the first and third phases of the condominium have already been built. The second will close the block between the Fontainhas, Fradesso da Silveira and João de Oliveira Miguens streets. The development currently has eight buildings, including housing, offices and commerce. "Demand for this land has been enormous in recent times," Ramiro Gomes, head of sales at BCP's real estate business division, told Público’s Real Estate Supplement. According to EMEL, there are currently 92 people paying for monthly parking, most of whom are merchants (51) and residents (34), who pay between 35 and 80 euros to be able to park at any time on the site. Another seven people, who are neither residents nor businessmen, also pay from 80 euros (daytime) to 100 euros (24 hours) a month. Also, according to data for the year to the end of November, the car park had an average daily occupation of 30%, which represents another 60 spots. "The new park, which is part of an area that has very limited options for parking, mainly serves the populations of the parishes of Alcântara and Estrela," reads an article published on the company's website in June of last year, at the inauguration, which was attended by Fernando Medina. This last phase of the Alcântara Rio condominium will join a group of other projects already underway in the parish, especially on its riverside. The CUF Tejo hospital, under construction a few hundred meters away on a plot of land sold by the Lisbon city council, is in an advanced phase of construction and should open next year. Another major development is also underway, involving the construction of two residential and office buildings, which will later extend to the whole area next to Avenida Brasília, including the Lx Factory’s current home. Original Story: Público - João Pedro Pincha Translation: Richard Turner