Castellana Norte Wants To Become The New “City” Post-Brexit

20 October 2016 – Expansión

BBVA and the San José group are refusing to throw in the towel on their plans to construct the Castellana Norte urban development (previously known as Operación Chamartín). To this end, the heads of the company Distrito Castellana Norte have engaged the real estate consultancy firm Colliers to perform a study, which will delve into the need for Madrid to have a new supply of offices and high quality residential properties.

“Madrid is a very attractive business centre, with good infrastructure and security, but there is clearly a lack of high quality products on the market at the moment, because the market has grown in a heterogeneous way and the stock of available offices is extremely poor compared to the centres of other European cities”, explained Antonio Pan de Soraluce, the Director General at Colliers International España.

Sources at the consultancy firm highlight the opportunity that exists to turn Madrid into a international destination of choice and to become the new “City” in Europe. “Projects such as Castellana Norte are very attractive because companies are becoming increasingly demanding about where they locate their offices. We have an opportunity not only because of Brexit, but also because we are a very attractive location for companies from Latin America looking to open offices in Europe”, said Pan de Soraluce”.

20% of the total surface area (more than 3 million m2) in Distrito Castellana Norte will be allocated to offices, homes and businesses, whilst the remainder will be used for infrastructure and communal space.

International comparisons

The project has very low buildability ratios when compared with other similar urban planning projects around the world. “We have studied 200 projects, of which 14 are similar, given that they also involve the regeneration of obsolete railway and port infrastructures, and we have identified that Castellana Norte has the third lowest buildability coefficient of them all”.

Projects assessed included La Défense in París, Canary Wharf in London and Postdamper Pl. in Berlín. All of those projects received institutional support and some even benefitted from public financing. That is something that is not happening with the Town Hall of Madrid, against whom the property developer company has filed an appeal for cancelling the project that was planned initially. The Community of Madrid and the Ministry of Development have supported DCN’s appeal, given that they own most of the land where the project was due to be constructed.

To date, the company owned by BBVA and San José has invested more than €120 million on the Castellana Norte development.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

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