French Construction Giant Bouygues Returns To Spain

10 July 2017 – Cinco Días

Bouygues is returning to Spain with its real estate business after years during which the company has stayed away from this activity due to the property crisis. The French construction giant has already disembarked with a team for its property developer subsidiary focused on both Spain and Portugal. And it has already been commissioned to build an office building in Madrid, where it is due to start work at the beginning of 2018.

The French company has decided to look for opportunities in Spain in light of the recovery in the property sector and the improvement in the economy. “We have waited for the macroeconomic indicators to improve and we are looking again at the development of tertiary assets, such as offices and hotels”, revealed Ana Vidal, Director General at Bouygues Inmobiliaria.

The director previously led the company’s real estate project in Spain – where it has been present since 1989 – during the previous boom at the beginning of the century, but after the crisis, Bouygues hauled in the sails and Vidal moved to Paris. She returned to Madrid at the end of 2016 to identify opportunities. “We are going to work in three main businesses: the promotion of offices, residences for students and elderly people, and hotels”, said the Director General.

The whole time, the company has held onto three plots of land that it owns, two in Madrid and one in the 22@ district in Barcelona.

The first project, which is now in its design phase, is being developed in the Julián Camarillo area of Madrid, an industrial district that is home to offices and residential properties in the east of the capital, outside of the M-30. On this plot, Bouygues Inmobiliaria plans to build an 18,000 m2 office building.

Luis Vidal + Architects has been engaged to design the property. The Spanish firm is known for the design of Terminal 2 at Heathrow airport, amongst others major works. It also just led a renovation project for the Socimi GMP of Saint-Gobain’s former headquarters, now known as Castellana 77. Moreover, the firm has collaborated with the architect Renzo Piano in the recently inaugurated Centro Botín in Santander.

The company plans to invest €50 million on the construction of the building from 2018 onwards, over a period of approximately two years.

The other plot of land in Madrid – which it owns jointly with Vía Célere (owned by Värde Partners) is also located in Julián Camarillo. “We think that it is a good office area as an alternative to the centre, where buildings of the highest quality are being constructed. It is a neighbourhood with a lot of potential, like the 22@ district in Barcelona, although it lacks planning”, says Vidal. Finally, it is precisely in that new district of the Catalan capital where Bouygues plans to construct a tertiary use building in the future.

Bouygues Inmobiliaria is planning an annual investment of between €30 million and €50 million in Spain over the next few years, specialising in turn-key buildings. For the time being, the first project being managed by the team of professionals that has recently started work in Madrid does not have a tenant, but Vidal is convinced that it is not a problem, because the firm already has sufficient own funds to start work.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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