Merlin Invests €55M to Reposition its Assets in Azca (Madrid)

24 May 2018 – Expansión

Merlin has launched an ambitious renovation plan for two of its buildings located in the heart of Madrid’s financial district, the Azca complex, one of the capital’s most important commercial and business areas.

Specifically, the Socimi led by Ismael Clemente is going to invest €55 million to refurbish the building located at number 83 and 85 Paseo de la Castellana and another property located in Plaza Ruiz Picasso. The company plans to start the renovation work in 2020.

In the property located at numbers 83 and 85 Paseo de la Castellana, the company is planning a complete renovation of the façade and entrance lobby, which will have a triple height ceiling. Similarly, the refurbishment of the building will include the common areas and other installations.

This building, the current headquarters of Sacyr, has a surface area of 15,254 m2 spread over the ground floor, 11 above ground floors and two underground floors. The aim of the Socimi is to strengthen the space dedicated to retail.

Comprehensive renovation

The Socimi will invest €25 million in that renovation project, which will require almost the entire building to be vacated. “It is one of the best buildings in Madrid and we hope that it will be the doorway to the future reconfigured Azca that we are working on”, said Ismael Clemente, CEO of Merlin, speaking a few days ago at the General Shareholders’ Meeting. In addition, Merlin will invest €30 million to reposition the property in Plaza Ruiz Picasso and to create a building with “the most extensive and best-equipped floor space in all of Azca”.

That asset, which has a surface area of 31,576 m2, will have dual access, from Calle Trías Bertrán and Plaza Ruíz Picasso, and will contain various retail spaces. “This building is almost invisible at the moment but that situation will change after the renovation. The location is crying out for it”, said Clemente.

The director explained that the property has an “exceptional” parking provision for an office building, given that, initially, it was conceived as a shopping centre. Merlin is working with the Spanish architecture studio Fenwick Iribarren to renovate this building (…)

These two buildings owned by Merlin live alongside Torre Titania, the skyscraper owner by El Corte Inglés (…). Meanwhile, Castellana 81 and Torre Ederra, located at number 77 Paseo de la Castellana, are owned by the Socimi GMP; Torre Europe is controlled by Infinorsa; whilst Torre Picasso belongs to Pontegadea, the investment vehicle owned by Amancio Ortega (…).

The Landmark I Plan

The renovation of these two properties forms part of a larger project, the Landmark I Plan, which comprises a total investment of €250 million in office buildings over the next four years.

Within the framework of the Landmark I Plan, Merlin is going to handover Torre Glòries in Barcelona and Torre Chamartín. Over the next few years, the Socimi is also going to renovate the properties located at numbers 38 and 40 Calle Alcalá, Castellana 93, Alfonso XI and Princesa 5-7 in Madrid;  as well as Diagonal 605 in Barcelona; and Monumental and Marqués de Pombal 3 in Lisbon.

“Over the next 12 to 18 months, there is going to be more demand than supply in the market due to the volume of obsolete products. At that point, rents will enjoy a sweet moment, and will move significantly upwards”, say sources at the Socimi.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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