Hard Rock to Open a 504-Room Hotel in Barcelona

15 May 2019 – Expansión

The Hard Rock International group has reached an agreement with the fund manager ASG to open a hotel in San Adriá de Besós on a plot of land acquired by the real estate firm.

The luxury establishment, which will be known as the Hard Rock Hotel Barcelona will have 504 rooms, will open in 2022 and will involve an investment of €200 million. The hotel will span a surface area of more than 30,000 m2 and will have two restaurants, a sports bar, terraces and a rooftop swimming pool and bar.

This is the second agreement that the two companies have signed to develop a hotel project in Spain, after they reached a similar deal last year to open a 4-star establishment in Madrid, in the Atocha neighbourhood.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

LaSalle Purchases Repsol’s HQ in Madrid for €100M

7 January 2019 – Idealista

A year of new real estate operations in Spain has begun and one of the first has been completed by an international fund. LaSalle Investment Management has purchased the future headquarters of Repsol in Atocha, in the Méndez Álvaro area of Madrid, from Royal Metropolitan for €100 million.

The building, located at number 23 Calle General Lacy, used to house the headquarters of the real estate consultancy Aguirre Newman, but that firm vacated the property in the summer to move to BBVA’s former tower on Paseo de la Castellana, 81 after it was acquired by the British firm Savills. LaSalle is a fund manager specialising in real estate investments. It is a subsidiary of the JLL group, listed in New York and the parent company of the real estate consultancy JLL.

Dating from the end of the nineteenth century, the building was formerly a Tabacalera warehouse until 1999, when Aguirre Newman undertook the renovation of the property to open its consultancy offices there. In the past, the asset was owned by the fund Zaphir, the manager linked to Aguirre Newman, although it has changed hands several times before ending up with another manager linked to a competitor firm.

LaSalle is one of the 20 largest managers of real estate funds in the world by properties under management, with an asset portfolio worth more than €53.2 billion at the end of the third quarter 2018. With its central headquarters in Chicago, the fund is present in 17 countries. The management firm was reborn following the merger of the British company Jones Lang Wootton and the US entity LaSalle Partners in 1999, which gave rise to the JLL holding company.

Original story: Idealista 

Translation: Carmel Drake

ASG Invests €25M in the First Hard Rock Hotel in Madrid

10 October 2018 – Eje Prime

ASG Homes is converting one of its assets in Madrid. The real estate group is investing €25 million to transform one of its municipal office buildings into a four-star hotel. For this operation, the group has joined forces with the Hard Rock International brand, which has a presence in more than 74 countries and which is now debuting with its first hotel in the Spanish capital.

The hotel will have 159 rooms and will be located in the Madrilenian district of Atocha, opposite the Reina Sofia National Art Centre Museum. ASG is also planning to build an urban garden on the rooftop.

For Brian Betel, Managing Partner of  ASG Iberia Advisors, “this office building has a lot more potential as a hotel thanks to its proximity to the main tourist attractions in Madrid, as well as to the business centre and shopping district”.

ActivumSG in Spain (which operates under the brand ASG in the country) acquired the asset in 2015 for €15 million. The former owner of the building, which has a surface area of 7,800 m2, was the multinational AEW Europe.

The objective of the operation involves unblocking the asset for the group’s investors and taking a step forward in the company’s growth strategy in Spain. Similarly, sources at ASG Iberia indicate that they have opted for Hard Rock due to its “international reach”.

At present, the portfolio of ActivumSG in Spain comprises a dozen assets, with the exception of two, which were divested in recent months, located on c/Manuel de Falla and on c/Santa Leonor, both in Madrid. Even so, the operation that caused the fund to jump to the fore was its purchase of the Mercado de Fuencarral.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Emesa’s Storage Space Company Boxinfiniti Debuts in Madrid with 5,100m2

22 March 2018 – Eje Prime

Emesa, the investment group owned by Emilio Cuatrecasas, is continuing to grow the businesses in which it operates. Boxinfiniti, which specialises in the rental of storage space and in which Emesa holds a stake, has made its debut in Madrid with the absorption of 5,100 m2 spread over three locations.

Two of the premises are located in the centre of Madrid (in the Cuatro Caminos-Nuevos Ministerios and Pacífico areas, close to Atocha station) and the third is located in Alcorcón. Together, the sites span a total surface area of 5,100 m2.

In Barcelona, with the upcoming opening of four new centres in the process of being implemented, the total surface area under management will increase by 3,650 m2. The new establishments there are located in the neighbourhoods of Eixample, Gràcia and Sants, in Barcelona and in Santa Coloma de Gramenet.

With these openings, Boxinfiniti, led by Luis Casanovas, is expanding its network to include thirteen storage centres in Barcelona and Madrid. “The company is constantly on the lookout for premises in the best locations of Barcelona and Madrid within the framework of its strategic plan”, according to sources at the group.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Invesco Invests €80M in Madrid Logistics Park to be Built by Pavasal

19 March 2018 – Expansión

The Valencian construction company Pavasal and the investment fund manager Invesco have reached an agreement to develop the largest available area of logistics space for rent in the city of Madrid, with an investment of €80 million.

The project will involve the construction, by Pavasal, of a logistics park spanning 90,000 m2, just 8km from the centre of the Spanish capital, which Invesco will subsequently purchase. The operation has been advised by the consultancy firm BNP Paribas Real Estate.

The Madrid M-40 Logistics Park (PAL-40), which is going to be located alongside the M-40, will be built in two phases. The first phase will involve the construction of a building measuring more than 45,000 m2. This property may be leased in modules upwards of 2,500 m2 to several tenants or be occupied by a single logistics operator.

Work on the first phase is scheduled to begin during the second half of 2018 and the keys are expected to be handed over during the third quarter of next year.

Meanwhile, the second phase of the project will include another 45,000 m2 of logistics space, which may be used for turn-key projects adapted to the needs of operators.

Last mile delivery

The park is going to be constructed on the basis of a ratio of more than 2,000 delivery operations per day and will optimise delivery times thanks to its location with respect to the large population nuclei and logistics activity centres. Moreover, it will receive an energy efficiency certificate, according to those responsible for the project.

Specifically, the platform will have a 336-metre long façade overlooking the motorway and will be accessible by vehicle from Avenida de Andalucía, which the logistics sector call the last mile.

In this way, the new logistics park is going to be located less than 8km from Puerta del Sol, close to the Atocha AVE station and 19km from the airport.

The logistics sector was one of the segments that performed the best last year, as shown by the large volume of land that was bought and sold thanks to the growing demand for logistics space by companies dedicated to e-commerce.

Thus, the level of uptake in the sector in the market of Madrid and its area of influence reached historical highs in 2017, with 886,405 m2 of space leased, according to data compiled by BNP Paribas Real Estate.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Co-Working Operators Leased 5-Times More Office Space in 2017

8 February 2018 – Expansión

Operators of co-working offices are gaining strength in Spain and multiplied by five times the space leased in 2017, to 40,500 m2.

The international co-working giants –WeWork, Regus, Glue Concept and Busining– are claiming their space in Spain and have recorded a milestone in the leasing of co-working office space in Madrid and Barcelona.

Last year, 40,500 m2 was leased for use by these kinds of work spaces, which represents a five-fold increase in the figure recorded the previous year, according to explanations provided by the real estate consultancy firm Savills Aguirre Newman.

Sources at the consultancy firm explain that the arrival of international operators has definitively reactivated the so-called serviced office sector in Spain, which includes business centres and co-working spaces.

Specifically, Regus, WeWork, Busining and Glue Concept closed 15 office space rental operations in Spain last year. Those operators opted for new and renovated buildings, with large and bright spaces, locations that are well-connected by public transport and with excellent services for their users in the vicinity of the offices, explained Ana Zavala, National Director of the Offices Agency at Savills Aguirre Newman.

By city, Madrid accounted for 82% of the surface area leased, whilst Barcelona represented 18%. By number of operations, 53% corresponded to Madrid, compared with 47% to Barcelona.

For the consultancy firm, the participation of this new model in the global office calculation for Madrid and Barcelona still has room for growth, as it currently accounts for around 5%. Thus, whilst in Madrid and Barcelona, the leasing by these types of business accounted for 3% in 2016, in London, they represented 10%.

“The growth in terms of leasing has been very significant in 2017, but the model is still very new in Madrid and Barcelona, and will depend on the success and demand that is generated. London is a much more mature market in terms of co-working in Europe and there the market share has amounted to around 9%-10% of the volume leased over the last two years”, said Zavala.

For the National Director of the Offices Agency at Savills Aguirre Newman, the benefits of these spaces are attractive for SMEs and micro-companies used to working in a collaborative way (…).

New players

In an effort to take advantage of the new needs in the market, the large Spanish Socimis Colonial and Merlin have also taken their first steps into this business. In this way, in October, the Catalan Socimi closed an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in the co-working platform Utopic_US. That agreement also includes the development of a strategic plan through successive capital injections by Colonial. Utopic_US, founded by 2010, has three centres in Madrid and will open another one in Barcelona within the next few weeks.

Also in October, Merlin announced the purchase of a stake in Loom House. In the case of the Socimi led by Ismael Clemente, its alliance with Loom House involves jointly converting some of the buildings in Merlin’s portfolio into co-working office spaces. Loom House currently has two co-working centres in Madrid, one in the Atocha area and another on Calle Huertas.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Activum Buys Land From CaixaBank to Build 1,000 Homes in Sevilla

2 January 2018 – Eje Prime

The real estate funds are back in Spain. The German group Activum (which has undertaken a large part of its investments in Madrid in the last two years) has just completed the acquisition of 19 plots of land in Sevilla Este, which, were owned until now by the Building Center, the real estate arm of CaixaBank.

The land in question is located on Avenida de las Ciencias and on Calles Soledades, Homero, Argos and Laertes and may accommodate more than 1,000 homes, together with other tertiary and commercial developments, according to ABC Sevilla.

In fact, this deal represents the second largest operation in this part of the city in recent months, given that Vía Célere, controlled mainly by the fund Värde Partners, acquired another large land portfolio in September, next to the Aquópolis leisure park, which in that case belonged to BBVA, and which has the capacity for the construction of more than 1,700 homes.

Currently, Activum’s portfolio in Spain comprises a dozen assets, with the exception of two that have been divested in recent months, located in Manuel de Falla and Santa Leonor, both in Madrid. Even so, the operation that caused the fund to shoot to fame was its purchase of the Mercado de Fuencarral.

The fund undertook that investment through the vehicle Activum SG Fund III and, although Talus Capital headed up the operation, the bulk of the money proceeded from the fund (approximately €22 million in total). Since then, it has been busy making purchases almost every month.

One of its latest involved the acquisition of six plots of land, all in Madrid, on which more than 1,000 homes can be built. The fund manager closed the agreement with Altamira for those plots in Alcalá de Henares, which have a buildable surface area of up to 50,000 m2.

Its portfolio of assets in Spain is completed with a building in Atocha, in Madrid, acquired in 2015, which it plans to convert into a hotel; the Sexta Avenida shopping centre, also located in the Spanish capital, which has a surface area of 16,800 m2; and the Ruta de Plata shopping centre, the only retail complex in Cáceres, which spans 8,300 m2.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Palladium & ECI Consider Rebranding Valencia Hotel Under ‘Only You’ Ensign

7 March 2016 – Expansión

The Palladium Hotel Group and El Corte Inglés are considering converting Hotel Ayre Astoria, acquired in 2006 for around €36 million, into an Only You branded establishment.

Located in the heart of Valencia, the Ayre Astoria Palace has 204 rooms and, due to its size and location, is emerging as the most likely candidate to form part of the new ensign that the family chain, owned by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and the retail group, which each hold a 50% stake. Currently, the urban Only You brand has one property on the Madrilenian street of Calle Barquillo, and in the next few months, it will add a new hotel in Atocha, with 206 rooms.

The hotel chain’s strategy includes establishing this premium brand in other Spanish cities, where it already has assets that could be converted into Only You properties, before setting its sights on growth overseas. Specifically, its internationalisation plans include expanding into the main European capital cities, as well as making the leap across the Atlantic (to Latin America and the USA). The plan is to complete these three stages over the next five years.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake