Villar Mir Raises €268 Million Funding For Canalejas Project

29/12/2014 – Cinco Dias

The Villar Mir and OHL Group closed Canalejas Project financing by signing a credit agreement for a maximum amount of EUR 268 million, making it the largest financing operation granted to a real estate development project in Spain over recent years.

Specifically, funding has been signed-on for a period of 10 years – 3 years of construction and 7 of exploitation, according to the company.

This transaction involves a group of Spanish and foreign financial institutions: Banco Santander, CaixaBank, Banco Popular Español, which have acted as mandated lead arrangers in addition to Bankinter, Unicaja Banco, MoraBanc Group, Inmomutua Madrileña and Generali Insurance and Reinsurance.

The Canalejas complex, developed by the Grupo Villar Mir, in a landmark location in Madrid will employ about 4,800 workers and reach an annual sales volume of nearly €200 million.

The project, which seeks to promote urban renewal of the iconic area in downtown Madrid also entails the opening of the first hotel of the Canadian luxury chain Four Seasons in Spain.

The 5-star luxury hotel will have an area of 26,000 sq. m, 215 rooms, banquets and meeting halls, 2 restaurants, a spa, gym as well as an indoor swimming pool. It will also feature between 28 and 30 residences for sale, spread over a total area of 6,000 sq. m.

Canalejas will also feature a shopping mall of 16,000 sq. m. over 3 storeys and an underground parking lot. All this will be complemented with an underground bus station on Calle Sevilla and refurbishment of the existing parking lot, which will be carried out by the City.

The purpose of this complex is to rehabilitate the historic downtown of Madrid and make use of 7 contiguous properties located on Calle Alcalá, Calle Sevilla, Plaza de Canalejas and Carrera de San Jerónimo. Having remained unoccupied for 10 years and some of them dating back to 1887, the properties were sold to Villar Mir Group from Banco Santander in a €215-million transaction.

Since they were acquired in December 2012, restoration work on various protected structures have been carried out as well as interior demolition and facade cladding works.

With respect to protected structures, there are over 130 listed elements of carpentry, locksmith’s works, stonework and stained glass windows. They will be restored and relocated in the future project to be fully operational in 2017.

The Canalejas project involves an important job creation feature. In the construction phase, from 2013 to 2017, 600 direct and 1,200 indirect jobs will be generated. The operational phase is expected to create over 3,000 direct or indirect jobs – 1,200 in the hotel and 1,800 in the shopping center.

Original article: Cinco Dias (by EFE)

Translation: Aura REE