Telefónica Seeks Use for 11,000 m2 of Offices After Failure to Find Tenant

2 October 2018

The telecommunications company put its North Building 3 up for lease a year ago. As yet, the company has found no takers willing to pay 16 euros per square meter per month.

It was heralded as a major real estate transaction: Telefónica announced that it was looking for a tenant or tenants for one of the buildings in the tower complex comprising its headquarters in Madrid that were left unoccupied after the company’s restructuring in recent years. The firm is now looking for a use for the 11,000 square-meter space after it failed to find a tenant willing to pay the 16 euros per square meter per month requested.

In April of last year, the telecoms operator contacted Spain’s leading real estate consultancies asking them to bid on a contract to lease the company’s unused offices. Cushman & Wakefield was one of the firm’s chosen to find a tenant to monetise the empty building. The property has five floors (four upper floors and one below ground), 180 interior parking spaces and 11,112 square meters.

The market price for the leasing contract was stipulated at 16 euros per square meter per month, along with 5.50 euros/m2/month for condominium fees. Telefónica’s plan was to generate annual revenues of 2.1 million euros and income from condominium fees of 733,000 euros, a total of almost three million euros in rent.

However, official sources at the company confirmed that no interested parties have offered to take up residence in the building. China’s Huawei has demonstrated an interest but was unable to complete the move to the District, located in the area of Las Tablas, in the north of Madrid.

Building sales

Leasing the property is still considering a possible but, in the meantime, the telecoms firm presided over by José María Álvarez-Pallete is still looking other possible uses. “[We] are analysing different internal projects,” the provider stated, declining to rule out any alternatives. The firm had already considered using the space to house tech start-ups, both in-house and externally financed.

Sources at the company insist that they have not set a specific deadline to find a use for the building. The next-door North 2 is also currently unoccupied, and the possibility of leasing had also been considered previously.

During the last two years, Telefónica has sold several buildings in the city of Madrid. One in the neighbourhood of Argüelles went for about 25 million euros; another near the well-known Plaza de España sold for about €32 million, and its former headquarters in Rios Rosas Street raised €150 million euros for the telecoms and broadband provider.

The District, 10 years as Telefónica’s headquarters

The Telefónica District, formerly known as District C, was inaugurated in 2008, after three years of construction in an area of 370,000 square meters. The operator concentrated its activities in its new headquarters in a total investment of more than 500 million euros.

The need to transfer thousands of employees who had previously worked at dozens of sites left many facilities empty, some of which had been leased and many others owned. The latter were, for the most part, sold to try to finance some of the investment in the District.

Original Story: La Información – Jesús Martínez

Translation: Richard Turner