4 October 2016 – El Confidencial
The countdown to the launch of Trinitario Casanova’s project in Edificio España has begun. The businessman, who has reached an agreement with the Wanda Group to acquire the property, has been given the green light by the Town Hall of Madrid for his plans to convert the skyscraper into a Las Vegas style hotel.
Last Friday, the department of town planning, led by José Manuel Calvo, approved the request submitted by the Baraka Group, the Levantine businessman’s holding company. Its request involves turning the majority of the skyscraper into a large hotel, whilst retaining the protected elements.
With this approval, Casanova now has all of the pieces in place to seal his second major agreement of the year: a 30-year contract with Hard Rock, the hotel empire owned by the Seminole Indians, who have presented Baraka with a firm offer to take over the operation of the Madrilenian skyscraper.
Sources at the Spanish company have acknowledged that conversations are at a very advanced stage, in a process organised by JLL, but that the final rubber stamp still needs to be given. That milestone that will come once the legal representatives of both parties have been completed their corresponding reviews.
The Hard Rock project for Edificio España involves opening a five-star hotel containing almost 600 rooms. The property will be equipped with restaurant and entertainment offerings and will also contain large suites and allow for the use of the roof terrace.
In addition, the approximately 150 parking spaces that the skyscraper already has in its second basement are sufficient for the North American group’s plans. The future hotel will occupy 22 floors of the property, spanning around 67,400 sqm, given that Baraka has reserved the first three floors, covering almost 15,000 sqm, for a large shopping arcade and is, currently, holding conversations with several potential operators.
Hard Rock Hotel’s commitment to Spain
Hard Rock has been looking for a site on which to open a major hotel establishment in Madrid for years and the possibility of doing so on Gran Vía is an opportunity that it does not want to miss, given that this thoroughfare offer all of the leisure, history, shopping and cultural offerings that are demanded by the profile of international tourist that the chain attracts.
The arrival of Edificio España onto the market also comes at a particularly sensitive time for the North American company, which, after several years negotiating with Enrique Bañuelos over the construction of a resort in the BCN World project, has now been told that the Catalan Government has recalculated all of its numbers for the complex and so its future is up in the air.
In Spain, Hard Rock Hotel also holds a concession agreement with Palladium, the group owned by the Matutes family, for its properties on the Balearic and Canary Islands, where the group…owns the Hard Rock Ibiza and Hard Rock Tenerife.
Having received the favourable report from the Town Hall of Madrid, Trinitario Casanova now expects to complete the definitive purchase of Edificio España from the Wanda Group by the middle of the month, and he will then be able to begin the renovation of the property, which is expected to take almost two years.
With this calendar on the table, the future Hard Rock Madrid may open its doors at the end of 2018, which is when the Four Seasons hotel, currently being constructed in the Canalejas Complex, is also due to open. Canalejas is another of the most awaited and controversial developments in the capital, although it should receive its final blessing from Manuela Carmena’s team within the next few days.
Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)
Translation: Carmel Drake