Real IS Acquires Office Building in Barcelona’s 22@ District

3 August 2019

Real IS, a subsidiary of Bayerische Landesbank, has acquired the building located Avinguda Diagonal, 67, in Barcelona’s 22@ district. The building is currently leased to technology and marketing firms.

The asset, which was sold by a local family office, has a total area of 5,400 square meters, eight above-ground floors and three below-ground parking floors.

Original Story: Eje Prime

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

BNP Paribas: Office Rentals Soar in Barcelona during Q1 2019

23 May 2019 – La Vanguardia

The office market in Barcelona broke historical records in terms of space leased and rental prices during the first quarter of the year, according to a report from the consultancy firm BNP Paribas Real Estate.

According to the data, 152,300 m2 of office space was leased during Q1 2019, up by 65% with respect to the same period in 2018, boosted by a 60% increase in demand for large spaces (those measuring over 3,000 m2).

According to David Alonso, Head of Research at BNP, the office market in Barcelona was traditionally dominated by SMEs demanding spaces measuring less than 1,000 m2. Nevertheless, since 2015, that trend has changed with the arrival of technological companies requiring larger offices, and since 2017, with the entry of coworking companies – the latter leased 22% of the space let during Q1 2019.

As such, 91 new contracts were signed during the first quarter of 2019, with the 22@ district as the main driver, accounting for 30 of the operations and 40% (60,900 m2) of the space.

Nevertheless, the two largest operations were closed in more secondary areas: the rental of 18,000 m2 in Sant Joan Despí by Gallina Blanca and the rental of 17,209 m2 on Gran Vía in Barcelona by La Caixa.

All of this activity drove up rents with prices in prime areas, such as the best buildings on the upper end of La Diagonal, reaching €27/m2/month, and some operations even reaching €30/m2/month, whereby exceeding the maximum recorded in 2008 (€27.5/m2/month).

Original story: La Vanguardia (by Rosa Salvador)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Telefónica Finalises the Sale of its Catalan Headquarters

4 May 2019 – Expansión

Telefónica is on the verge of selling its headquarters in Barcelona for more than €150 million in a sale and leaseback operation that will see the group continue to occupy 8 floors of the property, but on a rental basis.

The 16-storey skyscraper, known as Diagonal 00, has a surface area of 34,000 m2 and is located next to the Fòrum on the edge of the 22@ district. The property was constructed by the Consortium of the Zona Franca in Barcelona (CZF) as a turnkey project for Telefónica, which moved in in 2011.

The telecommunications giant went on to purchase the property from CZF in 2014 for €107 million plus VAT (€129.4 million) and is now selling it as part of its debt reduction process, which has already seen it divest businesses in Central America and the insurance company Antares.

Original story: Expansión (by M. Anglés & I. del Castillo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Conren Tramway Buys a 8,000 m2 Plot in 22@ to Build Offices

18 April 2019 – Eje Prime

Conren Tramway has purchased a plot of land at number 162 Calle Almogàvers in Barcelona’s 22@ technological district, on the same block as another project that the firm is already working on, at number 97 Calle Badajoz.

The company, owned by the Hugas brothers and the German manager Conren Land, plans to build an office building on the 8,000 m2 plot. Construction work is expected to start next year and be completed by 2021.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Criteria Finalises the Purchase of a 8,000 m2 Building in 22@ for €35M

9 April 2019 – Eje Prime

InmoCaixa, the real estate arm of La Caixa’s holding company Criteria is finalising the purchase of a 8,000 m2 building located at number 331 Calle Llull, in the 22@ district of Barcelona.

The building is managed by the German fund manager GLL and the purchase price is reported to amount to €35 million.

The property is currently leased in its entirety, mostly to Torraspapel, the paper company belonging to the Lecta group, which occupies 7,000 m2.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

BNP Paribas: 22@ Accounted for 36% of Office Investments in Barcelona in 2018

8 April 2019 – 20 Minutos

Investment in the office market in Barcelona amounted to €695 million in 2018, of which €253 million (36%) corresponded to the 22@ district, according to a report compiled by BNP Paribas Real Estate España.

The forecasts for 2019 reveal that almost 77,800 m2 of new office space will be handed over in the technological district alone this year, more than doubling the figure recorded in 2018.

In terms of the sizes of the offices leased last year, 40% measured between 1,000 m2 and 2,000 m2 and 30% spanned between 301 m2 and 1,000 m2. Meanwhile, just 18% exceeded 2,000 m2, whilst 13% were smaller than 300 m2.

The average purchase price rose by 20% to between €1,500/m2 and €1,600/m2 in prime locations of the 22@ district. In turn, rental prices grew by 8% last year, to an average of €16.7/m2/month.

The 22@ district is home to 42% of all of the companies in Barcelona with high-profile tenants of the calibre of Facebook, Hewlett Packard and King, as well as Glovo and Llacuna.

Original story: 20 Minutos (by Puri Caro)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Office Space in Barcelona’s 22@ District Will Grow by 335,000 m2 by 2021

11 March 2019 – La Vanguardia

According to a report by the consultancy firm BNP Paribas Real Estate España, the supply of office space in Barcelona’s 22@ district will grow by 335,000 m2 over the next three years, of which 77,800 m2 will be handed over during 2019, compared to 33,200 m2 in 2018.

In light of the scarce supply and high demand in the area, average prices rose by 20% in the second half of 2018 to reach between €1,500/m2 and €1,600/m2 in prime areas.

Rental prices also rose in 2018, by 8%, to reach an average of €16.7/m2/month. They are set to continue to rise this year headed for historical maximums.

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Catalan Occidente Merges its RE Subsidiaries to Cut Costs

7 March 2019 – Expansión

Catalana Occidente is looking to cut costs by merging some of its recent real estate purchases, without impacting the entity’s business model.

Last year, the insurance company acquired Chezsuccess, owner of the Luxa Business Park in Barcelona, home to the headquarters of Amazon and WeWork, for €90 million. That firm has subsequently been renamed GCO Activos Inmobiliarios.

Catalana Occidente also bought Legión Empresarial, owner of the WIP office building in Barcelona’s 22@ district, for €20 million.

Now it is merging its two subsidiaries, which means that all of the acquired assets will be grouped together in GCO Activos Inmobiliarios.

In total, the insurance group’s real estate assets were worth €1.4 billion at the end of 2018, accounting for 12% of its investment portfolio. Fixed income securities represented 59% (€6.6 billion) of the total and equities 11% (€1.3 billion).

Original story: Expansión (by E.d.P)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Meridia III Raises €44M to Grow its Property Portfolio

31 January 2019 – Idealista

The Catalan fund Meridia is giving a boost to one of its Socimis. Meridia Real Estate III, led by the businessman Javier Faus, has increased its capital by €44 million, according to an announcement made by the group in the Official Gazette of the Mercantile Registry (BORME). This increase will serve to allow the company to continue with its business plan and add new properties to its portfolio.

According to explanations provided by the company to Idealista News, this increase forms part of the normal operation of the investment vehicle during its investment phase. Meridia Real Estate III is a vehicle dedicated to investment in all segments of the real estate sector in Madrid and Barcelona. The company’s portfolio currently comprises nine assets, including office buildings, industrial platforms and a shopping centre.

One of the most recent operations to be closed by the investment vehicle was the acquisition from the US fund Värde of a plot with a buildable surface area of 24,600 m2 in the 22@ district of Barcelona for €25.8 million.

The company, which purchased that land through its Socimi Meridia III, has already paid half of the cost of the operation. Payment of the remaining €12.9 million has been postponed until 17 March 2020, and it has been guaranteed by a mortgage on the land acquired, according to reports by the company to the stock market regulator.

With this purchase, the company is seeking to undertake a transformation plan for tertiary purposes in the Barcelona district. Currently, Meridia III owns more than 60,000 m2 of buildable space in the 22@ district, making it one of the leading investors in that area of the Catalan capital.

Meridia’s Socimi has been listed on the MAB since the end of last year. The company has starred in some of the most important operations of the last two years, both in the office market, as well as in the retail segment (…).

The fund manager is preparing to launch its fourth fund onto the market before the end of this year. The company is currently in the pre-market phase in territories such as Benelux and Israel, amongst others. The group’s new investment vehicle will join Meridia II, currently in its divestment phase, and Meridia III.

Original story: Idealista (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Starwood Purchases Omega Park in Madrid and an Office Building in Barcelona

24 January 2019 -El Confidencial

The US fund Starwood Capital has taken another important bite out of the Spanish office market with the purchase of the entire portfolio of Autonomy, the Socimi whose main asset was the Madrilenian Omega Business Park, a giant corporate complex comprising four buildings spanning more than 33,000 m2, and which houses the headquarters of multinationals such as BP and Samsung.

The transaction, whose consideration amounted to €125 million, also includes an office complex in the sought-after 22@ district of Barcelona, which allows the US fund to also expand its presence into the Catalan capital and to make strides in its commitment to build an office portfolio in Spain worth €500 million.

To reach this objective, Starwood joined forces last year with Drago Capital, together with which it starred in the purchase of the Madrilenian San Fernando Business Park for €120 million, and which has also accompanied it in its purchase from Autonomy (…).

The Socimi, meanwhile, had put the for sale sign up over its whole portfolio a while ago. It constructed the portfolio with a clear opportunistic appetite during the worst periods of the crisis and it is now able to undo its positions with juicy gains.

In fact, at the end of 2017, Autonomy sold the jewel in its crown in Spain, the building located at number 4 Gran Vía, to the Riberas family, owner of Gonvarri and Gestamp, for €43 million, an amount that generated a gain of 40% for the opportunistic investor.

Following the sale of the office portfolio to Starwood, the Socimi is going to distribute €44.7 million as an issue premium, as well as an interim dividend of €51 million, amounts that in both cases will be paid into the accounts of shareholders on 30 January.

Moreover, once all of these operations have been completed, Autonomy will still have €10 million in cash and no assets under ownership, which means that it will have completed its objective of divesting all of its positions in Spain with juicy gains.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake