Barcelona’s El Triangle Shopping Centre: 20 Years On

13 November 2018 – Eje Prime

El Triangle is growing up. One of the most iconic shopping centres in Barcelona, owned by the Immobilien Investment fund, which forms part of the Deka group, is celebrating its twentieth birthday in a context marked by the rise of e-commerce and the arrival of technology start-ups in search of offices on the most prime thoroughfares.

“Due to our location and facilities, many retailers choose to open their flagship stores in our shopping centre”, explains Joan Mas, manager of El Triangle, speaking to Eje Prime. In fact, in recent years, brands such as Urban Outfitters and Sephora have decided to back the Barcelona shopping centre with their flagship stores, a shop format that enhances the consumer experience.

In this sense, the director believes that e-commerce, far from representing a challenge, has become an opportunity for this shopping centre, which is located at number 1 Plaza Cataluña, in the heart of the Catalan capital. “Although shopping from home is more convenient for retail clients, the centre of the city is always going to be a busy area that attracts a lot of visitors”, adds Mas.

Currently, El Triangle has an occupancy rate of 100%, both in terms of its 14,000 m2 of gross leasable area (GLA) used for retail, as well as its 11,000 m2 dedicated to office space. According to explanations provided by the executive, the gradual increase in rental prices has not caused any problems when it comes to attracting tenants. “Demand has not ceased at any point, we are the ones who choose which brands and companies we want to carry out their activity in the building”, he said.

Proof of that is the arrival of two new operators to El Triangle between the end of 2018 and 2019. On the one hand, Lacoste is soon going to occupy 150 m2 in the shopping centre with the opening of one of its flagship stores. On the other hand, the restaurant chain Five Guys will arrive next year to lease the space that was operated by Masvisión until October.

Technology arrives at the offices in El Triangle

Although large brands are continuing to conquer the leisure and retail space in El Triangle, there has been a change in the trend in the space dedicated to offices in recent years. “Whilst at the beginning, most of the companies that entered as tenants were companies specialising in financial services and banks, recently, our building has been welcoming a significant number of technology firms”.

For example, Skyscanner and My Taxi are some of the companies that have their offices at number 1 Plaza Cataluña. Alongside them operate the coworking giant Regus and the company specialising in video games MSI. With an occupancy rate of 100%, multinationals from the FMCG sector also operate in the property, such as Bacardi, which recently leased a whole floor in the building, spanning 2,700 m2 in total (…).

With more than 150 million visitors from more than 120 countries, El Triangle opened its doors on 12 November 1998. Three years ago, its owner started to modernise the property, with an investment of €1.4 million. The most iconic boulevard of the Catalan capital currently houses 22 retail and restaurant premises, with brands such as Havaianas, Fnac, Sephora and Starbucks, amongst others.

Original story: Eje Prime (by B. Seijo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Segro Purchases 44,500 m2 of Land for Industrial Development in Madrid

11 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Segro is increasing its commitment to the Spanish logistics sector. The British Socimi, which specialises in the industrial segment, has purchased 44,500 m2 of land on which it is going to build two urban distribution centres in Madrid.

The first logistics space is going to be located in the south of the Spanish capital. The centre, spanning a surface area of 33,500 m2, will be located in the district of Villaverde, an area that is home to multinationals such as Telefónica, Repsol and Air Liquide.

The Socimi is also planning to build a second warehouse measuring 11,000 m2 in the Madrilenian municipality of Coslada, where it already owns a business park. The company has chosen that location due to its proximity to Barajas airport, the centre of the Spanish capital and motorways such as the A-2 and the M-40.

This operation reinforces the good times that the logistics sector is enjoying in Spain, driven by the rise in e-commerce in the country. Not in vain, in 2017, the sector achieved an investment record, exceeding €1.5 billion.

With demand constantly growing, above all due to the arrival of international funds and investment firms that are keen to enter the logistics segment, encouraged by the high yields and stability, operators are also looking for land in the last mile space to respond to current demands. That means the development of sites on the outskirts of large cities, with assets that are no more than 50km away from the city centre.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Logistics: Real Estate’s Ugly Duckling Sees its Investment Figures Soar

30 September 2018 – El Confidencial

It has always been the ugly duckling of the real estate sector. Nevertheless, the boom in e-commerce, the positive evolution of consumption and of the economy, in general, and real estate in particular, has triggered investment in these types of assets. For more than a year now, the sector has been starring in some of the most high-profile operations in the market, both at the corporate level, as well as in terms of the sale of portfolios and assets, attracting money from large international funds, as well as from domestic ones.

The data speaks for itself. Investment in logistics during the third quarter of 2018 – including plots of land – amounted to €450 million, equivalent to four times more than during the second quarter and 436% more than the figure registered during the same period a year earlier. That is according to data from the consultancy firm JLL, which shows that investment amounted to €872 million between January and September, 53% more the volume accumulated during the same period in 2017.

Moreover, the firm’s forecasts for the final stretch of the year for this sector are optimistic. “We expect the total volume to amount to €1.2 billion by the end of the year, 20% more than we expected last quarter, due to the good results and the fact that strong investor appetite is still alive”, said Borja Ortega, Director of Capital Markets at JLL.

“The logistics market is the absolute star of the real estate investment market in Spain. Investors see the potential associated with a market that has been growing for years”, says Ortega. Why? Its own fundamentals, the lack of product for investing in other segments such as offices and retail or the creation and consolidation of investors specialising in logistics”, he said.

In the last year and a half, the logistics sector has captured the media’s attention thanks to the completion of several very high profile operations. For example, on 25 September, Mango’s logistics platform in Barcelona was sold for €150 million. That asset, with a surface area of 181,000 m2 and owned by the Belgian investor group VG Partners since the end of 2016, was sold to the British Socimi Tritax Big Box.

It represented the largest investment in a single asset in the Spanish logistics market for the last four years since Logicor purchased some logistics facilities in Guadalajara spanning more than 320,000 m2 from Gran Europa for €133 million.

The operation also exceeded the €119 million that Blackstone paid in July to acquire the Socimi Lar’s logistics portfolio. In total, that deal involved 162,000 m2 of space spread over four logistics warehouses in Alovera (Guadalajara), one in the Juan Carlos I industrial estate of Almussafes (Valencia) and a plot for logistics development in Cheste (Valencia) spanning a further 182,000 m2.

Assets, portfolios, corporate operations

During the third quarter, there was a lot of movement in the sector such as the sale of two logistics portfolios – Hina Project with 6 warehouses and Gran Europa Portfolio with 3 warehouses – four purchases of logistics warehouses and a project comprising two plots in Cabanillas. Those transactions were accompanied by the purchase of two plots, one on the Centro —Ciudad del Transporte Industrial Estate in Guadalajara – and another in San Fernando de Henares. The latter was acquired by Merlin Properties for the construction of a logistics platform measuring 100,000 m2 (…).

All of these operations are happening in the midst of a genuine boom in e-commerce and online sales, a market in which the major online operators such as Amazon, Mercadona and Inditex have committed heavily. And for good reason, given that in 2017 alone, online sales moved more than €30 billion, according to data from the Spanish National Competition and Markets Commission (CNMC). And that figure is rising.

But the appetite of buyers is not only limited to the purchase of assets. At the corporate level, there have also been some significant transactions in recent months. A year ago, China Investment Corporation (CIC) completed the purchase of Logicor for €12.25 billion, one of the largest logistics companies in Europe and the largest owner of logistics assets in the Spanish market with a portfolio spanning more than 1 million m2 located primarily in Madrid and Barcelona. That operation became the second largest real estate purchase in history and the fourth largest by a Chinese company in Europe.

Meanwhile, P3 Spain Logistic Park, the logistics centre Socimi that the sovereign fund Singapore GIC owns in Spain, made its debut on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) last year with eleven logistics centres that span a total surface area of 321,392 m2 and which are spread across five autonomous communities, although most are in Madrid and Castilla-La Mancha.

Even the Murcian businessman, Trinitario Casanova, through Grupo Baraka has backed the logistics sector. In February this year, he purchased a logistics-industrial use plot located in the municipality of Sant Esteve Sesrovires, in Barcelona.

A sector traditionally forgotten

“For years, the logistics sector has been one of the ‘great forgottens’ of the real estate sector. Nevertheless, today it is clearly a segment to which investors pay a lot of attention. (…). In fact, given the competitive pressure, it is the only sector where returns are continuing to fall. Prime returns at the end of the third quarter of 2018 amounted to 5.25%, making them lower than during the last upward cycle in 2006, when they amounted to 5.75%”, said Ortega.

On the other hand, unlike what has happened in other real estate sectors such as residential or offices, whose activity is concentrated in the major cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, 34% of logistics investment in the third quarter has been in Cataluña and 32% in Madrid. The rest has been concentrated in other regions such as Valencia (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Torre Sevilla Shopping Centre Opens its Doors

26 September 2018 – Eje Prime

Torre Sevilla has been completed, six years on. The shopping centre, promoted by CaixaBank, will open its doors to the public today, whereby culminating an urban development program that began to take shape in the 1990s. The complex alone, located in the centre of Sevilla, has involved an investment of €100 million, a third of the total amount spent on the macro-project.

Torre Sevilla is opening its doors at the height of the Retail Apocalypse and at a turbulent time for the sector in Sevilla: Palmas Altas announced last week that it has changed its name to Lagoh, whilst the Alcora shopping centre project has been cancelled.

The new complex in Sevilla is a mixed development that includes, as well as a shopping centre, an office building, a Eurostars hotel, CaixaForum Sevilla and Parque de Magallanes. The shopping centre, designed by the Argentinian architect César Pelli, comprises two large buildings with a gross leasable area (GLA) of 26,700 m2 and a constructed surface area of 43,000 m2.

The complex will open its doors with a 95% occupancy rate, and with Primark, Fnac and Ikea as the drivers. “People don’t go shopping anymore, they go for a walk, and formats such as hypermarkets are no longer the drivers”, explains Antonio Cayuela, President of BuildingCenter and sole administrator of Puerto Triana (the company that controls the complex).

In this sense, Cayuela emphasises the location of Torre Sevilla, in the heart of the city, and its integration with the office building and hotel, which ensures footfall “every day of the week”.

“Shopping centres are changing, just like retail: the trend is now returning to local businesses, with smaller but very accessible formats, close to the city”, says the executive. The property developer forecasts that the centre will receive around 8 million visitors per year.

Torre Sevilla’s offer includes, amongst others, the first stores from Ikea, Primark and Xiaomi in the city centre, as well as restaurants and services such as a gym and a catering facility – a cross between a supermarket and a restaurant – serving homemade food to take away.

“Hypermarkets are no longer the drivers”, says Cayuela. “We have ruled out cinemas, because they occupy a lot of space, because there are lots of them and because in the era of Netflix, they are no longer attractive”, he says.

“Omnichannel” corner to compete with the internet 

In this sense, Torre Sevilla is also planning to incorporate new concepts over the medium term to encourage omnichannel integration and attract footfall to the complex at a time when the online channel is gaining more and more traction.

In this sense, the company will launch a space called Omni Tech, which will integrate different omnichannel tools, such as click and collect. “We want to be a leader in the implementation of new ideas in terms of omnichannels; although I do not think that the online channel will ever completely substitute a physical purchase, it is important to have a good experience in person to attract people to stores”, says the executive.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Iria P. Gestal)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Corpfin Capital Real Estate will Debut 5 Socimis on the MAB in 2019

26 September 2018 – Voz Pópuli

Corpfin Capital Real Estate Partners is planning to debut five new Socimis on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) under the name Inbest before September 2019.

By the time they make their debuts, the Inbest Socimis will have an investment volume of almost €400 million. The Socimis intend to carry out investments with an average volume of between €50 million and €60 million to acquire properties located in commercial areas of Madrid and Barcelona, as well as in the main provincial capitals, and to provide them with added value and convert them into retail premises and flagship stores for major brands.

The management company of Inbest Socimis is currently in the process of becoming a management company that will be regulated by Spain’s National Securities and Markets Commission. It is chaired by Javier Basagoiti (pictured above), founding partner of the firm together with Carlos Lavilla and Patrick Gandarias. Basagoiti founded Corpfin Capital Real Estate in 2008 in conjunction with Felipe Oriol. Ana Granado, who joined the firm as the Managing Director last year, after working at Santander, Aguirre Newman and Deloitte, will lead the Inbest team, which will comprise 13 professionals in total.

Inbest will finish this year having raised €200 million during the year from various investors and plans to end its investment period in December 2021.

Corpfin Capital Real Estate’s real estate operations include the rental to Apple of its store in Valencia, a residential building that was renovated and whose use was modified to commercial, which was subsequently acquired by Pontegadea, the investment company owned by the Zara founder, Amancio Ortega; the renovation of a old bank branch in San Sebastián, which has now been converted into a shopping arcade that is home to major fashion labels; and the purchase of the premises that used to house the former Nebraska cafeterias in Madrid, establishments that are now occupied by McDonalds and VIPS.

Through Inbest, Corpfin Capital Real Estate wants to take advantage of the boom in the commercial real estate sector, which reported record investment figures in 2017.

The trend of the major brands is to occupy large retail spaces in the main shopping areas of cities, leaving smaller establishments and those set away from the prime areas, whereby opening a niche in the market in which Inbest is specialising. The consolidation of the e-commerce sector has also influenced this change in trend.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Alberto Ortín)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Tritax Purchases Mango’s Logistics Centre from VGP for €150M

26 September 2018 – Expansión

Less than two years is the time that Mango’s logistics platform has been in the hands of the Belgian group VGP. In December 2016, the Brussels-based firm paid €150 million for the logistics complex that Mango had built in Lliçà d’Amunt (Barcelona) and which has a surface area of 250,000 m2 together with some adjoining land on which an additional 100,000 m2 may be built.

According to sources speaking to Expansión, VGP has just sold the asset to the British group Tritax Big Box, a firm listed on the London Stock Exchange.

The buyer of the complex, which Mango inaugurated in the middle of 2016, is a real estate investor specialising in the logistics market. Some of its largest properties include logistics platforms leased to large companies such as Amazon, Unilever, Kuehne+Nagel, L’Oréal, Hachette, Whirlpool, Kellogg’s, Tesco and DHL.

At the end of 2017, Tritax’s portfolio was worth GBP 2.61 billion (€2.92 billion at current exchange rates), 38.1% more than the previous year. Tritax has been advised by the law firm Ashurst in what has been its first operation in the Spanish market. VGP has been advised by the real estate consultancy firm JLL.

Last summer, Tritax raised €300 million through a public offer for sale on the London Stock Exchange. The objective of its managers is to use that money, together with external financing, to acquire logistics properties in Continental Europe.

“Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and its logistics market is one of the strongest in Europe, with high demand and a limited supply of buildings and land, especially for logistics assets of this kind”, said Nick Preston, manager of Tritax Eurobox, in a statement.

The lease contract for the logistics centre, which has a surface area of 186,138 m2, has a 30-year term, until 2046, although Mango has the option to cancel it in 2036, 2039 and 2042. According to Tritax, the annual rent that Mango pays will allow it to obtain an annual yield of 5%.

Isak Andic decided to build this logistics platform in response to the increase in sales that the fashion chain was experiencing, although that growth has slowed in recent years.

Last year, Mango recorded losses of €33 million, down by 46% compared to 2016, the year in which the company recorded negative results for the first time in its history, with losses of €61 million. In 2017, sales decreased by 2.9%, the same drop as the previous year, and amounted to €2.194 billion.

Divestment

The sale of the logistics centre was the first divestment that Andic made after investing a large proportion of his profits in the real estate sector in previous years. But it was not the last, given that a year later, in December 2017, he sold the chain’s headquarters, located in Palau-solità i Plegamans (Barcelona) to the British group Invesco for €100 million.

Original story: Expansión (by M. Anglés, S. Saiz & R. Casado)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Investors Unleash a Buying Frenzy on Madrid & Barcelona’s High Streets

28 August 2018 – Cinco Días

E-commerce is having an unexpected effect in that it is boosting the main high streets of Madrid and Barcelona. A number of operators are opening flagship stores to compete with online sales, whilst at the same time, there is a great deal of interest from investors wanting to acquire these types of properties since they represent assets with high returns.

During the first six months of the year, the main high streets of Madrid and Barcelona sparked a buying frenzy amongst real estate investors. They spent €700 million on the purchase of stores during H1 – that figure was 44% higher than they spent during the whole of 2017, according to the High Street report published by the consultancy firm Savills Aguirre Newman.

In an environment of low returns on other investment alternatives, given the context of low interest rates and enormous liquidity in the market, significant capital flows are being channelled towards property. Within the sector, the high street segment (stores on the most commercial streets) of Madrid and Barcelona are attracting investors.

The yield or return in the best commercial neighbourhoods of Madrid and Barcelona amounts to 3.25%, and in secondary areas, that figure rises to between 4.5% and 4.75% (the better the area, the higher the cost of operations and so the lower the returns). In large towns, the yield on prime stores reaches 4%.

Institutional investors (large real estate and pension funds) have been the most active players, accounting for 76% of all operations, according to Savills Aguirre Newman, with the remaining 24% involving insurance companies, private firms, family offices and Socimis (…).

“Institutional investors continue to focus on the best commercial thoroughfares of the large cities, where the purchase tickets typically exceed €20 million”, says the study. Meanwhile, private investors are more active in opportunities in the cities in which they reside, where they are local experts.

Madrid has accounted for a large number of the operations seen in recent months, with the acquisition by the fund Hines of Preciados 13 (..) and Redevco’s purchase of the Mercado de San Miguel. Meanwhile, AEW bought the Mercado de Fuencarral; Generali acquired Preciados 9; Thor Equities snapped up Gran Vía 30, and M&G Real Estate purchased 68 on the same street. Nevertheless, a lot of the investment this year has been due to one transaction involving a portfolio of Inditex stores, which were acquired by the German fund Deka for €400 million.

For investors, another attractive feature of the Spanish market is the improvement in the rents that tenants are paying, which have clearly risen in recent years since the crisis. Prices on Calle Preciados, for example, have risen from €270/sqm/month two years ago to €277/sqm/month in 2018. Gran Vía has also seen a €10/sqm/month increase to €240/sqm/month, according to data from the consultancy firm.

In Barcelona, prices on the most expensive street in Spain, Portal de L’Angel, have grown by 5.5% during the same period to €285/sqm/month. Nevertheless, prices on Paseo de Gracia are rising the fastest, by 15%, to reach €260/sqm/month (…).

One of the major changes that is being seen is the concentration and opening of large flagship stores in the centre of the two cities through which the operators are seeking to counter the strength of online shopping, by offering what they call a shopping experience (…).

In this vein, as Cinco Días revealed last week, the Chinese technology firm Huawei is going to open a flagship store on Gran Vía 48 in Madrid, in the former C&A store. On the other hand, the Sfera brand, owned by El Corte Inglés, is leaving Gran Vía 30, given that it has recently reorganised its business in the centre of the city to focus on its larger and recently renovated megastore on Calle Preciados.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Mercadona Invests €35 Million to Expand its Logistics Platform in Sevilla

13 August 2018

The Valencia-based supermarket chain will build a new, 36,700-square-meter warehouse on a plot of land measuring more than 88,000 square meters.

Mercadona is expanding its logistics platform in Sevilla. The Valencia-based supermarket chain will invest 35 million euros in the construction of a new, 36,700-square-meter warehouse in Huévar del Aljarafe, according to the company.

The entire plot covers more than 88,000 square meters of surface area. After several phases, it is expected that construction will be completed in 2021. The platform will serve for the storage, preparation and shipment of fresh products that will be marketed by the chain owned by Juan Roig.

The new facility will be added to the ones already owned by Mercadona in Huévar, where the group has more than 83,000 square meters of surface area. The operation in the city of Sevilla will join others that the company has been adding in the last year to improve and expand its logistics network.

A month ago, Mercadona announced that it would rent a 10,500 square meter warehouse in the Barcelona free zone to manage just online orders, as part of its process of adapting to e-commerce.

Also, in its hometown, Valencia, the group bought the largest parcel of the Parc Sagunt industrial estate in the autumn, a plot measuring 358,270 square meters, and this winter announced an investment of eighty million euros to expand its technology centre. Mercadona invested more than one billion euros in real estate just in 2017, as reported by EjePrime.

Original Story: EjePrime

Translation: Richard Turner

 

Barcelona’s Logistics Market Grows by 74% in H1, Boosted by e-Commerce

4 July 2018 – Eje Prime

E-commerce boosted the logistics market in Barcelona during the first half of the year. During the first six months of 2018, 390,678 m2 of logistics land was leased in the Catalan city and its surrounding area, representing an increase of 74.4% with respect to the same period last year.

According to data from Savills Aguirre Newman, e-commerce operators “are acting as the drivers of the market”. One example of this is the rental of a 48,000 m2 warehouse by the French operator Vente Privee (owner of the Spanish firm Privalia) in La Bisbal de Penedès.

During the first quarter of the year, 186,047 m2 of land was leased in the logistics market, whilst during the second quarter, that figure increased to 204,631 m2. In total, 36 transactions were closed during H1, compared with 22 during the same period in 2017.

“Another trend that has become apparent during the first six months of this year is that of turnkey projects, which have been undertaken in the Logistics Activities Zone (ZAL) as well as in the first industrial ring”, says Savills Aguirre Newman. These projects include the construction of a cross-docking warehouse for Cilsa and a warehouse for Saica in Sant Esteve Sesrovires.

In light of the increase in demand, the available stock in the areas closest to Barcelona is now less than 2.5%, according to the real estate firm, which is leading to the development of new projects.

“The lack of buildable land, as well as of constructed products, is leading new players, such as investment funds and property developers, to take positions in the logistics sector to incorporate new high-quality products”, adds Savills Aguirre Newman.

Another trend is the increase in the size of space leased per operation, with up to 8 transactions involving more than 20,000 m2 (compared with just two operations of those dimensions during the first half of 2017).

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Prologis Leases 48,400 m2 Warehouse in Tarragona to Vente Privee

24 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Vente Privee is strengthening its logistics structure in Spain. The French e-commerce titan, which also owns Privalia, has signed an agreement to lease a warehouse spanning 48,400 m2 in the Prologis Park Penedès complex in Tarragona.

The online retailer will whereby occupy the largest warehouse in the Prologis Park Penedès, which comprises three properties in total with a combined surface area of 128,000 m2. The complex, located between the Tarragonan towns of Santa Oliva and La Bisbal del Penedès, will allow it to handle the logistics requirements for the rest of the Iberian Peninsula and Southern Europe. The rental operation has been advised by the real estate consultancy JLL.

The reinforcement of Vente Privee’s logistics structure in the Spanish market comes a year after the group announced an €80 million investment to strengthen its R&D division. That project involves the launch of a start-up accelerator specialising in fashion, retail and technology on the campus of Paris-based Station F.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake