6 August 2018 – El Confidencial
A new and powerful land operation is taking shape in the centre of the Spanish capital. The star is Dragados, one of the heavyweights in the construction sector in Spain. The subsidiary of ACS has been trying to sell several plots, which together span a buildable surface area of just over 80,000 m2, on Paseo de la Dirección in the Tetuán district in the north of Madrid and just 2 km from the Cuatro Torres, for almost a year. And this area has just received the green light from the Town Hall of Madrid, which approved a Partial Plan on Tuesday that will undoubtedly favour land transactions since it means the urban planning risk has disappeared.
According to the sources consulted, the plots have been on the market for a year, but the high price expectations of Dragados – which amount to around €180 million – have prevented the sale from being closed, until now. Large property developers, investment funds and family offices have all expressed their interest. The construction company is being advised by Colliers International, which declined to comment on the deal.
On the table is a real gem, given that the plots are all finalist, in other words, ready to be built on. Such assets are in very short supply inside the M-30. Specifically, the site comprises two plots for the construction of private housing and two other plots for the construction of social housing properties (VPPL) and mixed-use assets (offices and tertiary).
For the former, which have a buildability of around 40,000 m2, Dragados is asking for around €2,500/m2 (…), in other words, around €100 million, which would make it one of the largest land operations in the capital in recent months. “That price would mean selling the future homes at prices of around €5,000/m2, which is way above current market prices in the area”, say the same sources. House prices in the area amount to around €2,400/m2 – €3,000/m2, depending on the types of homes.
For the plots to be used for social housing and offices – which also have a buildability of approximately 40,000 0m2 – the vendor’s price expectations amount to around €80 million. Despite the boom in the capital, these figures exceed the prices that the potentially interested parties are willing to pay.
Ten years in the making
With the approval this Tuesday from the Town Hall of the new planning order for the area, it seems that finally, and after more than a decade, work is going to begin on this ambitious urban remodelling project. It will involve the construction of around 2,000 new homes, most of which will be protected in some way (VPPB and VPPL), including two rehousing buildings and several 25-storey towers. To put that into context, the Cuatro Torres have between 45 and 58 floors (…).
Historically, Paseo de la Dirección has been a downtrodden area in the north of Madrid with numerous substandard homes that would benefit greatly from the definitive launch of Madrid Nuevo Norte – formerly Operación Chamartín – just 2km away. What’s more, the site is very close to the capital’s financial district par excellence, Azca, as well as to Plaza Castilla, the hub for much of Madrid’s land transport network (…).
Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz & R. Ugalde)
Translation: Carmel Drake