Andalusian Government to Sell Former Post Office Building in Málaga

14 October 2019 The former Post Office building in Málaga will finally go on sale after a decade vacant, as the Andalusian government has approved its sale after lifting a €2.14 million embargo on the property. The sale comes at a time when the local real estate market is in an upswing, and potential investors have taken an interest in the property.

Zoning laws in the city, however, state that the property must be used as residences for students or senior citizens, or as a university centre or hospital. Market sources believe that gaining municipal approval to convert the property into use as a hotel would be a lengthy and complex process.

The Andalusian government has set a base price of just over 16.8 million euros, somewhat lower than the €19-million price a valuation gave it a few months ago. Interested parties must contact the government by November 14.

Original Story: Málaga Hoy – Sebastián Sánchez

Photo: Javier Albiñana

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Funds, Socimis, El Corte Inglés & Seur Compete in the Urban Logistics Segment

9 March 2019 – Expansión

Investors and logistics operators alike are setting their sights on urban hubs to benefit from the boom in e-commerce. According to data from CBRE, investment in the logistics sector is thriving – it amounted to €2 billion in 2017, €1.5 billion in 2018 and is forecast to reach €1.2 billion in 2019. Active players in the sector include the Singapore sovereign fund through its Socimi P3, Blackstone, Prologis, Logicor, CBRE GI and Montepino, and Merlin, amongst others.

Urban hubs are gaining significant weight in the sector thanks to their ability to reduce transport costs, avoid the new traffic restrictions and resolve the problem of product returns.

According to the CNMC, Correos and Correos Express currently deliver 44% of all packages in Spain, followed by MRW and Seur (14% each) and DHL (4.5%).

In terms of retailers operating in this space, Amazon set the ball rolling by opening a logistics centre in the heart of the Eixample district of Barcelona and in the Méndez Álvaro area of Madrid. Other large retailers are following suit by opening distribution centres inside major cities, such as Decathlon, MediaMarkt, Ikea, Aki, Carrefour and Worten.

The investment firm Azora has also announced its intention to invest €250 million in logistics hubs in urban centres, which it will lease to delivery specialists such as Seur, DHL and MRW. Seur already has eleven urban logistics centres and plans to open another nine this year. Meanwhile, DHL already has ten such hubs and plans to open two more this year.

In the same vein, the department store giant El Corte Inglés has also launched an ambitious omnichannel logistics strategy, which will convert its 94 shopping centres into storage points for the management of online purchases.

Original story: Expansión (by I. de las Heras & R. Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Aena Kicks Off Spain’s Largest RE Project with Public-Private Investment of €3bn

24 April 2018 – El Confidencial

Aena has fired the starting gun for the largest real estate development plan in Spain, equivalent to four times Operación Chamartín or ten times the Retiro Park. It is the Real Estate Plan for the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport, which will involve a combined public-private investment of €2.997 billion.

This project, which Aena has been working on since before its stock market debut, proposes the development of 562 hectares of new land, which would allow it to place a buildable surface area of 2.68 million m2 on the market over the next 40 years.

The bulk of the land will be allocated to the development of the largest logistics centre in Spain, which will link the airport’s current cargo loading area with the Corredor del Henares, one of the main logistics regions in the country.

The land allocated to this use will span 257 hectares in total and 1.48 million m2 of buildable surface area, most of which will be developed over the next eight years, and which will mean multiplying the space in the airport dedicated to this use by ten-fold.

The rapid growth of e-commerce and the need from giants such as Amazon and Correos to have large warehouses next to Spain’s largest airport, and the gates of Madrid, are behind the business logic for this move, given that Aena is not planning to build any homes in the area.

In this way, this part of the development will be configured into parks with integrated logistics and transport services, as well as loading warehouses and distribution stores; its main objective will be to serve companies in the electronics, biopharma and perishable product businesses, amongst others. Over the next eight years, the second phase of the plan will begin, aimed at completing the logistics uses and, above all, building a new business centre, known as Airport City, to house the headquarters of large companies such as Aena itself and its parent company, Enaire, as well as four hotels that will add 900 rooms to the existing supply in Madrid.

The total surface area reserved for those uses is 62 hectares, with a forecast buildable surface area of 652,000 m2, 90% of which will be dedicated to offices.

These buildings will be located in an area adjacent to T4, which has already been pre-urbanised and which will have pedestrian access to the terminal, and which will also be connected by public transport (metro, suburban train and bus).

There will also be a leisure and shopping centre, covering a total surface area of 57 hectares and a total forecast buildable surface area of 341,000 m2, plus 298,000 m2 of green space.

Aena hopes to turn this leisure space into a magnet in its own right and, to this end, it plans to open a themed recreation area, a shopping centre, a gastronomic space, wellness areas, an aeronautical museum and panoramic observatories.

“It is an ambitious but realistic plan that is perfectly feasible”, said the Minister for Development, Iñigo de la Serna, during the presentation of the plan this morning, where he also pointed out that the urban planning procedures for these plots of land will be agile.

The plots that form part of this plan will be developed under a concession regime, given that Aena will continue to be the owner. All indications are that at its next meeting, the company’s Board of Directors, chaired by Jaime García-Legaz, will formally initiate this process.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin to Invest €16M Remodelling Porto Pi Shopping Centre (Palma)

15 December 2017 – Última Hora

Merlin Properties, the listed real estate investment company (Socimi) and largest shareholder of the Porto Pi shopping centre, is going to invest €16 million to remodel and improve the asset’s commercial offer.

The Socimi, in which Santander and BBVA hold a stake, has set itself the objective of improving the centre to bring it into line with current tastes in the market.

Sources at Merlin Properties indicate that in the new era of shopping centres, the aim is to attract the greatest number of visitors “for convenience and experiences”.

The Socimi plans to extend the centre’s areas of activity beyond pure shopping, towards experiences. Moreover, it is keen to integrate the centre with e-commerce, through the constitution of a marketplace and by placing Amazon and Correos e-commerce purchase collection points, as well as pop-up stores and temporary outlets.

Merlin Properties estimates that these improvements, together with the management and natural growth of the assets, will allow it to increase its current annual revenues by 22% and to exceed a country-wide turnover figure of €500 million based on all of its planned projects, without having to buy new properties.

Amongst the most important investments are the €21 million that it plans to spend on the complete renovation of the Larios centre in Málaga and the €16 million that it plans to spend on Porto Pi in Palma.

The shopping centre in Palma receives 8.7 million visitors per year. The different phases of the construction work that are going to be carried out will be completed during the first quarter of 2020 (…).

The final objective is to consolidate Porto Pi’s dominant position at the commercial level in Palma with the maximum variety and diversification of products.

Original story: Última Hora (by J. L. Ruiz Collado)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin To Invest €15.2M Renovating Valencia’s El Saler Shopping Centre

24 October 2017 – Expansión

Merlin is going to undertake improvements at its shopping centres on the basis that it considers that e-commerce “is not going to kill the physical shopping experience, but rather transform the way it is done”.

In this way, the Socimi is committed to improving its shopping centres to bring them into line with visitors’ current tastes. In its opinion, the “new era” of shopping centres will attract visitors on the basis of convenience and experience.

To this end, it is committed to expanding its centres’ areas of activity beyond just shopping, to include experiences. In line with this strategy, one of its major investments currently underway involves the shopping centre it has acquired in Alcorcón (Madrid), known as ‘X-Madrid‘.  There it will invest €31.8 million to convert the retail space into a leisure centre for experiences, where visitors will be able to go diving, surfing and climbing.

Moreover, the Socimi advocates the integration of shopping centres with e-commerce, including the constitution of marketplaces, housing collection points for online purchases from Amazon and Correos, as well as pop-up stores and temporary shops.

Merlin’s other notable investments in this segment include the €21 million it is spending on the complete renovation of the Larios Centre in Málag; the €3.8 million it will use to improve the façade and common areas of the Arturo Soria shopping centre in Madrid; the €15.2 million that will be used to renovate El Saler in Valencia; and the €16 million it will invest in the Porto Pi shopping centre in Palma.

Original story: Expansión 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin Acquires Three New Properties In Spain

14 January 2015 – El Mundo

Merlin has acquired an office building in Barcelona and two logistics warehouses in Getafe and Vitoria.

As a result of these transactions, the Socimi’s gross rentable area exceeds 680,000 square metres.

The Socimi Merlin Properties, one of the leading real estate companies listed on the Spanish stock exchange, which specialises in the acquisition and management of tertiary assets in the Iberian peninsular, has announced that it completed the purchase of three new assets in December. It spent €88.4 million on the acquisitions, which will generate rental income of €5.9 million, taking the total annual gross rental income the company generates from its portfolio of assets to more than €128.8 million.

The first acquisition involved an office building in Barcelona, number 8 of the WTCAP, which it bought for €36.5 million. This represents the second purchase made by the company in the landmark business park, following its acquisition of the building at number 6 in August. Number 8 has a gross leasable area of 14,543 square metres, plus 700 sqm of storage and 247 parking spaces.

The building in the WTCAP is partially leased to multi-national companies such as Panasonic, Technip and Colt Telecom. The acquisition price represents an initial gross rental yield of 5.6% (4.8% net) and the property has high growth potential, through the rental of its unoccupied surface area (equivalent to 35% of the total leasable area). If the building were fully occupied, the rental yield of the property would exceed 8%.

Meanwhile, Merlin Properties is continuing its commitment to logistics and industrial assets, where it now has a gross leasable area under management of more than 136,000 square metres. In December 2014, it bought a logistics warehouse measuring 16,242 square metres, located in the CLA in Getafe (Madrid), which is leased to the Galician logistics company Transportes Souto under a 10-year contract. The acquisition price (€12.5 million) represents a gross and net rental yield of 8.4%.

Finally, Merlin has also acquired a logistics warehouse measuring 72,717 square metres in Vitoria, located in the Júndiz business park, which is renowned for its excellent transport connections and for housing the only Mercedes Benz factory in Spain. The park is also home to several other prestigious companies, including Correos, DHL, DB Schenker, Azkar (Dascher) and Adif. The warehouse is leased under a 10-year contract to the well-known multi-national logistics company Norbert Dentressangle. The acquisition price (€28.58 million) represents a gross and net rental yield of 9.6%.

As a result of these three transactions, Merlin Properties’ real estate portfolio now has a total gross leasable area of more than 680,000 square metres and generates gross annual rental income of €128.8 million.

Original story: El Mundo

Translation: Carmel Drake