20 September 2016 – Expansión
Edificio España will not contain any homes, but it will house a luxury hotel and shopping centre. The Murcian group Baraka, owned by the businessman Trinitario Casanova, is pushing ahead with its new project in Madrid.
In July, Baraka reached an agreement with the Chinese group Wanda to buy Edificio España. The company, controlled by the magnate Wang Jianlin, will sell the Madrilenian skyscraper for a similar price to which it bought it – around €270 million, compared with the €265 million that it paid – two years after acquiring it from Banco Santander, after it ran into problems with the Town Hall of Madrid regarding the renovation of the building.
The new owner, which plans to complete the purchase of the property on 15 October, has decided to eliminate the 300 homes that were included in the original plans and construct a 22-storey hotel, as well as a shopping area, which will occupy the first three floors of the 117m tall building, which has a surface area of 76,000 sqm, according to El Mundo.
In fact, Baraka is already negotiating with several international hotel chains, including Hyatt, Starwood and Meliá, for the rental contract of the future hotel space. The new operator will replace Wanda Hotels & Resorts, the chain that Jianlin was going to open in the middle of 2019, his first property in Spain in the iconic Madrilenian building.
The Town Hall
Whilst Baraka negotiates with the hotel operators to lease more than 67,000 sqm of space, it has also made contact with the Town Hall of Madrid, filing an urban planning consultation regarding the construction work that it may undertake at the property.
The new owner must maintain the façade of the building in tact, something that went against Wanda’s plans, which sought to dismantle the façade of Edificio España “brick by brick” and subsequently reconstruct it using more modern materials.
The inability to develop his plans led Wanda to instruct the property consultancy JLL to sell the building. In the end, the Chinese group opted for the bid submitted by Baraka, and the operation will be completed next month.
Other funds were interested in acquiring this property, which used to belong to Metrovacesa before Santander, including the US fund Hines, the housing manager Domo, the real estate fund of Axa and the Philippine group Emperador, the owner of another skyscraper in Madrid, Torrespacio, located in the Cuatro Torres complex.
Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake