2 November 2017 – ABC de Sevilla
This week, according to sources consulted by ABC, Sevilla’s Chamber of Commerce has sold two plots of land next to the Antares Club and on the Eusa campus to the family of the Jerez businessman Joaquín Rivero, who died in September 2016. The operation was agreed in November 2016 but was subject to the obtaining of municipal licences for the various projects. On the Eusa land, Helena Rivero’s investor group plans to build a university hall of residence for 400 students. Next to Antares, Helena Rivero is still deciding what to do with the 1,700 m2 plot, which has permission for the construction of a hotel given that it has been allocated for tertiary use.
In this way, the Chamber of Commerce, chaired by Francisco Herrero, will obtain a sizeable liquidity injection thanks to an operation that was closed for around €7.5 million. The negotiations for the sale of these plots were initiated by Joaquín Rivero Valcarce, the real estate businessman who chaired Bami. Following the death of the businessman in 2016, his only daughter, Helena, decided to push ahead with the operation.
Nevertheless, the sale of the two plots in question was subject to the Town Hall of Sevilla granting the necessary authorisations to build on the Eusa and Antares plots. Once municipal authorisation had been obtained to build a university hall of residence on Eusa’s plot, which has been allocated for social/educational use, the sale of the land was closed this week, according to the same sources. The sale had previously received the green light from the plenary of the Chamber of Commerce and the Junta de Andalucía, which oversees the region’s chambers of commerce.
A multi-national firm will operate the hall of residence
In terms of the university residence planned for Eusa, the plot sold to Helena Rivero’s investor group has a surface area of 2,200 m2 and permission to build up to 11,000 m2. According to sources consulted by ABC, a leading European multi-national in the hall of residence sector, which is listed on the stock market, will take over the operation of the building.
The other plot, measuring 1,700 m2 has been allocated for tertiary use – it is currently home to the exhibition hall, auditorium and parking lot of the Antares sports centre. On that plot, the company managed by the Rivero family may be able to build a hotel with a maximum buildable area of 6,000 m2, equivalent to around 100 rooms.
The hotel was promoted initially by Antares and it was precisely that project that led the company to file for creditors’ bankruptcy when the real estate bubble burst and it was unable to refinance a mortgage loan that it had requested from La Caixa in 2008 to build a four-star establishment in El Porvenir. Antares Andalucía had managed to reclassify the 1,740m2 plot, and so it was valued at €10.2 million in 2007.
In the end, the mercantile judge authorised the sale of the assets of the Antares Club, with their charges and levies, as well as of the brands “Antares Andalucía” and “Encuentros 2000”, to the Chamber of Commerce – through Eusa. The Chamber spent €4 million on the operation, including taking on a €3.2 million mortgage with CaixaBank.
With this sale of the two plots, the Chamber of Commerce will now have sufficient revenues to undertake projects in its two business units: Eusa and the Antares Club. The Chamber of Commerce plans to completely renovate the Antares Club, given that it is more than 30 years ago, and move its training activities to the SGAE building in La Cartuja. That building has a surface area of 35,000 m2, including an auditorium measuring 22,000 m2.
Original story: ABC de Sevilla (by M. J. Pereira)
Translation: Carmel Drake