Kronos Sells 111 Homes During Q1 2019

20 May 2019 – Press Release

Kronos Homes sold 111 homes in Spain and Portugal during the first quarter of 2019 and started work on the construction of a new development, Oasis 325, in Estepona (Málaga).

The company plans to take its total investment to €2.4 billion this year, of which €1 billion corresponds to the planned investment in land in both Spain and Portugal.

By the end of 2018, the property development arm of Kronos owned a portfolio of 12,000 homes across 16 developments, which it plans to increase by 4,000 units during 2019 across 24 developments.

Kronos Homes currently has eight projects under construction: Nature and General Marvà in Alicante; The Edge, Horizonte, Panorámica, La Finca and Oasis 325 on the Costa del Sol and H2O in Badalona. It is planning to start work on another 6 projects in Andalucía, Cataluña and Madrid this year.

All of the projects undertaken by Kronos Homes reflect its #Puredesign philosophy and place a special emphasis on good architecture, unique design and the special integration of the environment, whilst ensuring great finishes.

Original story: Press Release

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Gestilar Launches Plan to Address Mallorca’s Scarce Housing Supply

6 July 2018 – Eje Prime

Gestilar is thinking about the Mediterranean. The property developer has started the summer by marketing the first 89 homes that it is building in Mallorca. As part of its €123 million investment plan, the real estate company is going to build 400 homes over the next few years in Palma across three developments in the Nou Llevant area, to the south-east of the city.

Mediterrània 1, the residential development through which the real estate firm has arrived in the Balearic Islands, is going to comprise homes with two, three and four bedrooms. It is designed for locals, both first-time buyers as well as those looking to reposition”, explain sources at Gestilar speaking to Eje Prime.

On an island with a “shortage of structural supply and economic stability”, Mallorca has become “one of the most desirable markets in Europe for investing in the real estate sector”, according to Raúl Guerrero, Director of Developments at Gestilar.

At the end of 2017, the property developer led by Javier García-Valcárcel purchased three plots in the Balearic capital with a total surface area of 55,300 m2. “We set our sights on Palma due to the shortage of new housing projects that have been built there in recent years”, explains Guerrero, who highlights the “the pent-up and unfulfilled demand” that exists in the city.

The first of the developments comprises several four- and seven-story blocks with their ground floors allocated to commercial premises. The design of the project has been entrusted to the Spanish architecture studio L35, which has created an urbanisation with substantial common areas.

Located 500 metres from the beach and the port of Portixol, Mediterrània 1 will have communal spaces with a swimming pool, a gym and a games area for children. The construction of the first phase is due to start between the last quarter of this year and the first quarter of 2019, with the aim of handing over the first keys before the end of 2020.

“There is space for new projects in Palma” 

Gestilar’s interest Palma is not the first from a Spanish residential property developer in recent months. A few days ago, the listed company Aedas Homes put on the market its fourth project in the Balearic capital and several other companies are working to begin projects this year.

This growing interest in Mallorca comes in response to the sales rates on the island that place it at the top of the ranking in the residential sector, behind Madrid and Barcelona. “It is still too early to assess the rates of our own developments, but for the last few months, we have been monitoring and updating our market research, and the results of this analysis reveal a high rate of marketing in the area”, explains Guerrero (…). According to the director of Gestilar, “there is space for new projects in Palma”, where the property developer has already opened an office.

In this regard, the property developer believes that Palma is going to be one of the cities, like Madrid, Barcelona and Bilbao, that will look to improve its positioning abroad. In the Balearic capital, we are seeing a recovery in terms of property development activity, where a significant number of developments have started to be marketed between December 2015 and October 2017, which means that home completions are now growing, according to Gestilar (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by J. Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Kronos to Invest Another €500M by 2021 to Become the New Real Estate King

16 May 2018 – Press Release

The real estate developer created by a former director of Fortress now owns a  land portfolio spanning more than 1 million m2 for the construction of 8,000 homes.

Led by the investment manager Kronos, the real estate company Kronos Homes has become one of the largest property developers in the country, in just four years, with a land portfolio that exceeds 1 million m2.

Saïd Hejal leads the company. The Parisian founded Kronos in 2014, after several years studying the Spanish market from London as the head of one of Fortress’s investment funds. “I was in charge of investments in Southern Europe (Portugal, Spain, Greece and France) for Fortress, with a particular focus on Spain from 2012 onwards. We chose Spain because we believed that it was the market with the greatest future growth potential with respect to the other European countries”, explains Hejal, Managing Partner of Kronos.

Unlike other investors, the former executive of Fortress opted to create his own property developer and grow it to become one of the largest landowners in the country. “I have worked for years in the US, and there, the property developers were focused on design; in Spain, we saw the opportunity to create a company based on design, that’s why we chose to create a company, with a new image, rather than acquiring an existing one”.

To carry out this project, Hejal went to a group of investors who, through Kronos Asset Management, put together the funds to create the Spanish developer. “Kronos is the owner of Kronos Homes, the brand of the residential developer. We have an office in London since most of our investors are based all over Europe; they are family offices and global investors. In total, we have around 15 investors, who arrived after the company was created, although the family that founded Kronos is also still with us”, explains.

Since its creation, Kronos Homes has invested €500 million in the purchase of land. “We have a portfolio spanning 1 million m2, which will allow us to develop 8,000 homes. The plots are located in Madrid, Cataluña, Costa del Sol and Alicante. Now we are entering some of Spain’s large capitals such as Córdoba, Sevilla, Tarragona and Cadiz”, says Hejal who predicts more new acquisitions. “We plan to invest another €500 million over the next 24 to 36 months”.

To this end, Kronos is backing the selective purchase of land. “We have acquired two thirds of our current portfolio from banks and the other third from developers; we have also completed several operations with Sareb and we will continue to work in this way”.

Thus, he rules out the possibility of corporate operations, giving priority to organic growth. “We are not interested in buying other companies. Such deals typically involve very difficult processes, combining corporate cultures and requiring a lot of time for integration.”

Kronos closed 2017 with 500 homes sold, among their developments in Madrid, Barcelona, Costa del Sol and Alicante. “2017 was quite a good year, better than expected, and 2018 is going very well, too. We have some very expensive projects and others that are more affordable. Our cheapest house costs around €145,000 and the most expensive, €2 million. The latter is a spectacular project in Estepona (Málaga), designed by Rafael de La-Hoz”.

“Our typical customers are first-time buyers, who have budgets of between €300,000 and €400,000.”

Stock market

Unlike other investors, the head of Kronos Homes is not planning to debut his firm on the Stock Exchange – “we are not interested, there are too many distractions”, he says – but he does plan stay with the company for many years. “Our plans in Spain are long term, we have already developed ten projects, this year we will deliver more than a hundred homes (133) and launch six new promotions. In 2019, we will launch another 20, including a project in Valencia that will be the tallest residential building in the city, with 34 floors”.

The plans of Kronos coincide with other ambitious bets from property developers such as Aedas, Vía Célere and Metrovacesa. “I think it is good that there is competition, it is healthy and positive for the consumer. We have positioned ourselves in a certain niche, with a focus on design and architecture, and that is what makes us different.”

Original story: Press Release

Edited by: Carmel Drake

Caleido’s Makers to Create a Brand New Neighbourhood Around the Cuatro Torres

24 February 2018 – El Economista

The plans involve the creation of a street that will link the area surrounding the La Paz Hospital with Plaza de Castilla and which will have retail units, squares and terraces along it.

In two years time, the barren concourse that currently welcomes the employees that work in Madrid’s Cuatro Torres will be converted into the antechamber of a new retail and leisure space, which is going to be built in the north of Madrid with the arrival of the fifth tower, known as Caleido.

This project from Inmobiliaria Espacio and the Philippine firm Megaworld Corporation will result in the construction of a fifth iconic tower.  The latest addition to Madrid’s skyline will not for known for its height, given that at 160 m2 tall, it will be the shortest of its neighbours, but it will be recognised for the services and life that it is going to bring to the area.

The designs involve the creation of a high street, which will run from the La Paz Hospital area towards Plaza de Castilla, passing through the Madrid Business Area complex, where the Cuatro Torres are located, generating a neighbourhood vibe with several squares and terraces, as well as restaurants and areas for events. In this way, Caleido will not contain a shopping centre, but rather will offer different retail units, which will be opened opposite the new building and which will represent an addition to the businesses integrated into the property.

Specifically, the retail area, which is going to occupy a space of around 13,000 m2, will be distributed over the first level of the four-storey rectangular base on which the tower is going to be built.

The design of this project has been carried out by the architecture firm Fenwick Iribarren and represents that studio’s second piece of work in this office complex, given that it was also the brains behind Torre Espacio, which was also built by the Villar Mir Group (Espacio) back in the day (…).

According to Mark Fenwick, who founded the firm with Javier Iribarren in 1990, “Our objective with this project was to create a service area for the 24,000 people who work in the Cuatro Torres and whereby create urban spaces and meetings areas, such as squares and terraces, which are going to occupy around 7,000 m2, and which will join together the office complex with the neighbourhoods that surround it, to extend the use of this space to the whole community”, said the architect.

The construction of this project also includes the creation of a public park spanning more than 3 hectares, which is going to be located on the adjoining plot and which is also going to be managed by the property developer behind the tower. That space will house facilities for sports, culture and open-air concerts.

Madrid as a destination

In the academic year 2020-2021, Caleido is going to become the first vertical campus in Madrid, given that its main tenant is the Instituto de Empresa (IE), which will occupy all of the 36-storey tower and half of the horizontal building, leasing 50,000 m2 of space in total. The other part of the lower building is going to house an advanced medical centre to be operated by the Quirón-Salud Group (…).

The complex, whose development is expected to involve an investment of around €300 million, will also have a 1,250 space parking lot, 630 of which will be for public use. (…).

Espacio Caleido has already started to market the project, which hopes to attract trendy brands in fashion, technology, sports and restaurants. It is targeting international firms that do not have a presence yet in Spain and the plan is to start signing agreements after the summer. The complex is also considering the creation of leisure area that may house a cinema with an exclusivity concept, as well as a Gaming (videogames) and eSports (electronic sports) area.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

French Construction Giant Bouygues Returns To Spain

10 July 2017 – Cinco Días

Bouygues is returning to Spain with its real estate business after years during which the company has stayed away from this activity due to the property crisis. The French construction giant has already disembarked with a team for its property developer subsidiary focused on both Spain and Portugal. And it has already been commissioned to build an office building in Madrid, where it is due to start work at the beginning of 2018.

The French company has decided to look for opportunities in Spain in light of the recovery in the property sector and the improvement in the economy. “We have waited for the macroeconomic indicators to improve and we are looking again at the development of tertiary assets, such as offices and hotels”, revealed Ana Vidal, Director General at Bouygues Inmobiliaria.

The director previously led the company’s real estate project in Spain – where it has been present since 1989 – during the previous boom at the beginning of the century, but after the crisis, Bouygues hauled in the sails and Vidal moved to Paris. She returned to Madrid at the end of 2016 to identify opportunities. “We are going to work in three main businesses: the promotion of offices, residences for students and elderly people, and hotels”, said the Director General.

The whole time, the company has held onto three plots of land that it owns, two in Madrid and one in the 22@ district in Barcelona.

The first project, which is now in its design phase, is being developed in the Julián Camarillo area of Madrid, an industrial district that is home to offices and residential properties in the east of the capital, outside of the M-30. On this plot, Bouygues Inmobiliaria plans to build an 18,000 m2 office building.

Luis Vidal + Architects has been engaged to design the property. The Spanish firm is known for the design of Terminal 2 at Heathrow airport, amongst others major works. It also just led a renovation project for the Socimi GMP of Saint-Gobain’s former headquarters, now known as Castellana 77. Moreover, the firm has collaborated with the architect Renzo Piano in the recently inaugurated Centro Botín in Santander.

The company plans to invest €50 million on the construction of the building from 2018 onwards, over a period of approximately two years.

The other plot of land in Madrid – which it owns jointly with Vía Célere (owned by Värde Partners) is also located in Julián Camarillo. “We think that it is a good office area as an alternative to the centre, where buildings of the highest quality are being constructed. It is a neighbourhood with a lot of potential, like the 22@ district in Barcelona, although it lacks planning”, says Vidal. Finally, it is precisely in that new district of the Catalan capital where Bouygues plans to construct a tertiary use building in the future.

Bouygues Inmobiliaria is planning an annual investment of between €30 million and €50 million in Spain over the next few years, specialising in turn-key buildings. For the time being, the first project being managed by the team of professionals that has recently started work in Madrid does not have a tenant, but Vidal is convinced that it is not a problem, because the firm already has sufficient own funds to start work.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Emerige Will Build 200 Homes In Spain In 2017

18 May 2017 – Observatorio Inmobiliario

The French real estate developer Emerige, which has been operating in Spain since 2013, is going to build 200 homes in Spain during 2017, according to a statement made by the company’s Deputy Director General, Yann Bloch.

At the same time, the head of the French real estate company announced the marketing of its latest development in Madrid, by Proel Consultoría, which will be officially unveiled at SIMA. It is a 105 home development – also containing one commercial unit – located on Calle General Yagüe 37, in the immediate vicinity of the Paseo de la Castellana business district. The development, which is under construction, will feature the high quality and design standards that characterise Emerige.

The French real estate company, founded in 1989 by Laurent Dumas, is one of the major property developers in Paris and the surrounding region. It specialises in the development of offices and homes, as well as in the restructuring of real estate assets. In 2017, it has more than 1,500 homes under construction and more than 200,000 m2 of tertiary space.

Emerige is characterised primarily by its special dedication to aesthetics and the design of its buildings, for which it collaborates with the best international architectural firms (David Chipperfield, RCR, Rafael de la Hoz, Factoría UDA, Antonio Ruiz Barbarín…). Another defining element is the firm’s attention to contemporary art, through patronage work, as well as by incorporating works of art into its projects. “We work in all segments of the market, but always with a special care and requirement for quality. We pay more attention to the quality of our operations than to the quantity”, said Yann Bloch.

This philosophy has been translated into projects that Emerige is constructing in Spain “where we are working only with Spanish collaborators, from the project manager to the architects, always with high levels of quality and demand”.

In theory, Emerige will limit its operations in Spain to central locations of Madrid and Barcelona. In this latest project, it began the journey with a project to renovate a 3,000 m2 property containing 29 homes, which has already been finished and sold in its entirety.

In Barcelona, the firm is currently marketing a project under construction, comprising the transformation of an office building into 24 apartments, located on Calle Montaner. In Madrid, it is currently working on the aforementioned project on Calle General Yaguë and is now at a very advanced stage on another 61-home property on Calle Garibay, 3, in conjunction with the firm Rafael de la Hoz, which it will start to market at the end of the year.

Original story: Observatorio Inmobiliario

Translation: Carmel Drake

District 22@ Attracts 500 New Companies Each Year

18 August 2016 – Inmodiario

There are 8,300 companies operating in District 22@ (in Barcelona). Since 2012, 2,000 new companies and 12,000 jobs have been created, taking the total number of employees in the district to 95,000. The proliferation of companies is going hand in hand with an increase in the commercial sector, whose presence in the district is growing year after year and District 22@ looks set to become an extension of the main shopping areas in Barcelona.

In this sense, in just a few years, 22@ has become one of the most sought-after areas for the purchase of real estate assets to attract businesses and for the sale of land for offices. In fact, 20% of all of the space leased in the city is signed in this district. The area will become a natural extension of the first-class shopping and office districts over the next few years, such as the part of La Diagonal that adjoins el Ensanche, la Rambla de Catalunya and el Paseo de Gracia.

“District 22@ is going to play a fundamental role in the expansion of the commercial centre and powerhouse of the city towards the east. Its international prestige and potential for growth to create businesses has turned it into a “prime area” for setting up companies in Barcelona and the expansion of the main shopping areas to this part of the city”, said Miquel Laborde, founding partner at Laborde Marcet, a real estate and investment company.

Centre of attraction for large companies

One of the district’s primary assets is its ability to attract large companies. One out of every four operations signed in 22@ involves large offices. In fact, 23% of the operations signed in 2015 were for surface areas spanning more than 2,000 sqm. In this sense, although only 3% of the companies in the district have more than 50 employees, their staff account for 60% of the total workforce employed in 22@.

Hand in hand with the large companies come the opening of multiple secondary retail premises, which are expected to grow exponentially in number over the coming years. “There is money, business and almost 100,000 workers per day in the district and so companies have all of the factors in their favour to expand and consolidate successfully”, said Laborde.

District 22@ has confirmed itself to be a district for business and real estate expansion with considerable power to attract investment from domestic and overseas players. The high presence of international companies is also reflected in the workforce of the companies operating there, where 1 out of every 10 workers is foreign. In addition, 30% of the companies are export businesses and 40% of their sales come from overseas markets. By sector, companies linked to IT and communication are the most prolific, followed by companies in the energy and design sectors.

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake

Plans For The 5th Tower Begin To Take Shape

1 April 2016 – Expansión

The skyscraper, located in the heart of the capital’s financial district, will house the new headquarters of the IE University, as well as a clinic and shopping centre.

The plans for the fifth skyscraper in the Cuatro Torres complex – the new financial district in the capital, which currently comprises the Torre de Cristal, Torre Caja Madrid, Torre Sacyr Vallehermoso and Torre Espacio – are taking shape and a date has been set for the inauguration of the tower: the end of 2019, according to the IE University, one of its future tenants.

The business school will expand its facilities and open its new headquarters in the north of Madrid.

Specifically, the fifth tower will house the IE Campus in a building that will be 165 m tall and have a surface area of 50,000 m2 on the Paseo de la Castellana. In addition, this site will also be home to a clinic and a shopping centre.

The plot of land belongs to the Town Hall of Madrid, which has granted its use to Inmobiliaria Espacio. In parallel, the subsidiary of the Villar Mir Group has reached an agreement with the IE University to offer it this space under a 20-year rental agreement, which may be renewed for additional 55 years.

Details of the project

“From now on, the Town Hall of Madrid, Inmobiliaria Espacio and IE University will work together to ensure that the project meets the needs of the city of Madrid in the best possible way”, explain sources at IE. According to these sources, work will be carried out over the next three months to determine the “details” of the project.

OHL Desarrollos will be responsible for the construction of the new infrastructure, which will include auditoriums, sports facilities, green spaces and a 35-storey tower with classrooms and educational areas. Meanwhile, the studios Fenwick Iribarren and Serrano-Suñer Arquitectura will lead the design of the project.

At the new IE Campus, university degree training will be delivered in areas such as Business Administration, Architecture, Technology, International Relations, Law, Communication and Psychology.

In parallel, the IE University, which has been located on María de Molina in Madrid since it was first founded, will continue to perform activities for the business school and other post-graduate programs at its current facilities.

According to the institution, the IE Campus will have a “new, cutting-edge” design for its educational space, offering open areas dedicated to teaching, teamwork and networking between the university and business communities. The Campus will also have a vertical space, which will reproduce the working environment of companies and organisations from all over the world, as well as a horizontal space with sports facilities, large auditoriums and green areas for exclusive use by the institution’s educational community.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Villar Mir & IE To Sign An Agreement For Fifth Tower

26 January 2016 – El Confidencial

Nine months after winning the bid arranged by the Town Hall of Madrid to construct a skyscraper in the capital’s new financial district, Grupo Villar Mir has reached an agreement with Instituto de Empresa (IE) to allow the business school to occupy the majority of the building.

El Confidencial has confirmed with several sources close to the negotiations that the two parties expect to sign an agreement this week. And that signature will signal the starting gun for Madrid’s new skyline, as well as ensuring the viability of the project after several months of uncertainty.

The future picture of the five skyscrapers underwent some serious difficulties last summer when the initial candidate proposed by Grupo Villar Mir, the prestigious Mount Sinai hospital group, decided not to go ahead with its plans to open a health centre in the fifth tower.

In fact, the owner of OHL was awarded the land on the basis of the proposal that it would house a private hospital, with recreation and retail service areas. The plans were presented together with a letter of intent from Mount Sinai, saying that it would occupy the fifth tower, but that ended up being worthless.

Following the exit of the US group, Villar Mir began making contact with several real estate consultancy firms to find a new tenant that would comply with the requirements imposed by the town hall, namely that the property must be used for health or education purposes. Those conversations have ended up with the proposed agreement with the IE Business School.

The prestigious centre, whose MBA has just been chosen as the 12th best in the world and the best in Spain according to the Financial Times, is continuously looking for spaces to expand its educational offering. As such, it is now the neighbour with the most properties in the prestigious neighbourhood of Salamanca, which is home to its different centres, above all, around Calle María de Molina.

With the move to the fifth tower, the educational empire controlled by Diego del Alcázar would expand its classrooms beyond its traditional area of operation, but would maintain its policy of operating within Madrid and in the most representative areas for the business world.

75 year concession

The fifth tower is expected to be completed within four years, by 2020. It is an ambitious plan, which Grupo Villar Mir will tackle in partnership with the Swiss fund Corestate. The two partners have created the company Iberian Corestate, whose first operation will involve the investment of €240 million in the new skyscraper.

On the basis of the original design that won the bid, the new building will have 52,500 m2 of public space and 17,500 m2 of retail space. It will be constructed on land that will continue to be owned by the town hall, but which will be operated by Grupo Villar Mir for the next 75 years.

The group was awarded this concession after committing to pay a fee of €4 million per year to the town hall for the duration of the concession period, a figure that is much higher than the €1.9 million bid starting price.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

La Zagaleta To Replicate Its Luxury Marbella Complex In Sotogrande

8 January 2016 – Expansión

La Zagaleta, one of Europe’s most exclusive residential developments, located on the Costa del Sol, is going to replicate its business model in Sotogrande (Cádiz), the other major hub for luxury real estate in Andalucía.

Through its English subsidiary, the group has acquired the prestigious Valderrama golf course from the British company MGI for €40 million. Moreover, it will invest another €200 million in the development of the project.

As an indication of its exclusivity, this sporting venue is the only place that has hosted the Ryder Cup in Continental Europe (in 1997). The Ortiz Patiño family converted it into a first-class facility in 1984 and since then the complex has been sold several times. La Zagaleta will continue to lease the venue to the golf club that currently operates there.

Several companies are included in the operation, which encompasses the residential estate, the land that is still undeveloped and the project for a new golf course in the municipal area of Castellar, in other words, Valderrama II. In total, the site covers 220 hectares. This plot is one of the few that has been granted a licence by the Junta de Andalucía to construct homes after IU (la Izquierda Unida or United Left (Political) Party) – which led the Ministry for Tourism under the previous government – approved a restrictive regional policy to limit urban expansion.

Residential and tourist properties

La Zagaleta’s plans include placing it in the “current golf course’s frame of reference” and constructing a residential tourist and hotel resort “in keeping with the quality standards synonymous with La Zagaleta”. Thus, it will develop villas and homes on this land, which will require additional investment of €200 million over the next ten years.

According to a statement by the company, all of the necessary permits and licences are in place to begin the work, but the start date has not been confirmed yet because the design phase is still being completed. In any case, the design “will be inspired by the philosophy and values of La Zagaleta”, an urbanisation that is accessible only to those individuals who have assets worth ten times the value of the property that they acquire.

The CEO of the firm in Spain, Jacobo Cestino, said that “this operation strengthens our leadership position in the luxury property market and links us to one of the most prestigious golfing brands in the world”. Similarly, he said that the company has not ruled out acquiring other brands in the medium term.

La Zagaleta, founded by Enrique Pérez Flores and currently chaired by Oswald Grubel, the former CEO of UBS and Credit Suisse, has 235 mansions with a market value of €1,800 million, which increases to €3,000 million if we include the two golf course and other facilities at the 900 hectare site.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz/Lidia Velasco)

Translation: Carmel Drake