4 October 2018
CaixaBank has invested 320 million euros in the skyscraper, the commercial centre, the CaixaForum and the Fernando de Magallanes park.
Several international investment funds have signalled interest in a possible acquisition of the Torre Sevilla, a commercial, office and cultural complex in which CaixaBank has invested 320 million euros through the company Puerto Triana. The funds have sounded out the bank “, but no sales process is underway,” sources at CaixaBank stated.
“CaixaBank sees the Torre Sevilla as the crown jewel of the south of Spain, and it is true that it is not a strategic asset for the bank. However, now the whole building is now in the launching phase and still has a long way to go,” the same source noted, stating that no defined sales plan exists for the complex. The company expects to increase the complex’s profitability in the coming years, after a process of consolidation and an increase in rents.
Although there are no plans for a sale, the success of the project has attracted the attention of potential buyers. “The truth is that some investment funds are interested… in such a unique project, but… the sales process has not begun.”
Antonio Cayuela, the sole administrator of Puerto Triana, the owner of Torre Sevilla, as well as president of BuildingCenter, CaixaBank’s real estate company, already told ABC last July that “right now there are no plans to sell, which does not mean that we won’t do it in the future. What we have done is make it valuable for Sevilla and complete the commitment we had with the city.”
“The truth is that our main and only mission during this time has been to start the project. We have not had much time to think about other things. It is true that we have had other shopping centres that we have sold, finished or unfinished, which came to us due to bad loans,” Mr Cayuela said.
For its part, on the same day as the inauguration of the Torre Sevilla shopping centre on September 26, Rafael Herrador, the regional director for CaixaBank in western Andalusia, recalled that “in the middle of the economic crisis, CaixaBank invested 320 million euros in this project. CaixaBank decided that it was an important challenge and that we had to deliver on our commitment to Sevilla. The only solution we saw was to finalise the project and generate value for Sevilla.”
Mr Herrador said that their expectations for the shopping centre “have not only been met but have been overcome. With the opening of the shopping centre to the public, the development of the Torre Sevilla complex has concluded.”
The Torre Sevilla shopping centre has received more than 350,000 visits since it opened a week ago. Only the first day, the shopping mall received 61,000 visits, with queues forming at the first Primark store in Sevilla, persisting to this date. It has been the best inauguration for the low-cost Irish fashion house apart from those in Madrid and Barcelona. The shopping centre expects to receive 8 million visits every year. For the time being, the inauguration has led to the creation of 1,600 jobs, 250 of them at Primark.
For its part, CaixaForum, which is a lessee at the Torre Sevilla, has received more than 300,000 visits since its opening. Moreover, the office tower has also already rented its 37 floors.
The skyscraper has 50,000 of the gross leasable area. When the bank began to market it, Spain was just beginning to emerge from the economic crisis, and many buildings on the Cartuja island were empty. CaixaBank set a very attractive rental price and managed to fill the skyscraper: 15 euros per square meter per month, without condominium fees. 1,500 people now work in the tower, although it has the capacity for 1,800.
Hotusa’s five-star hotel Eurostars Torre Sevilla occupies floors 19 to 37 of the skyscraper. The other floors of the skyscraper are leased by top-level companies, such as Ayesa, Active Business & Technology, a Microsoft partner; Aenor; the technology consultancy Chakray; the Optima software company; Orange; Everis; Deloitte and the Seville Chamber of Commerce, among others.
Original Story: abcdesevilla
Translation: Richard Turner