Old Winterthur Premises to House Spain’s Most Expensive Apartments

2/12/2014 – Expansion

A house on each floor. This is the future of the old headquarters of Winterthur insurance firm at the Plaza Francesc Macià square in Barcelona. After more than ten years of standing empty, the property will become the most exclusive residential unit of Spain.

In contrast to other high-end housing developments, only one-third of it will be intended for dwellings, while the rest for common areas, such as a 25-meter long swimming pool, a gym with a spa and a sauna, as well as a vine cellar with eight compartments, one for each apartment. The houses will have between 500 and 600 square meters and they will be placed on the market at prices ranging from 6 and 8 million euros. Besides, every dwelling will dispose of seven parking spaces and an underground, 50 square meter storage room.

The building belongs to a Luxembourg-based fund with a branch in London, managed by Squircle Capital which in turn is led by ex-CEO of Reig Capital Jose Caireta, and his business partner Daniel Castillo. The fund bought the property from the Reig Capital group in 2002 and rejected former project on turning the unit into a hotel.

‘Since the beginning the old offices were supposed to become a luxury residential property’, explained Jose Caireta. ‘When we were given the project by Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan, we gasped in astonishment’, recalls the businessman. ‘But as we sounded the market out we have discovered that this type of product is in demand in Barcelona’.

The Panoramic View

Marcio Kogan admitted that on visiting the building, ‘the panoramic perception of the city was overhelming from any point and at once we have suggested not to divide the floors‘. Each of the future owners will be able to design the dwelling and decorate it as they please ‘but we would rather prevent the internal walls to touch the crystal facade’, the architect said.

Investment in the building is set to consume an amount of €40 million. The listed facade and the iron flaps covering windows will be preserved.

The apartment located on the second storey is going to have a rear garden of 900 m2, and the penthouse a 300 m2 terrace.

Apart from the sale of the eight houses, the fund wants to lease a ground-floor shop of 3.000 square meters and then sell it to an investor for around €50 million. Currently, the retail unit is let to General Óptica whose contract expires in the upcoming weeks.

Building works are scheduled to finish in the first quarter of 2016. Knight Frank obtained an exclusive right to market the homes by offering them both to Spaniards and foreigners. The show flat will be opened to visitors in June 2015.


Original article: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: AURA REE