Operation Chamartín Expected to Receive Go Ahead

15 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, expects that the City Council will approve Madrid Nuevo Norte, also known as Operation Chamartín, in September. Operation Chamartín is a development north of the city of Madrid, near the Chamartín train station, that licensing issues have kept in limbo since 1993.

BBVA owns 75% of DCN, the development’s main protagonist, while the rest belongs to Grupo San José. The firm controls the rights to a large part of the land, which, in reality, is still owned by Adif, the state-owned railway company. Thus, DCN will pay Adif more than €1.2 billion euros over 20 years after the development receives approval.

The Madrid Nuevo Norte involves the construction of 10,500 homes and a new financial zone, in a potential investment of more than €13 billion.

Original Story: Idealista

Madrid’s Regional Government Gives Green Light to Operación Madrid Nuevo Norte

19 May 2019 – El Mundo

According to information obtained by El Mundo, the Community of Madrid is going to send its Environmental Assessment Report regarding Operación Chamartín to the Town Hall of Madrid on Monday, which will leave the path clear for the municipal plenary to vote on the plan before the local elections are held on Sunday 26 May.

The urban development project, which is now known by its new name, Madrid Nuevo Norte, will see the construction of 10,500 homes at the northern end of Paseo de la Castellana, together with the development of offices, retail areas, green spaces and three new metro stations.

The only requirement stipulated in the definitive report issued by the Community of Madrid is that agreements be made upfront about who is going to pay for the public building works, including the Canal de Isabel II installations, the construction of the three new metro stations and the preparation of the surrounding roads.

According to the protocol of execution signed a month ago by the Town Hall of Madrid, Adif – the public entity that owns the land – and Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN) – the private company that is promoting the development – the three leading players will share the cost of developing the aforementioned infrastructures, whereby ensuring that local taxpayers do not have to foot the bill.

Original story: El Mundo (by Marta Belver & Isabel F. Lantigua)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Adif Launches Public Consultation Regarding Expansion of Chamartín Station

22 March 2019 – Efe Empresas

Adif has launched a public consultation regarding its expansion plans for Chamartín station in the north of Madrid. The consultation is aimed at professional associations; architecture, town planning, engineering and consultancy firms; users; transport service suppliers; and real estate market operators, amongst others.

The aim of the exercise is to inform interested parties about the tender and find out their opinions about Adif’s plans with a view to evaluating the new means of local transport that should be integrated into the station (e.g. shared mobility services, charging points for electric vehicles, etc.).

Original story: Efe Empresas 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Operación Chamartín’s Secret Contract: Adif Sells 1.2 million m2 of Public Land at Half its Market Value

27 December 2018 – El Diario

For 25 years, the agreement has remained a secret. It is the document that supports one of the largest urban development projects in Madrid in one of the most sought-after areas of the capital, in the north of the city, to continue the Castellana, where the financial district and the most expensive homes and offices are located, which are being sold for more than €5,000/m2. The contract is going to be signed on Friday. On the one hand, Adif, the public company that forms part of the Ministry of Development and that manages the railway infrastructure, and on the other, Distrito Castellana Norte, a property developer that has changed its name repeatedly over the last quarter of a century.

In 1993, the Ministry of Development, chaired at the time by Josep Borrell, now the Foreign Minister, signed an agreement with the construction firm San José and BBVA to develop the railway land reserved for Chamartín station. That agreement, whose term has been extended several times, has been kept under lock and key until today. The property developer filed several lawsuits to prevent it from being published.

However, eldiario.es is now exclusively publishing the latest draft of the agreement, which reveals the economic conditions of the project, which is reportedly the largest urban development project in Europe: the sale of 1.278 million m2 for homes and offices. On Friday, the definitive agreement will be signed, confirm sources at Adif, which has been blessed by the municipal planning of Manuela Carmena’s government and which will see the disposal of public buildable land for a price of €769.5/m2 in that area to the north of Madrid, the expansion area of the financial district, one of the most expensive parts of the capital.

Sources in the real estate sector claim that the agreed value represents half the market price at which other plots in the same area have been sold recently. In January, the same vendor, Adif, put another plot up for sale, further north, in San Sebastián de los Reyes, outside of the capital, which was sold for €1,500/m2 to a real estate cooperative: €16.3 million for 1,500 m2.

The gigantic plot that Adif is going to sell to Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN), formed by the construction firm San José and BBVA, groups together 1.27 million m2 of land, according to the current contract. For that space, DCN is going to pay €984.2 million, which represents a price of less than €769.5/m2 excluding the financial interest corresponding to the payment over 20 years.

Hours after eldiario.es published the contents of the agreement, Adif issued a statement confirming that the cost that the private partners (…) will pay for the operation is above market prices. To reach this conclusion, the public company (…) is taking the price of the land and adding the interest that will be paid for 20 years (3% each year), the budget for the urbanisation of the plot and even the transfer of the land that the law obliges to the property developer: 100,000 m2 for public housing that Adif estimates at €67.4 million.

In September, the Government of Manuela Carmena approved the general plan to authorise the urban development of the so-called Operación Chamartín. In the accompanying financial report, the only official estimate that exists, the Town Hall of Madrid calculates a land value that is three times higher than the figure that Adif is going to receive. In that document, Manuela Carmena’s Government establishes that the sale of the whole reclassified area (which groups together twice as much land as mentioned above and which also involves other landowners) “would amount to €3.749 billion in total”. The price established in that financial report corresponds to 2.6 million m2 of that urban development. According to those accounts, the price per m2 equates to €1,407/m2, well below the €769/m2 that Adif is going to receive (…).

Original story: El Diario (by Fátima Caballero)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ibosa Offers €33.5M to Acquire Most Sought-After Plot in Madrid

20 November 2018 – El Confidencial

The cooperative managed by Grupo Ibosa, Residencial Shaula Sociedad Cooperativa, has fought off competition from 16 other contenders in the auction for the most sought-after plot of land in Madrid. On the table: €33,510,000, an amount that almost doubles the minimum price of €17 million that the Treasury had set for it.

The cooperative has fought off competition in a tight bid from Desarrollos Los Astros, constituted at the beginning of November, and backed by Grupo Nozar, which placed €32 million on the table, and Arcano, which bid €31.2 million. Nevertheless, those two high offers were unable to compete with Grupo Ibosa, which has a lot of experience in this type of auction.

Expectations were high at Calle Guzmán el Bueno 139, the headquarters of the Special Delegation of the Economy and Finance in Madrid, where the auction was held. At 10am, in a room full with more than 100 people, 17 envelopes were opened containing 17 bids for the most sought-after plot of the year in Madrid. The land was owned by the National Currency and Stamp Factory (Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre), which entrusted its sale to the Heritage Service. The cooperative members will have to make the first disbursement within the next few days, equivalent to 25% of the amount offered, in other words, almost €8.4 million, and then pay the remaining 75% over the coming months, after deducting the deposit paid in order to be able to bid, which amounts to €850,000.

Vía Célere also submitted an offer (€23.7 million), exactly two years after submitting the only offer for another plot of land owned by the Treasury, in the same place, on Avenida Santo Ángel de la Guarda. The company chaired by Juan Antonio Gómez-Pintado is a familiar face in this type of action. In fact, just a few days after that auction, it was awarded the Adif and Repsol plots in Méndez Álvaro. On that occasion, its bid was also the only one.

In terms of the other names called out in the room, they included traditional property developers such as Ebrosa (€20.53 million), which submitted the most conservative bid; Grupo Premier, which put €25.16 million on the table through the company Cajandral; and Grupo Lar, which bid €30.13 million through Desarrollos Residenciales Madrid Norte. Pryconsa, another of the real estate firms that typically participates in these types of procedures, offered €23.1 million through Cogein, and Renta Corporación, with €22.15 million.

The surprise bidders included Inmo Frieria, a company backed by Manuel Jove, the former President of Fadesa, with a bid amounting to €24.7 million. And the listed company Aedas Homes, which offered €25 million through the company SPV Reoco 1, in its first major auction in Madrid. The long list of interested parties was completed by Global Nostromo (€28.5 million), Golego ITG (€22.12 million), Taz Real Estate (owned by Alza Real Estate, €24 million), Misodi Rent (owned by the Huguet family, with €23.2 million), Torre Rioja Madrid (€25.1 million) and Denoti Investment, a company owned by Irvine Alan Stewart Laidlaw, a British businessman and one of the richest people in the United Kingdom, whose bid amounted to €31 million.

A cooperative wins again

Like happened exactly four years ago, in November 2014, with the auctions of the plots on Raimundo Fernández Villaverde (owned by the Ministry of Defence) and the former metro depots in Cuatro Caminos (owned by Metro de Madrid), it is a cooperative – which saves on the property developer margin – that has managed to put the most competitive offer on the table, to fight off seasoned property developers such as Premier, Pryconsa, Ebrosa and Aedas Homes in a bid that the experts are describing as the auction of the year in Madrid. Not because of its size or its features, but because of its location, just 500m from the Retiro Park, this was one of the most sought-after plots in the capital, and its new owner may build up to 100 homes on its 4,500 m2 – 9,000 m2 of buildable space (…).

The cooperative managed by Grupo Ibosa currently comprises 60 cooperative members and its plans involve the construction of 94 homes. The 4 bedroom homes with two parking spaces and a storeroom will cost between €806,000 and €1,175,000, whilst the 3-bedroom homes will cost between €670,000 and €688,000 (…). The 2-bedroom homes will cost between €490,000 and €498,000, and the 1-bedroom homes will cost between €309,000 and €354,000. The complex will also have a swimming pool, a padel court, a gastroteque, a mini-crossfit studio, a sports pitch, a gym, changing rooms, a spa, a sauna and a jacuzzi.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Madrid Nuevo Norte’s New Offices will be Home to 125,000+ Employees

22 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Madrid Nuevo Norte, the focus of the recently announced new homes, is also going to be home to a business centre. Offices are going to be built in the financial epicentre of the Spanish capital to house 125,472 employees in total. Moreover, the district is going to be home to the tallest building in Spain, with up to seventy floors.

The project is going to house the Chamartín Business Centre, where almost all of the properties for businesses are going to be located. They will house two thirds of the 1.5 million m2 that are going to be dedicated to offices in Madrid Nuevo Norte, according to reports from Cinco Días.

The volume of business in terms of office development will exceed €10 billion; in the case of house building, that figure will reach €3.0 billion. The project’s economic report shows a range of profitability from the real estate business in the new district of between 11.2% and 16.4%.

After several adjustments, Madrid Nuevo Norte has decreased its total buildability by 21%, down from 3.37 million m2 per the initial plan to 2.66 million m2. Similarly, the district has been divided into four areas: Chamartín station, the business district, Fuencarral-San Roque-Tres Olivos and Fuencarral-Las Tablas. Each one will have its own timetable and urbanisation costs.

The project is going to be financed almost in its entirety by the landowners, which will disburse an average of €1.2 billion. With the aim of covering the urbanisation costs, the Town Hall of Madrid will spend €307.89 million, which will be added to €24.78 million from the Community of Madrid and €220.49 million from Adif, the concessionaire of the rights.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Corp Promotors Acquires Plot Next to La Sagrera Station in Barcelona for €10.4M

17 October 2018 – Europa Press

The real estate company Corp Promotors has acquired a plot of land spanning 1,512 m2 located next to the future La Sagrera AVE train station in Barcelona for €10.44 million.

The Catalan firm has fought off competition from three companies in the bid for the plot, which was opened by the public company responsible for the development of the station, an entity in which the Ministry of Development, La Generalitat de Cataluña and the Town Hall of Barcelona all hold stakes.

The plot, which is located in an area that has “great potential for growth” in Barcelona, can be used for building both homes and commercial premises.

Specifically, it has a buildability of 8,221 m2, of which 7,346 m2 will be used for homes and the remaining 875 m2 will be used for shops.

The land forms part of the plots freed up for railway use generated by the construction of the station. The amount obtained from its auction will contribute to financing the new railway.

In fact, the joint venture company that is developing the station has obtained 63% more than the estimated sales price for this plot, of €6.4 million. That was what allowed Corp Promotors to acquire the land and fight off competition from the other three firms that were also bidding for it.

The company behind the construction of La Sagrera station is owned by the Ministry of Development through its companies Adif, which holds a 37.5% stake, and Renfe, which owns another 12.5% stake. The Town Hall of Barcelona owns 15% and La Generalitat the remaining 25%.

Original story: Europa Press

Translation: Carmel Drake

Madrid Nuevo Norte will Generate €13.2bn of Business for the RE Sector

12 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Madrid Nuevo Norte represents good news for the Spanish real estate sector. The Town Hall led by Manuela Carmena expects the project, which received the green light at the end of September, to generate €13.2 billion of business for the real estate sector.

The urban development project, to the north of Chamartín train station, is going to house 10,485 new homes, as well as 1.5 million m2 of offices and another 103,119 m2 of commercial space. The acquisition of the plots will involve a total cost of €3.74 billion and the construction costs will exceed €2.78 billion.

The Town Hall of Madrid has confirmed that the tertiary assets will contribute the bulk of the income for the property developers that participate in the construction of Madrid Nuevo Norte. Together, the sales price of those properties will amount to €10.2 billion. In the case of the development of new homes, the business will amount to €2.98 billion, according to reports from Cinco Días.

The results of an economic study for the project show a range of returns of between 11.2% and 16.4%, although the Town Hall warns that the margin will depend heavily on factors such as the evolution of the real estate market and the acquisition price of the land. In terms of the latter, an orientative cost of €2,899.47/m2 is forecast for private housing located in the financial centre.

Following several adjustments, the total buildability of Madrid Nuevo Norte has decreased by 21%, down from 3.37 million m2 according to the initial plan to €2.66 million m2 under the current plan. In addition, the district has been divided into four areas: Chamartín station, the business centre, Fuencarral-San Roque-Tres Olivos and Fuencarral-Las Tablas. Each area will have its own construction timetable and urbanisation costs.

The project will have to be financed almost in its entirety by the landowners, who will disburse €1.2 billion on average. The Town Hall of Madrid is going to spend €307.89 million with the aim of covering the urbanisation costs, which will be added to €24.78 million from the Community of Madrid and €220.49 million from Adif, the concessionaire of the rights.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

A Public Consultation Period Opens for Newly Approved Operación Chamartín

20 September 2018 – El Mundo

On Thursday, the Governing Board of the Town Hall of Madrid approved the modification to the General Urban Development Plan to develop the Madrid Nuevo Norte project, previously known as Operación Chamartín, 25 years after the first attempts were made to get the project off the ground and after long negotiations between the Ministry of Development, the property developer Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN), the entity awarded land by Adif, and the Town Hall.

Now, a period of public consultation has opened ahead of a debate in the Plenary, likely before the end of the year, in a meeting that is expected to be tense for the Ahora Madrid group, whose vote will be split, given that six councillors – three from Ganemos and three from Izquierda Unida – have expressed their opposition to the project. In fact, yesterday, Mauricio Valencia, the third deputy mayor, opposed the development at the meeting of the Governing Body after his party, Izquierda Unida asked Congress to suspend the new urban plans, which will completely change the northern face of the Spanish capital.

After it is approved in the Plenary, the plan will be sent to the Community of Madrid for its definitive approval, a mere formality, given that the Government of Ángel Garrido has already announced that it will give its approval provided all of the administrative requirements are fulfilled.

The councillor for Sustainable Urban Development, José Manuel Calvo, yesterday welcomed the fact that the project is going to be approved with “the support of the four groups” from the municipal body and with a different party leading each of the three administrations (…).

The new project has reduced the total permitted buildability of the project approved by the Town Hall of Ana Botella from 3,370,000 m2 in 2015 to 2,657,313 m2, which represents a decrease of 713,631 m2 (or 21%) (…).

In total, 10,500 new homes are planned, of which around 4,000 will be for social housing, owned by the Town Hall, within the 36% of land that corresponds to it according to the plans (…).

The councillor (for Sustainable Development) highlighted that one of the fundamental aspects of the operation will be the renovation of Chamartín train station, which “we want to turn into one of the best railway stations in Europe” (…).

The project, which is divided into four operating areas: Chamartín station, the Business Centre, Malmea-San Roque-Tres Olivos and Las Tablas Oeste, includes 390,700 m2 of green space, 252,094 m2 of facilities and 848,617 m2 for transportation. It will also have office space spanning 1 million m2 and the tallest tower in Spain, with 70 storeys.

The President of DCN, Antonio Béjar, said yesterday that he was “satisfied” with the approval of the plan, which in his opinion “proves that the regeneration of the north of Madrid is now a reality and that there is no turning back”, reports Efe. Meanwhile, Ecologists in Action and residents grouped into the FRAVM and North Zone Platform criticised the operation again for benefitting private interests and not those of citizens.

Original story: El Mundo (by Roberto Bécares)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Baraka Injects €13.4M to Strengthen its Residential & Commercial Businesses

17 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Trinitario Casanova is continuing to add projects to his real estate business in Spain. The Murcian group Baraka has just injected another €13.4 million into its companies that specialise in the residential and commercial sectors. The group’s upcoming plans in Spain include initiating operations in Chamartín, where it has just acquired a plot of land measuring 1.2 million m2.

According to the Official Gazette of the Mercantile Registry (Borme), Baraka has injected another €10 million into its company Baraka Renta. That business division of the group focuses primarily on the purchase of land and the subsequent development and execution of rentals for various companies, both domestic and international, in the food sector.

Baraka has also strengthened its company Baraka House, where it has increased the share capital by €3.5 million. That branch of the group focuses on the development of high-rise homes for young people. “This new line is being carried out in the main cities in Spain thanks to the use of pre-fabricated constructions”, explain sources at Baraka.

In this way, the group is injecting new resources into its companies to undertake new real estate projects in Spain. The latest deal that Casanova has carried out focuses on Madrid, specifically the Operación Chamartín macro-project.

The Murcian businessman has paid €400 million to the original owners of some of the plots of land in Operación Chamartín for their reversion rights to develop 1.2 million m2 of land that is currently owned by Adif.

Rente expropriated these plots with the idea of building the railway station on the site, but, subsequently, the public company reached an agreement with BBVA and Grupo San José to develop the land.

Both companies created the property developer Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN), which is now leading this urban development operation that is going to build 10,500 homes on a surface area spanning 2.66 million m2.

Nevertheless, Casanova wants to take advantage of the claim being made by the reversionists, who are asking the administration to be awarded the right to acquire their former plots in the event that Renfe decided to change the use for which they were expropriated and to sell them, as has actually happened, according to these parties.

Casanova’s next steps for this project in Chamartín involve first paying a cheque for €400 million to the reversionists, who have received a small payment for now whilst they wait for the rights that they are requesting to be activated or not, and later on to pay €1 billion to Adif for the outright purchase of the plots. That is the amount that DCN has promised to pay the Spanish railway manager.

Second generation and reinforcements for the property developer 

Proof that the residential sector is firmly in Baraka’s sights came with the appointment of Fuensanta Casanova, daughter of Trinitario Casanova, as the Head of Development and Investment at Baraka, as Eje Prime revealed in Madrid (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake