Greystar to Manage Bilbao’s New 351-Bed Student Hall Atop the Bus Station

31 August 2018 – El Correo

The future Termibus building in Bilbao will mark a before and after in the neighbourhood of Basurto. It will turn the area on its head, in conjunction with the other major urban planning operations being undertaken in the provincial capital. And not only because it will put an end to the problems that the buses have caused the neighbourhood for decades (…). But also because its placement underground will enable the construction of a 9,000 m2 square and a sophisticated 11-storey building, containing a hotel, a hall of residence for students and a shopping centre.

And it is getting increasingly closer because the terminus project, which must be finished within less than a year, is progressing at full speed. (…). After digging the hole, now it is time to build the four below-ground floors, one by one. The two lower floors will house a rotating parking lot with 528 spaces and the upper two floors will contain the aforementioned intermodal station. At the same time, the names of the tenants that are going to manage the property’s services are starting to be announced.

The first to be made public is Greystar. The global leader in the management of student residences and rental properties in Spain has just acquired the educational accommodation complex from the business group Amenabar, chosen by the Town Hall of Bilbao to build the project as a whole. And it has done so after fighting off competition from top-level international firms such as Global Student Accommodation (GSA), Corestate, AMIRA and The Students Hotel (TSH).

The Basque property developer and construction firm will take care of everything. According to sources at the company, “we are going to construct the building, in an L-shape, and we will allocate the right-hand wing to a student residence”. Having completed it in its entirety “down to the last detail in terms of decoration”, it will hand over the facilities with all of the licences so that the manager (through Resa, its subsidiary in Spain) may open its doors in August 2020.

Shopping centre on the lower floors

The agreement reached seeks to make the most of the available space on the eleven floors of the establishment to provide 306 rooms. Most will be individual rooms, although there will also be some doubles, so that the total number of beds will be 351. “All of them will have a bathroom and an equipped kitchen, and 10 will be adapted for users with reduced mobility”, say the sources (…).

The retail space, which will span two floors and will occupy 7,500 m2 in a privileged area of the city, next to the new Garellano skyscraper, has also been put on the market. Amenabar is already receiving offers from a variety of interested parties, from supermarkets to gyms, to shops selling sportswear, textiles, household items, technology, lottery and hospitality “because a large cafeteria is planned to overlook the square”. The business group is interested in enhancing the diversification of the shops “because this area is going to be strategic in nature with more than 10 million people passing through it each year, including Termibus travellers and metro users, who will have a direct connection to the intermodal station”.

The hotel is the other pillar that will complete the comprehensive offering of the Termibus project. The left-hand wing of the building will be dedicated in its entirety to that activity. And, although the deadline for the tender that the Amenabar group has opened to chose the best candidate does not close until the end of October, the avalanche of proposals received is exceeding all forecasts. Sources at the company acknowledge that its privileged location, in the centre of Bilbao, right next to the San Mamés football stadium and with “unbeatable” transport connections, has sparked interest amongst operators from all over Spain and, above all, those that have great international appeal (…).

Original story: El Correo (by José Domínguez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Altamar, Amira & Orienta Take Their Student Hall Socimi To The Next Phase

12 September 2017 – Eje Prime

The company, which specialises in student halls of residences, is preparing a new phase of growth involving the acquisition of new assets, as well as changes in its management team following the departure of Fabrizio Agrimi, one of the leaders of the project, who has decided to leave the group to embark on new challenges.

One of the most obvious changes is the new name of the Socimi, which had been called Collie Investment until now, and which will now start operating under the brand Student Properties Spain Socimi. Sources at Altamar say that this is “a much more commercial name, which reflects the activity that the group focuses on”.

Another change facing the company created by the three funds is the loss of one of the directors who was leading the project, Fabrizio Agrimi, who until now was the CEO, partner and member of the analysis and investment team at Atlan Capital. The company, founded in 2006 by Altamar Capital and Aguirre Newman, currently has more than €2,500 million in assets under management.

Before joining Atlan Capital in 2007, Agrimi, who for the time being does not want to give any more details about his next move, had already obtained extensive experience in real estate investments and M&A deals in Spain, the UK and Italy (…).

Agrimi’s role in the new Student Properties Spain Socimi will be taken by Miguel Zurita, a director at Altamar since February 2013. Previously, the executive was a partner at Mercapital and Investment Director at Mexcapital.

The Student Properties Spain Socimi project was launched in March. Backed by the Altamar Capital, Amira Real Estate Asset Management, and Orienta Capital, the initial investment to develop the project was more than €11 million.

For the time being, the company owns one asset in Madrid, which it is renovating to turn it into its first halls of residence for students and in which it has invested almost all of the €11 million with which the Socimi debuted. “The idea now is to continue sounding out the market” – explain sources at Altamar – “we currently own just one asset in Madrid, but we are assessing opportunities in Granada, Salamanca, Sevilla and Valencia, in other words, in the main university cities in Spain”.

Altamar, Orienta and Amira

Altamar Capital Partners is an independent financial services group that strives to provide institutional and high net worth investors with access to alternative investments, amongst other services (…).

The firm was constituted in Spain in 2004 and employs a team of 110 professionals at its offices in Madrid, Barcelona, Santiago de Chile and New York (…).

Meanwhile, Amira Real Estate was founded in 2006 by professionals in the real estate market specialising in the management of equity and real estate investments in Spain. (…). The group specialises in advising domestic and international clients with an interest in the Spanish real estate market, who are looking for a management platform to channel and monetise their investments.

Orienta Capital was created in 2002 and operates out of two headquarters in Spain, located in Bilbao and Madrid. The group, led by a team of professionals with experience in the real estate business, is chaired by Emilio Soroa, a former director at Seguros Bilbao. The team is completed by former directors of Safei, Beta Capital Mees Pierson, Merril Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Banif.

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake