US Fund HMC Buys Old Office Building In Madrid From BBVA

13 March 2017 – El Mundo

The US investment fund HMC has acquired one of the real estate jewels that was up for sale in Madrid and which, according to El Mundo, was far from lacking in suitors. The company has purchased the building located on Calles Clara del Rey 26 and Corazón de María 17 from BBVA.

The property has a buildable surface area of 22,507 m2 and is currently a disused office. However, the days of tertiary activity there are numbered given that the new owner is going to develop an attractive residential project in one of the areas in the capital where no new build homes have come onto the market for years.

The planned investment for the Clara del Rey 26 project amounts to €60 million and the project will comprise one- to four-bedroom homes with common areas including a swimming pool, gym, children’s playground, multi-use rooms, amongst others. The marketing process will begin in a few weeks, although given the high demand that has already been received, a list of interested parties has been opened online at: www.claradelrey26.com.

The operation has been advised by the law firm Eversheds Nicea on the buy side and the sales process has been managed by the real estate consultancy firm JLL.

The operation forms part of HMC’s investment strategy in Spain, focusing on residential projects, in collaboration with its local partner Momentum Reim. Clara del Rey 26 is the latest in a group of projects that both companies are already developing in Madrid and Alcobendas: Aravaca Garden, Encinar Garden and Juncal Garden. In Málaga capital, they are also working on Teatinos Sky Garden and El Limonar.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hines Acquires c/Preciados 13 & c/Maestro Victoria 5 In Madrid

13 March 2017 – Mis Oficinas

The Baraka Group, the former owner, will manage and market the property until the renovation project is completed.

Aguirre Newman has advised Hines on the purchase of the adjoining buildings on Calles Preciados 13 and Maestro Victoria 5 in Madrid, from the Baraka Group. The future plans for the property involve the development of a 5,000 m2 flagship store, which will be managed and marketed by the Baraka Group until it is handed over (most likely in 2018).

It is the second operation between Hines and the Baraka Group that Aguirre Newman has advised and it may be considered to be the most ambitious and representative development on Calle Preciados, given that it will house a large store with a surface area of more than 5,000 m2 spread over several floors.

In fact, according to Aguirre Newman, this operation will be one of the most representative of the year on the high street in terms of volume and representativity, given that, although investor appetite to invest in retail premises is high, few opportunities arise to acquire assets with similar characteristics.

Calle Preciados is still the most expensive street in Spain, although prices there are still well below those charged in the prime areas of London, Paris and Milan.

For Aguirre Newman, the imminent developments in Canalejas and Edificio España have already become a reality and are changing the central area of Madrid. The strong tourism figures, as well as the future retail and hotel projects that are going to be developed in the area, are attracting international brands and investment funds, seduced by what is expected to be the great transformation of the central area of Madrid, which began with the commercial development of Gran Vía and is now moving along the Canalejas-Sol-Plaza España axis.

Retail groups’ interest in positioning themselves in the centre of the city also extends to adjacent streets such as Montera and Arenal, according to the real estate consultancy Aguirre Newman.

Original story: Mis Oficinas 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Deloitte: Spain’s Office Sector Gets A Makeover

3 March 2017 – Expansión

The office markets in Madrid and Barcelona are getting ready to unveil their new image. They are preparing themselves to attract tenants that want not only good locations, but also new, high-quality products that meet the demands of today’s professionals.

At the end of 2016, the stock of offices in Madrid had a combined surface area of 12.9 million m2, whilst in Barcelona, the stock amounted to 5.9 million m2. Although still below the peaks seen before the crisis, the volume of new supply registered in Madrid and Barcelona grew by 56% during 2016 and the market is expected to recover over the next few years.

In this way, the office market will see more than 420,000 m2 of new office space opening up in these two cities between now and 2018, in addition to the 155,000 m2 of space that was added in 2016, thanks to new builds and renovations, according to a report compiled by Deloitte.

Projects underway

Specifically, this year, 180,000 m2 of new office space is expected to become available in Madrid, almost twice as much as last year. For example, Infinorsa, the main owner of Torre Europa, launched a complete overhaul of the building last year, following KPMG’s departure, which, until it moved to Torre de Cristal in March 2016, was the property’s main tenant.

The building – constructed in 1985 – is joining the league of smart skyscrapers, which are tailored to suit the needs of clients in the 21st century.

And just few metres away, on Paseo de la Castellana 77, the real estate group GMP is working on the complete renovation of Torre Ederra, with the renewal of its facilities and the transformation of all 18 of its floors.

What’s more, Madrid is not only renewing its existing supply, it is also welcoming new developments. One of the projects under construction is the property located on c/Estébanez Calderon, which is owned by Colonial. The building, which will have a surface area of just over 10,000 m2, is due be completed in the second half of 2017.

Colonial has also launched another construction project in the business district of Madrid, Specifically, the property located on Príncipe de Vergara will have a surface area of 11,300 m2 and 109 parking spaces.

Also in the capital, the family office Mazabi is restoring a building. The property located on Calle Velázquez 123 has a surface area of 2,346 m2 and benefits from a prime location in the heart of the Salamanca neighbourhood. Meanwhile, Mapfre is renovating a property on Plaza de la Independencia. The building, acquired in July 2015 from the Mutualidad Notarial for €82 million, has a total surface area of 12,000 m2, of which 4,000 m2 corresponds to three underground parking floors with more than 100 parking spaces.

In the same way, Barcelona is also reactivating its new office supply in response to the lack of available space.

According to Deloitte’s report, in addition to the six construction and renovation projects that were launched in 2016, the Catalan Capital expects to see two new projects in 2017, covering a surface area of 37,000 m2 and eight new projects in 2018, covering a surface area of 93,000 m2.

Amongst the new developments underway, the Castellví Group has initiated the construction of a new business complex on the corner of Calles Tánger and Badajoz in the 22@ district. (…).

Also in Barcelona, Colonial has launched a project next to Plaza de las Glòries and adjacent to Avenida Diagonal. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Bankia Buys 10,000m2 Office Building In Madrid From Activum

3 March 2017 – El Confidencial

Bankia outgrew its Torre Kio offices in Madrid several years ago. In fact, it was more than a decade ago when the entity (still operating under the guise of Caja Madrid) began to consider moving offices. To that end, it acquired the imposing skyscraper from Repsol that Norman Foster had designed on the site of Real Madrid’s former Ciudad Deportiva.

But that operation ended up being disastrous for the bank, which paid €800 million to acquire the property and ended up selling it for half that sum. Nevertheless, Bankia’s expanding space requirements are a reality once again, and under the mandate of José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, the entity is embarking on a cautious but gradual policy of acquiring assets for corporate use.

In this vein, the entity acquired an office building from Activum in December. The property is located in the Julián Camarillo district of Madrid, a secondary area that is currently enjoying a revival, thanks to the boost being given by property companies such as Torre Rioja.

The building in question is located at number 32 on Calle Santa Leonor, it has a surface area of 10,134 m2, spread over two basement floors, with more than a hundred parking spaces, one ground floor, four upper floors and one top floor. Bankia has acquired this building to house all of the workers from its Multi-channel Department, which until last year occupied a rental property, specifically, the Torre Foster, which Amancio Ortega has just purchased. The entity has confirmed the acquisition of this building, but declined to reveal the amount paid, which according to market sources must have amounted to between €2,000/m2 and €2,500/m2, taking the final figure for the transaction to around €20 million.

This is the second major purchase of an office building that Bankia has signed in recent months, after it closed the acquisition of the property that houses its IT services in Las Rozas, for €130 million, from the Swedish group SEKin December 2015. Five years earlier, SEK had bought the building from Caja Madrid for €108 million, with the commitment from the entity to remain as the tenant (‘sale & leaseback’).

With these two operations, the entity has managed to balance out some of its past mistakes, given that, on the one hand, it has exchanged an expensive rent in one of the most iconic buildings in Madrid for a purchase that it has managed to make at a reasonable price and, on the other hand, it is readjusting the numbers for a sale that it completed during one of the toughest periods of the financial crisis.

Through this sale, Activum has completed its second divestment in Spain, following the sale of an office building on Calle Manuel de Falla to the Socimi Axiare. (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Amazon Negotiates Rental Of 13,000 m2 Office Space In Barcelona

27 February 2017 – Expansión

The distribution giant Amazon is preparing to make its debut in the 22@ technological district of Barcelona. The company is negotiating the rental of 13,000 m2 of office space in the future Luxa building, which is being promoted by the Castellví group. If the agreement is signed, it will represent the latest chapter in the company’s recent offensive to expand its presence in Cataluña.

Sources close to the negotiations indicate that the agreement between the two parties may be signed within the next three weeks. Meanwhile, spokespeople for Amazon and Castellví have declined to comment on the information.

The Luxa building is going to be split into two units: the main section will have a surface area of 9,920 m2, whilst the second building will add another 6,494 m2 of space. Between the two, there will be almost 17,000 m2 of office space, which means that Amazon will occupy 75% of the total.

The likely arrival of Amazon in 22@, which was revealed by the website Ejeprime, confirms the boom times that the area is enjoying. Another recent high-profile operation involved the technology company Schibsted, which last week announced its plans to move into an office building promoted by the real estate firm Colonial.

In recent months, Amazon has made a strong commitment to Cataluña. The company led by Jeff Bezos will open a 60,000 m2 logistics centre in El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona) in the autumn, following a €200 million investment. And a few months ago, the giant inaugurated another logistics centre, measuring 28,000 m2, in Castellbisbal (Barcelona). Meanwhile, at the beginning of last year, the firm opened a collection point in el Eixample.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Colonial To Build 24,500 m2 Office Skyscraper In 22@

16 February 2017 – La Vanguardia

Colonial has started construction of the largest turnkey office building in the Catalan capital in recent years in the 22@ district of Barcelona. The office will have a surface area of 24,500 m2, distributed over 17 completely open-plan floors – there will not be any pillars – measuring around 1,800 m2 each. The real estate company will invest €77 million in the project and construction is expected to be completed by the middle of 2018.

At a press conference on Monday, Colonial’s Director of Business, Alberto Alcober, explained that this building will seek to offer the highest qualities in terms of spatial and environmental design – it will become the first office building in the city of Barcelona to receive the LEED Platinum certificate – whereby allowing it to differentiate itself from the existing supply of office buildings in the city.

The property is located on Calle Ciutat de Granada, 150, next to Plaza de Glòries; it will have a 100m long façade covered with ceramic tubes in green and natural tones, and the façade that overlooks the interior of the block will be covered with vegetation to help it blend in with a municipal park that is due to be built there.

The property, whose design is being led by the studio Batlle i Roig Arquitectura, will also have garden terraces. It is being marketed exclusively by Cushman & Wakefield, which has already secured a pre-lease contract with the Norwegian group Schibsted to occupy 10,200 m2 – 9,400 m2 of office space and 800 m2 of terrace – spread over six floors, to house between 700 and 800 employees.

Schibsted will hereby bring together the workforce that currently occupies three buildings in the Barcelona area – two in the capital and one in Sant Cugat de Vallès – and increasing its surface area by 30%. To this end, it has signed the largest pre-lease agreement in the city in the last 10 years for a building under construction. (…).

Besides Schibsted, which owns websites such as Infojobs, Vibbo, Fotocasa, Habitaclia, Milanuncios and Coches.net, the future office building is receiving lots of interest from other potential tenants, according to its promoters.

This project forms part of the investment plan announced by Colonial in 2016. The real estate group acquired it from the fund Benson Elliot for €45 million and will spend €32 million on the construction work.

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake

Värde Acquires 40% Of La Finca Global Assets For €103M

15 February 2017 – El Economista

The US fund Värde is making progress with its plans to consolidate its position within the Spanish real estate sector. Last year, it launched Dospuntos, with the aim of becoming one of the main residential property developers in the country, and now it has acquired a stake in the real estate company Procisa (recently converted into Grupo LaFinca), a move that positions it as a key player in the office market in Madrid.

According to industry sources, the fund has paid €103 million for a 40% stake in LaFinca Global Assets, the firm that owns the business-related properties of the real estate company, which is in turn controlled by the García Cereceda family.

Specifically, as a result of this operation, which was advised by Alantra, Värde has become the owner of a portfolio containing 230,000 m2 of rental space – with an occupancy rate of more than 90% – as well as 6,200 parking spaces in Madrid. The jewel in the crown of this portfolio is the La Finca Business Park in Pozuelo de Alarcón, where the real estate company owns the luxury urbanisation of the same name and where many important footballers and multi-millionaires live. The group’s most iconic assets include the Cardenal Marcelo Spinola office complex and the Martínez Villergas Business Park.

LaFinca Global Asset’s new phase started with a €155 million loan from a handful of financial entities, including Allianz Real Estate as the main lender. According to the firm, this long-term loan forms part of a financing arrangement worth €395 million, which will be used to renovate and improve its office assets, as well as to acquire new properties.

“Having a partner like Allianz Real Estate, with its long-term vision and financial stability, supports our company’s strategy”, said Susana García Cerceda, President of Grupo LaFinca.

For Allianz RE, which opened an office in Madrid last year, this represents its third real estate debt operation in Spain.

Original story: El Economista (by Javier Mesones and Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Allianz Real Estate Enters Spanish Office Market With €155m Loan

14 February 2017 – IPE Real Estate

Allianz Real Estate has entered Spain’s office market by issuing a €155m loan.

The German institution took part in a €395m financing for Spanish property company La Finca.

The loan is the third real estate debt transaction by Allianz Real Estate in Spain and its first office loan in the Spanish market.

Allianz opened its office in Spain late last year.

Its head of Iberia, Miguel Torres, said: “Over more than 40 years, Grupo La Finca has demonstrated its capacity to develop high-quality offices, endowed with the conditions demanded by the companies of today, so we are fully confident in the value of our investment, and we hope to expand our relationship with them in the long term.”

La Finca owns around 230,000 sqm of assets, with an average occupancy rate of 90% leased to a range of tenants.

The firm will focus on managing and growing its existing portfolio whilst refinancing older facilities.

Original story: IPE Real Estate

Edited by: Carmel Drake

Hispania Puts 5 Offices In Barcelona Up For Sale For €120M

14 February 2017 – Expansión

The Socimi wants to sell of the office buildings that it has in Barcelona to focus on hotels.

Divest to keep growing. That is the objective that the Socimi Hispania Activos Inmobiliarios has set itself for the year ahead.

The road map will be presented at the real estate company’s next general shareholders’ meeting, scheduled to take place in April. It is expected that the Socimi, in which the investor George Soros holds a stake, will ask its shareholders to extend this vehicle’s investment period, to focus on the purchase of hotels, and whereby move away from its initial strategy, which covered all kinds of assets for rent.

The Socimi, created and managed by the firm Azora, was designed to have an investment period of three years, which is due to come to an end this year. Its directors will ask its shareholders – including Soros, with his 16.7% stake; BlackRock (3.3%); and John Paulson (2.8%) – to extend the life of this vehicle, which now specialises in hotels.

To this end, the Socimi, which owns 25 office buildings, with a combined surface area of more than 153,000 m2, has decided to explore the sale of its office portfolio in Barcelona.

Hispania owns five buildings in Barcelona with a leasable surface area of around 39,000 m2 and with an average occupancy rate of 93% as at 30 September 2016. The assets include Edificio Cristal, with a GLA of 11,088m2, leased to ACS and Xerox, as well as the Les Gloriès complex, which comprises three buildings, two of which are fully occupied and one, which has an occupancy rate of more than 90%.

Hispania paid €80.3 million for these properties, although their book value as at 30 September 2016 amounted to more than €91 million, following investments made by the company.

Four months later, the Socimi has requested a new valuation of this batch and its aim is to generate around €120 million from the sale, say sources in the sector.

In addition to these properties in Barcelona, the Socimi owns another 20 properties: 19 in Madrid and one in Málaga. Hispania plans to sell the first batch within the next few months and hold onto the rest for the duration of 2017.

Block sale

Hispania could receive proceeds of around €500 million from the sale of its office portfolio. Nevertheless, a block sale would considerably reduce the number of potential buyers, due to the heterogeneity of the portfolio, which includes some properties with an occupancy rate of less than 50%, as well as one building that is not located in either of the two major Spanish markets (Madrid and Barcelona), which would deter some of the more institutional investment funds. (…).

The company has said that it will focus its next investments on hotel assets. Currently, Hispania owns 37 establishments with 10,407 rooms, making it the largest non-operator hotel owner in Spain. The company’s aim is to continue investing in establishments on the coast to reposition them. One of its most recent operations forms part of this strategy: the purchase of four hotels in the Canary Islands for €92 million. (…).

After debuting on the stock market in May 2016, with share capital of €550 million and no assets on its balance sheet, this real estate company – which adopted the Socimi structure in May 2016 – has managed to create a portfolio worth €1,684 million, with a capitalisation of €1,250 million.

During the first nine months of 2016, Hispania generated revenues of €100 million and profits of €136.7 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

GreenOak Acquires 4 Office Buildings In Madrid’s Avalon Business Park

24 August 2015 – Mis Oficinas

The US fund GreenOak has purchased four office buildings from Banco Santander. The offices, which are located on Calle Santa Leonor in the Avalon Business Park (Madrid), have a combined surface area of 21,170 m2 and 353 parking spaces. In May, Meridia Capital purchased the other five buildings that make up the park (spanning 25,785 m2 and with 423 parking spaces) from the Naropa family office.

The main tenants of these offices include Arcelor, Konecta and Tatacs. All three lease more than 1,000 m2 of office space each.

GreenOak, founded in 2010, has a portfolio of assets under management worth $5,400 million.

Original story: Mis Oficinas

Translation: Carmel Drake