ABC Serrano Completes 2 Year Refurbishment

21 July 2016 – Expansión

After almost two years under refurbishment, the ABC Serrano shopping centre in Madrid, the former headquarters of the ABC newspaper and a property with more than one hundred years under its belt, is ready to secure new brands, attract younger customers and compete with the fashion houses and restaurants along Madrid’s golden mile.

The shopping centre, which has a retail surface area of 14,000 sqm and 255 underground parking spaces, spread over four floors, is accessible from both Paseo de la Castellana and Calle Serrano.

The co-Presidents of IBA Capital Partners, Thierry Julienne and Jesús Valderrama, explained in an interview with Expansión that, since the architect Mariano Bayón was commissioned in the 1990s to completely renovate the building and convert it into a shopping centre, ABC Serrano has not undergone any remodelling. “We have brought a sleeping beauty to life. It is another step in the regeneration of the city centre”, said Julienne.

The construction work, which began in Q4 2014 and which will be completed in September, had a budget of €15 million and has been complex. Firstly, because the building is a listed property for the purposes of cultural interest and, also, because the remodelling process has been undertaken in the presence of tenants and shoppers. “We have maintained an open dialogue with the Town Hall, which has guided us a lot”, explained Julienne.

The construction work at ABC Serrano, which has been owned by CBRE Global Investment Partners since February 2016 and in which IBA Capital participates as a shareholder and the manager of the asset, has focused on improving access between the floors and redistributing the retail space.

In this way, the flights of stairs have now been unified into a single core. In addition, the dome of the building, which was previously covered over, has been turned into a huge skylight allowing natural light to enter the building.

The construction work, which has been led by the architecture studio L35, will allow the shopping centre to secure new brands, attract customers on the weekend and improve the profitability of the asset. “We reject offers from tenants that do not fit with the centre’s image”, explained Julienne.

The co-Presidents of IBA indicated that the shopping centre, which has an occupancy rate of 70%, has signed new lease contracts with Habitat, which will open its new flagship store in a 900 sqm unit; as well as with a hand and footcare specialist D-Uñas, and Zooo-Huawei, the official technical service company of Huawei and Sony. In addition, tenants such as Neck&Neck, El Armario Francés, Sebago, Luis&Tachi, Lujans, Viena Capellanes and Calzedonia, amongst others, have renewed their contracts. “This is a trophy asset, both in terms of the location and because it is an iconic building with a new image”, said Valderrama.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake