JD Sports to Open Spanish Flagship Store in Thor Equities’ Puerta del Sol Property

27 November 2017 – Eje Prime

JD Sports is going to open its Spanish flagship store between Puerta del Sol and Calle Preciados. The British sports equipment retailer has reached an agreement with the US fund Thor Equities to lease the building at number 11 on the Madrilenian square, which has a surface area of 1,129 m2. Two years ago, Thor acquired the property from El Corte Inglés for €65 million.

The formal agreement is expected to be signed within the next few weeks so that JD Sports can move into the new store as soon as possible, according to El Confidencial. This operation represents an accolade for Puerta del Sol,  the kilometre zero of Spain’s streets, which has aspirations to become the retail hub of the domestic market. In recent times, the square has undergone some radical changes with the arrival of powerful retail franchises; they are investing in an area that is becoming more expensive by the day.

The British group will occupy its new space under a long-term lease contract, after beating off several important rivals in the negotiation phases, including the multinational sports equipment firm Nike.

Until 2015, the building housed the bookshop of El Corte Inglés. Spread over three floors, it is one of the most sought-after buildings in Puerta del Sol due to its location.

With this operation, Thor will see its asset value rise ahead of a future sale, such as the deal it is already negotiating for number 9 in the same square, where it hopes to build a large shopping centre. In recent years, the commercial value of the centre of Madrid has risen, as shown by the arrival of Primark in Gran Vía and the conversion of the former El Corte Inglés toyshop on Calle Preciados into a Pull&Bear store.

Rents for premises in the area have increased since 2015, now amounting to €300/m2/month in the central core, making it one of the most expensive places to lease a store in Madrid.

Moreover, Thor Equities is the owner of number 5 Puerta del Sol, for which it paid almost €50 million in February, as EjePrime revealed. The New York-based fund owns a portfolio of assets worth more than €9,000 million, spanning more than 20 million m2, in the United States (it owns several assets on New York’s Fifth Avenue), as well as in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe, in France and the United Kingdom.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

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