Excem to Promote 5,000 Luxury Homes in the Costa del Sol & Murcia

21 November 2018 – Eje Prime

Excem is increasing its commitment to the luxury residential sector. The company owned by the Hatchwell family has set itself the objective of promoting 5,000 luxury homes on the Costa del Sol and Murcia, within the context of the development of its LOV Real Estate division. To launch these homes, which will follow in the footsteps of a development on Calle Fuencarral in Madrid, Excem has created the brand Solomon Homes.

Excem’s plans with LOV Real Estate involve starting to promote its entire land bank in 2019. The first projects to be commercialised in the south include four promotions in Condado de Alhama, one of the best resorts on the Costa Cálida. In that complex, LOV has already started work on the construction of Villa Primavera, Villa Amapola and Villa Atardecer, as well as Edificio Poniente. The company plans to hand over those homes next summer.

Further south, on the Costa del Sol, the property developer is finalising the signing of several projects with “the same model of avant-garde and unique architecture” in the area, on the fashionable coastline of the Spanish residential market. The company expects to achieve a return of more than 20% in each of its projects.

The starting point for luxury

Nevertheless, Excem’s starting point with LOV Real Estate will be a 25-home development on Calle Fuencarral in Madrid. The group’s first development will involve an investment of €14 million and will be located at number 142 of the Madrilenian street, right in the heart of the Spanish capital.

The company has already started work and its pre-sales amount to 80% with just four homes left to market. The buyers include investors and architects, explain sources at Excem (…).

The property developer plans to handover those homes, which will have between one and three bedrooms, before the end of 2019. The homes will have surface areas ranging from 55 m2 to 175 m2, and prices starting at €400,000, and going up to €1.5 million (…).

Excem: true to its roadmap 

The last investment vehicle launched by Excem Real Estate, the real estate division of the Excem Group, was Siwork, specialising in co-working and for which the group has partnered with WeWork, as Eje Prime revealed. With Excem Capital Partners Siwork, the group stays true to its roadmap: to be present in the Spanish real estate sector with three Socimis, diversified by type of asset and focused on millennial clients.

The first of the three companies launched by the Israeli family in Spain was Excem Capital Partners Sociedad de Inversión Residencial. Specialising in rental housing aimed at millennials, the company debuted on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) in July worth €17 million. Currently, the company owns 28 assets in Spain and has several shareholders ranging from private investors to business people and family offices.

Besides Excem Capital Partners Sociedad de Inversión Residencial, the Hatchwell family also operates in the Spanish real estate sector with Situr, a firm specialising in tourist properties such as apartments and hostels. The investment target for this second Socimi is approximately €250 million between now and the rest of 2018. The company has set itself the objective of having 3,500 beds in a dozen buildings, located primarily in Madrid and Barcelona, as well as in other tourist cities around the country.

With the activation of Siwork, the plans for this new company involve carrying out an investment of €200 million to acquire a dozen buildings in Spain’s main cities.

The Hatchwell family’s links with the real estate world date back to the beginning of the 1970s, when Mauricio Hatchwell Toledano founded the group, specialising first in cement and later in technology and real estate. Nowadays, the company is led by his children David, Philip and Kareen Hatchwell Altaras.

Original story: Eje Prime (by J. Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sfera Leaves Gran Vía & Frees Up 1,000 m2 of Prime Retail Space

23 August 2018 – Eje Prime

Sfera is freeing up 1,000 m2 of space in the centre of Madrid. In September, the fashion chain owned by El Corte Inglés is going to abandon the store it currently occupies on Gran Vía, with a useful commercial surface area of 600 m2. The company has decided not to renew the rent that tied it to the recent purchaser of the building, the US fund Thor Equities.

Located at number 30 on the Spanish capital’s main commercial thoroughfare, surrounded by competitor brands (Inditex, H&M, Tendam and Primark, amongst others), the store is no longer of interest to Sfera, which has justified its departure on the basis of the small size of the store for the exhibition model that it is developing, according to Cinco Días. The chain has occupied this three-story establishment (comprising the first, ground and basement floors) since 2005.

Sfera is immersed in a process to renovate and reorganise its business plan for its commercial activity in the centre of Madrid. The company recently remodelled its store at number 4 Calle Preciados, which has a surface area of 2,500 m2 spread over five storeys.

The objective of the chain is to strengthen the presence of its store on Preciados so that it will become the firm’s flagship store in the centre of Madrid. Similarly, Sfera is going to start work soon on the renovation of its store at number 56 Calle Fuencarral. The company’s portfolio of retail assets in the centre of the Spanish capital is completed by a second establishment at number 118 Calle Fuencarral and the concession stands it has in the El Corte Inglés stores in the area.

In total, Sfera renovated 26 of its stores in Spain in 2017. With a presence in 15 countries besides Spain, where it opened its newest store just a few months ago in Fuengirola (Málaga), the chain is investing considerably in the international real estate market. The clearest example is Mexico, where the firm has 45 stores, all operated as franchises.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Union Investment Sells Pórtico Building in Madrid to a French Fund

19 July 2018 – Eje Prime

International operation in the office market in Madrid. The German fund Union Investment has sold the Pórtico building to a leading French investment company. The price of the operation has not been revealed, but it exceeded the valuation.

The building, located at number 2 Calle Mahonia, in the Campo de las Naciones area, spans a surface area of 21,000 m2 spread over seven storeys. Moreover, the asset has 413 parking spaces. The operation has been advised by CBRE.

The tenants of the property, which used to be the headquarters of Marsans for several years, include the cruise company Pullmantur and the liquor company Beam Suntory. The building is almost completely occupied, according to details provided by the last owners, who were asking €130 million for the asset when they put it on the market in January.

Pórtico, designed by the architects SOM and Rafael de La-Hoz, was constructed in 2005 and has formed part of Union Investment’s real estate portfolio since 2008. The asset was included in the group’s Unilmo: Deutschland portfolio.

The operation represents the end of Unilmo: Deutschland’s investments in Spain. Nevertheless, Union Investment is continuing to analyse the commercial property market in Madrid for possible new purchases.

Not in vain, at the beginning of the year, the German fund acquired a commercial asset on central Calle Fuencarral in the Spanish capital. Union Investment also owns two offices buildings in Spain and a hotel in Barcelona, which together have a combined value of approximately €190 million.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Thor Equities Sells c/Fuencarral 16 to Union Investment

31 January 2018 – Eje Prime

The fund Thor Equities is closing its positions in Spain. The group has sold number 16 Calle Fuencarral to the institutional fund Union Investment. Just before the operation, Thor Equities signed a rental contract to lease the store to the Swedish giant H&M, the second largest fashion retailer in the world, which will open a branch of its Cos chain there.

The establishment has a surface area of 1,320 m2, according to explanations provided in a statement issued by Union Investment and Thor Equities. The five-storey property was constructed in 1900 and was completely renovated in 2017. The fund changed the use of the property in order to convert it into a mega-store, whereby following the trend in the market in the centre of Madrid, as well as the example set by other real estate investors.

The operation, whose amount has not been disclosed, represents the first purchase by Union Investment in the market for high-street stores in Spain, although assets in the retail sector already account for 30% of the portfolio that the fund manages in Europe.

Nevertheless, the group already owned assets in the Spanish market. What’s more, the fund has already started to cash in some of its properties in the country with the sale of the former headquarters of Marsans. The Pórtico Building, located in Campo de las Naciones in Madrid, is up for sale for €130 million, a higher amount than the €115 million that the German investment group paid in 2009 to the now extinct travel company.

Headquartered in Frankfurt, the German company currently has several high profile tenants leasing that property, including: Pepsico, Pullmantur, Nautalia and Beam España, amongst others. With a gross leasable area of 27,000 m2, the Pórtico Building was designed by the architecture studios SOM and Rafael de La-Hoz.

Union Investment’s decision to put this asset on the market comes at a time when there is a distinct shortage of space in the office segment, after the leasing of offices grew by 31% in Madrid in 2017, to 543,000 m2, according to the consultancy Cushman&Wakefield.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Hatchwell Family Launches a Luxury Housing Developer

21 December 2017 – Expansión

The Excem group, led by the second generation of the Hatchwell family, has decided to strengthen its commitment to the Spanish real estate sector, which it broke into a few months ago with the launch of several Socimis.

Now, the Hatchwell family has placed its focus on the house building sector, a booming market in Spain. To this end, the company has created a property developer specialising in luxury housing: LOV Real Estate. “Our objective is to position ourselves in the medium-high end market. For that reason, we are launching LOV Real Estate now; it is going to be the brand of our property developer for building luxury homes with a forecast return for investors of more than 20%”, says Andrés Sánchez Lozano, CEO of Excem Real Estate.

Following its creation, LOV has already chosen its first project: the building located at number 142 Calle Fuencarral in Madrid, in the heart of the Chamberí neighbourhood. There, Excem has purchased a seven-storey building and with a total investment of around €14 million, it will build 25 homes, with between 1- and 3-bedrooms and prices ranging between €400,000 and €1.5 million. “LOV RE’s commitment on Fuencarral includes design architecture, bioclimatic features and ecological mobility elements. The large garden terrace with swimming pool, gym and meeting room for residents also stands out as a unique feature in the area.

LOV Real Estate has been structured as another investment line within the Hatchwell family’s real estate business, launched at the beginning of the year (2017) with the aim of investing €600 million in homes, hostels and offices through three Socimis. Currently, two are operational: one specialising in the residential sector, which owns 27 properties after investing around €14 million and which will debut on the MAB in May 2018.

The other, specialising in hostels and tourist apartments (Situr) has invested €22 million in a single asset in the centre of Madrid.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Madrid’s Gran Vía To Be Part Pedestrianised By 2019

10 November 2017 – Expansión

On 4 April 1910, King Alfonso XIII seized a silver pick to symbolise the start of the construction of Madrid’s Gran Vía. It took 21 years to finish the 1,306m long thoroughfare, which, as well as connecting the east and west of the capital, became a showcase for large department stores (today’s multi-nationals fashion chains), cinemas and theatres (of which less than half of the original spaces are now left) but, above all, a catwalk for passers-by of every kind; because Gran Vía is a concentrated example of the 21st century society.

And this road is going to be subject to construction once again from February next year, with the aim of restoring value for two of its major stars: the pedestrians and the historical buildings that stand tall on this street, which we barely have time to appreciate given the frenetic pace of life today.

This change will undoubtedly have consequences for the real estate market in this area, which is already quite unusual. “It is a neighbourhood with just a few, very special homes and so logically, they are going to go up in value significantly”, says Julio Rivero, real estate consultant for the central region at Engel & Völkers.

For Daniel Díaz, architect and agent at Lucas Fox in Madrid, “giving pedestrians more space is something that is being done in all of the major cities in Europe. It makes a lot of sense on Gran Vía because it has more people walking along it nowadays than it does vehicle traffic”. Díaz recalls the case of Serrano and how the reduction in the number of lanes and the widening of the pavements there has been a revulsive, improving trade in the area.

Expansive effect

Gran Vía has so much force that it magnetises the area, and almost twenty streets flow into it, with a lot of life of their own, such as San Bernardo, Valverde, Fuencarral, Hortaleza and Barquillo. The manager at Lucas Fox predicts that this reactivation will have a porous effect: “The benefits of pedestrianisation are going to expand to the adjoining streets and squares, such as Plaza de Pedro Zerolo and Calle Fuencarral, which have more homes that are going to go up in value”. For Díaz, this will attract the domestic market to the area once again, which has been dominated by tourists and young people in recent times.

Although none of the experts consulted doubts that the quality of life will improve, it is clear that some people will inevitably lose out. Ana Calderón, Director of Real Estate at Home Select, the real estate consultancy that manages several tourist apartments in the area, indicates the damage that the limitations on traffic will have for properties owners in buildings such as Gran Vía 48; they also purchased parking spaces in a large underground car park there (…).

The Town Hall’s future project has been explained in several different ways (…) and the details of the plans have not been completely defined, but it seems certain that the current six lanes will be reduced to four. In this way, the 55,000 vehicles that currently travel on this thoroughfare every day will be reduced to just 10,000, according to the Town Hall’s forecasts (…).

According to Sergio Fernández, Director of Retail at JLL, the changes will have a clear beneficial effect for shops, above all due to the plan to widen the pavements, which will be undertaken to resolve the severe pedestrian (traffic) jams that the street suffers from on the weekends and during peak shopping times (…).

The new face of Gran Vía will require an investment of €9 million and is likely to be ready by the spring of 2019.

Original story: Expansión (by Loreto Ruiz-Ocaña)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Victoria’s Secret & Armani To Open Stores In Plaza Río 2 Shopping Centre

16 October 2017 – Expansión

On Thursday 20 October, the luxury Italian brand Armani is going to open a new store in Madrid. However, the new establishment is not going to be located on one of the capital’s high-end streets, such as Serrano or Ortega y Gasset, but rather in a shopping centre: the new Plaza Río 2.

Located on the banks of the River Manzanares, the Plaza Río 2 shopping centre is the latest project from the French real estate giant La Société Générale Inmobilière (LSGI). With a total investment of almost €200 million, the company has managed to secure tenants for the entire retail space, which measures 38,931m2, out of a total surface area of 127,873 m2.

The new tenants include household name brands, including several belonging to the Inditex group, such as Massimo Dutti and Zara Home, as well as new faces in the shopping centre business in Spain.

Such is the case of the aforementioned Armani group, which will open an Armani Exchange store for the first time in Spain; Armani Exchange is the Italian group’s brand that targets a younger audience.

Meanwhile, the underwear firm Victoria’s Secret, famous for its annual catwalk show with supermodels, will also make its debut in a shopping centre in Madrid with a store in Plaza Río 2.

Until now, the firm, owned by the US group L Brands, has had a presence in two shopping centres in Barcelona, as well as in the airports of Málaga, El Prat and Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas, in the cosmetics and accessories format. Just a few days ago, it opened its first high-street store in the Spanish capital, in premises measuring 150m2 on Calle Fuencarral, which will be joined by its new establishment in Plaza Río 2 next week.

Another first in the new shopping centre will be the H&M Home line. The Swedish firm has reserved a surface area of 3,000 m2, spread over three floors, where it will open a store that will offer its H&M Home household collection for the first time in the centre of Madrid.

Plaza Río 2 is the eighth shopping centre that LGSI has opened in Spain. Through its subsidiary LSGIE, the company has promoted well-known establishments such as Madrid 2 La Vaguada, one of the first shopping centres that ever opened in Spain. In addition to this latest new opening, the group plans to renovate and expand its different assets in the Spanish market, according to sources at LSGIE.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispavima Buys The Puma Store On c/Fuencarral For €13M

27 September 2017 – Eje Prime

Retail premises are continuing to attract the attention of both international and local investment funds. That is the case of the Murcian firm Hispavima, which has recently acquired the premises at number 33 on Calle Fuencarral, occupied by the sports fashion distribution group Puma, for approximately €13 million. Over the last few years, the company has expanded its portfolio of commercial assets in the capital, with the purchase of stores on coveted streets such as Preciados, Callao and Claudio Coello, amongst others.

The premises that Hispavima has acquired have a retail surface area of 196 m2. According to market sources, Puma pays a monthly rent of €40,000, and the return on the asset is 3.5%. The operation was closed in July, and was brokered by the real estate consultancy CBRE.

Hispavima is led by Jorge Tuchado, who is responsible for the expansion department at the group. Hispavima is the real estate division of Tefim Grupo Financiero, a holding company founded in 2001, which comprises several business lines (…).

The group currently owns 15 million m2 of land in total for tertiary, residential and logistics activity. “Of that, we have more than 1 million m2 of buildable land ready to develop”, says the director (…).

Although the company did not want to provide details about the value of its portfolio of retail premises, it did explain that it now owns more than a dozen assets. Its portfolio includes the Swatch store on c/Preciados; the Banco Santander branch on Callao, 1; and the Cos and Mango stores on c/Claudio Coello and c/Princesa, respectively.

“Over the last few years, we have not been able to purchase everything we have wanted to, given that the competition is much greater and the Spanish market is gaining a lot of interest”, says the director, indicating that the Socimis and international funds are direct competitors when it comes to buying a retail premise (…).

The hype of Fuencarral

The fact that the sports equipment distribution group Decathlon recently announced that it is going to open a macro-store measuring 2,400 m2 in the former Mercado de Fuencarral, on Calle Fuencarral, has served to put the Madrilenian retail thoroughfare on everyone’s radar in the real estate sector.

Fuencarral is one of the main shopping streets in Madrid. A large number of high-medium end fashion brands have stores on the street: from familiar brands such as El Ganso, Scalpers, Superdry, Pepe Jeans, Guess and Tommy Hilfiger to other, more high-end names such as Michael Kors, Maje, G-Star and Diesel.

On its busiest stretch, tenants pay an average rent of €151 per month per square metre. And although that figure has fluctuated somewhat over the last ten years, it is now at its peak, having grown by almost 32% since 2008. This makes Fuencarral a target location for many investment funds who see the retail premises as good assets for investment.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Decathlon Opens 3 New Stores In Central Madrid

5 September 2017 – Expansión

The French multinational sports equipment retailer Decathlon is raising its profile in the centre of Madrid by opening new large format stores in three of the Spanish capital’s main commercial thoroughfares.

Specifically, Decathlon is going to open one store at number 63 on Calle Princesa. The premises, which are owned by a family office, comprise two retail floors and a basement, with a total surface area of 1,700 m2. The operation has been advised by JLL. Similarly, the company is going to open a store with a surface area of 2,400 m2 in the Mercado de Fuencarral building, located at number 45 on the central Madrilenian street.

The Mercado de Fuencarral, which has been closed since 2015, comprises three floors and has undergone a complete renovation to be leased to a single tenant. The property is now owed by the real estate manager AEW, after it purchased the building this summer from Activum SG Capital Management (ASG) for €50 million.

Similarly, the sportswear firm will soon open a store at numbers 22 and 24 on Calle Ortega y Gasset spanning 2,600 m2.

Decathlon, which made its debut in Spain in 1992 with the opening of a shop in Badalona, currently has 158 stores across the country and six logistics centres, two of which are continental supply points.

In this way, Spain is the multinational’s third largest market by number of stores behind France (305) and China (222). As part of its strategy to bring stores closer to city centres, the French group has opened 37 Decathlon City stores in Spain over the last few years.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

AEW Europe Buys Mercado Fuencarral For €50M

15 August 2017 – Mis Locales

The real estate asset manager, AEW, has purchased the property from the fund ASG for €50 million. It is the company’s fourth operation in Madrid after it purchased commercial premises and offices on Calle Serrano. It closed the other operation in Alcobendas, with the purchase of the Amura building.

The operation has been advised by ASG Iberia Advisors, CBRE and Uría Menéndez on the sell-side, whilst Herbert Smith Freehills has advised AEW Europe.

The company says that its strategy is focused on creating a portfolio of high-quality, profitable retail assets, which are well-located within Europe’s main urban centres.

The property in question will have a new tenant, the sports clothing and accessories firm Decathlon. As such, Decathlon will have two stores on Calle Fuencarral, given that last year, it opened a shop at number 147, near Quevedo, with a surface area of 145 m2.

Original story: Mis Locales

Translation: Carmel Drake