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alternative Assets News: Spanish Real Estate Intelligence

Sevilla's Town Hall to Reclassify La Gavidia Police Station for Tertiary Use

18 July 2018 - Diario de Sevilla

The Urban Planning Department has sent the Ministry of the Environment the necessary documentation for the regional entity to prepare the mandatory report about the area surrounding La Gavidia. With this step, the process has been started to change the use of the former police station, which will become a tertiary use asset, as approved by the Town Hall.

The manager for Urban Planning, Ignacio Pozuelo, explained this morning that the change in La Gavidia’s classification will allow it to be used for a number of purposes, including for small and medium-sized businesses, offices, hotels, recreational use, cinemas, gym and public services.

The ownership and management of the venue are open to three formulae. They may both be public or private. The second option would involve the sale of the rationalist-style building. A third option would involve ceding only the management of the property to a private entity.

The environmental report is expected to be completed by the end of 2018. Once it has been approved by the Regional Government, the PGOU will have to be modified to reflect the new classification, a long and complex process that will coincide with the local elections in 2019 and the start of the new mandate.

The current General Plan for Urban Planning (PGOU) classified Las Gavidia police station as a Service of Public and Social Interest (SIPS). Zoido’s majority government began the steps to change that classification into a large retail space. The elections in 2015 and the loss of the mayoral office by the PP put a halt to the process. Espadas’s team is now looking to classify the property for tertiary use, which would allow for it to be used in any of the ways mentioned above.

Original story: Diario de Sevilla (by Diego J. Géniz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

 
BNP Paribas: Spain's Hall of Residence Market Will Grow by 4% in 2019

16 July 2018 - Eje Prime

(...). With 1,148 accommodation centres for university students located all over the country, split between halls of residences (963) and residential colleges (185), the domestic market comprised 93,500 beds at the end of 2017. Nevertheless, that supply “is small compared with current demand”, explains BNP Paribas Real Estate in a report to which Eje Prime has had access. For this reason, the international consultancy firm forecasts that this alternative market will grow by 4% in Spain in 2019.

In recent years, the sub-sector has recorded some major operations involving the sale of both assets and companies. The most important deal came at the end of 2017, when AXA Real Assets and CBRE Global Investment Partners invested almost €400 million in the purchase of the entire portfolio of Resa, the vehicle specialising in student halls previously owned by Lazora. Following the operation, the manager Greystar became the king of the halls in Spain with 37 assets under ownership (four of which were being developed). In total, more than 9,000 beds changed hands.

Resa’s sale is nothing more than a consequence of the current investor appetite, primarily from international funds, many of which specialise in this sector. In 2017 alone, fourteen student halls opened their doors, adding 2,149 new beds to the sector. Moreover, since this is a very fragmented market with many owners, we are seeing the purchase of large bundles of beds, which the new players arriving in Spain are using to initiate their expansion plans.

Such is the case of Corestate, an investment fund headquartered in Luxembourg, which purchased a former residence, containing 260 rooms and 302 beds, in Madrid in 2016 to renovate the building and give it its personal stamp. With support from Villar Mir, the company disbursed €40 million on that project. A year earlier, the Dutch company The Student Hotel paid the same amount for two halls of residence in Barcelona (Melon District Marina and Melon District Poblesec) containing 600 rooms in total.

Those operations led by international funds show the influence that foreign capital has and, above all, is going to have, in the student hall sector. A large part of this interest in the domestic market stems from Erasmus. Spain is the most sought-after country by university students, ahead of Germany, the United Kingdom and France. Two years ago, 45,813 young people arrived in the country, including Erasmus and international students on secondments, and all of them needed to find a bed for the year.

Geographical dispersion

Another one of the major attractions of the student hall market in Spain is its geographical dispersion. It is not only Madrid and Barcelona that are attractive: Málaga, Valencia, Sevilla, Salamanca and Granada are all cities with a large influx of students, many of them international, arriving every year.

Madrid is the city with the largest supply of rooms for students, with 21,159 beds in 198 centres at the end of 2017. That figure accounts for 23% of the total stock on the market in Spain (…). Cataluña was ranked in second place (…) with 170 centres and 14,177 beds, accounting for 14% of the stock. It was followed by Castilla y León (where Salamanca plays an important role) and Andalucía, with shares of 14% and 12%, respectively (…).

Activity is spreading to the north too. Just last week, the fund WP Carey paid €10 million to buy an office building in San Sebastián from Solvia, which it is going to convert into a hall of residence for students (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

 
Urbania to Open 2 Coworking Offices in Barcelona in September

16 July 2018 - Eje Prime 

Urbania is diversifying within the real estate market by investing in more sectors on the rise. After launching Syllabus, its brand specialising in halls of residences for students, just a few months ago, the group is now promoting coworking offices and shared working spaces across the country, according to a statement issued by the company.

Monday is the name that the group has chosen for this new venture, which will inaugurate its first two office centres in Barcelona in September. Both will have a surface area of 2,000 m2, with capacity for 200 people and they will be located in La Barceloneta and on Avenida Tibidabo in the Catalan capital.

In addition, Urbania has explained that it is considering opening two new premises in Barcelona before the end of the year. This first phase will be the kick off to an “ambitious” national expansion plan, although the company declined to share further details in this regard.

The coworking in La Barceloneta will be located opposite the sea and beach of the same name, whilst the office on Avenida Tibidabo, at the opposite end of the city, in the foothills of the mountains, will have a gym, squash courts and a swimming pool. Monday has already started to market its first two spaces and expects to have 50% of the two centres reserved within the next few weeks.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake