Barcelona’s Vía Portaferrissa Looks To Reposition Itself As Prime Real Estate

27 November 2017 – Eje Prime

Portaferrissa is claiming its place amongst the prime shopping streets of Barcelona once again. The road has a privileged location, between Portal de l’Àngel and Las Ramblas, receives local and tourist traffic and has several available retail spaces, but its prices are not competitive and only a handful of operations have been closed in recent times. Now, two historical properties are making a move to put Portaferrissa back on the prime map.

One of them is at number 25, so-called Casa Gralla, which until just a few months ago was occupied by Pepe Jeans. The property is owned by the Casacuberta family, which also controls the building that houses the Decathlon store on Calle Canuda, as part of a portfolio containing more than twenty assets.

During the 1990s, the ground floor premises of number 25 housed shopping arcades, Gralla Hall, but that closed at the beginning of the 2000s, when the model showed its first signs of weakness.

Pepe Jeans then took over the lease of the premises and sub-leased part of the space to Quiksilver, which remained for years. Nevertheless, that company did not invest in creating a retail store, other than eliminating the separation of the former arcade.

The Casacuberta family has now begun to renovate the property to merge the two spaces, which will span 1,900 m2 after the renovation. The most recent significant negotiations (held with a view to finding a tenant) were with Adidas, with which a pre-agreement was reached, although the operation did not end up going ahead.

Now, the property is facing its third year on the market, although its prices, which are well above market rates, may still be a barrier.

Another one of the premises on the market on Portaferrissa is Palau Castanyer, which currently houses the Art Montfalcó souvenir shop. That property was sold to KKH Capital group in November for €24 million.

Falling prices 

Portaferrissa begins at La Rambla dels Estudis and ends at La Plaça de la Cucurulla, just stone’s throw from the very busy Portal de l’Àngel. Prices on the street reached their peaks before the crisis, with an average of €1,808/m2 per year in 2005, although the prices of stores measuring less than 100 m2 ended up exceeding €2,500/m2.

However, since then, prices have plummeted, by around 30%, according to sources in the sector. “In 2007, River Island rented the store at number 13 for €970,000, and a few years later, it was leased for €600,000”, say the same sources.

According to the recent report Main Streets Across the World, compiled by the consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield, the average rental price per square metre per year on Portaferrissa amounted to €1,980 in 2016, in line with the previous year.

Original story: Eje Prime (by I. P. Gestal)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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