Caja Madrid’s Former HQ Is Up For Sale

5 November 2015 – Cinco Días

The former headquarters of the Caja Madrid is up for sale. La Fundación Montemadrid has engaged Irea to search for a buyer for the historical building, located a short distance from the Puerta del Sol in Madrid.

La Fundación Montemadrid, formerly known as ‘Fundación Obra Social y Monte de Piedad de Madrid’, plans to sell the whole property, excluding the premises where Monte de Piedad undertakes its activity, which will be made independent from the rest of the building. In total, the property has a surface area of 25,000 m2, which maybe used as a hotel, retail or office space.

Sources in the market consider that it is likely that the building will be converted into a “luxury five-star” hotel, which may also include some retail space.

If the building is converted into a hotel, then it would be highly coveted by international operators, at a time when Spain is under the spotlight thanks to the decision by Four Seasons to operate the hotel in the Canalejas Complex, and the purchase of the Ritz by Mandarin and Olayan. Meanwhile, in the Plaza Mayor, the Portuguese group Pestana is planning to open a five-star hotel in the Casa de la Carnicería.

Domestic and international investors, both hotel chains and investment funds have already expressed their interest in the property, which could represent the gateway into Madrid for franchises such as Hyatt, Kempinski, Hilton, W and Shangri-La. The future hotel would have around 200 rooms, as well as terrace space measuring 3,000 m2, one of which would be on the roof, with panoramic views of the city. The price of the property could exceed €100 million, and the buyer would also have to factor in the cost of the refurbishment.

No architectural protection

One of the features of the property is the lack of architectural protection, with the exception of the baroque doorway that overlooks the Plaza de las Descalzas. This makes the building a unique opportunity in the centre of the capital, according to market sources, vis-à-vis the Canalejas project, which is being developed by Villar Mir, whose construction has been unblocked this week by the courts, and Edificio España, acquired by the Chinese group Wanda, which had requested permission to dismantle the protected façade of that building brick by brick, to then rebuild it. That request was rejected by the Local Historical Heritage Commission of Madrid. Market sources believe that the operation could be closed by the end of this year or the beginning of 2016, and that the property, if it does end up being converted into a hotel, would open its doors in 2018, after the Four Seasons.

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake

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