30 September 2019 – Merlin Properties has offered 699 offices that it currently leases to BBVA in return for the Spanish bank’s rights to the Operación Chamartín, a 3.3 million-square-meter new urban development in northern Madrid. Merlin is in the final stages of negotiations with BBVA to take over what will be the largest urban development in Spain and one of the largest in Europe. For the bank, the deal offers the possibility of acquiring its offices with no capital outlay and avoiding future rental payments.
Operación Chamartín encompasses land that is 5.6 kilometres in length and up to one kilometre in width. The development will consist of residences, offices, retail stores, parks, gardens and other amenities and facilities such as schools.
In November 2018, BBVA had already re-acquired 166 branches from Merlin for €252 million. Based on that sale, the remaining 699 bank branches could have an estimated total value of approximately €1.1 billion.
Original Story: El País – Íñigo de Barrón
Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner