Carrefour’s Carmila Has Plans to Acquire New Retail Centres in Spain in 2020

18 November 2019 – Carmila, Carrefour’s real estate management subsidiary, is planning to acquire additional retail centres in Spain during the coming year. Carmila currently controls 78 shopping centres in 32 provinces, with a total of 469,900 square meters of leasable area.

The real estate firm, which Carrefour launched in 2015 together with institutional investors, has a total of 215 shopping centres in Spain, France and Italy. Its holdings in Spain have a 96% occupancy rate.

Original Story: Murcia Diario

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Estrella Galicia Buys Land that Used to House the Comcor Shopping Centre

26 April  2019 – La Opinión

Estrella Galicia announced that it had acquired the two plots of land in front of its brewery in the A Grela business park. The land, which the company bought from Mueble Juvenil SA, measures 18,000 square meters and was home to the Comcor shopping mall until its recent closure. The lands maximum buildable area is 37,800 m2, more than double its current occupation.

The brewer is currently expanding its current factory, adding the adjacent plot of land, which had been home to the A Grela 2 municipal soccer field is located, at the cost of more than 150 million euros. The new facilities are intended to house its packaging and warehousing areas. When construction finishes, Ignacio Rivera, the CEO of Hijos de Rivera, the brewery that produces Estrella Galicia, intends to expand within the European market. The factory’s current capacity of 400 million litres per year is expected to fuel that growth.  The new properties do not have a specific purpose as of yet. Estrella Galicia will hold the land in reserve to boost future growth.

Original Story: La Opinión – Á. Fernández

Translation/Summary: Richard D. Turner

Adif Launches Public Consultation Regarding Expansion of Chamartín Station

22 March 2019 – Efe Empresas

Adif has launched a public consultation regarding its expansion plans for Chamartín station in the north of Madrid. The consultation is aimed at professional associations; architecture, town planning, engineering and consultancy firms; users; transport service suppliers; and real estate market operators, amongst others.

The aim of the exercise is to inform interested parties about the tender and find out their opinions about Adif’s plans with a view to evaluating the new means of local transport that should be integrated into the station (e.g. shared mobility services, charging points for electric vehicles, etc.).

Original story: Efe Empresas 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

From Greystar to GSA, a Who’s Who of Investors in Spain’s Market for Student Residences

27 August 2018

With returns of 5.5%, the student housing market has become the new El Dorado of the real estate market. A long list of foreign funds are beginning to invest in this sector in Spain, and the supply of accommodations is expected to rise by almost 10% up to 2019.

Anglo-Saxon funds and operators dominate the wave of foreign capital that is taking on the market for student residences, one that offers returns of 5.5% in Spain. Just in 2017, investments grew from 50 million to 600 million euros.

The supply of assets in this alternative market has increased by 3.5% since 2015, boasting 93,563 beds in the market at the close of last year. Forecasts expect the sector to grow by another 1.5% this year and up to 7.7% at the end of 2019, according to data from the consultancy JLL. Which are the funds that dominate the sector? And who set to join this latest rush for gold?

The high point of the new wave of international investment in Spain’s resis (student residences) was reached at the end of 2017. Until December, Resa was considered the king of the residential market for university students in the country. It was owned by for years by the firm Lazora (Azora) until the arrival of the joint venture formed by AXA Real Assets and CBRE Global Investment Partners funds, which made an offer for roughly 500 million euros. Subsequently, the company’s 37 assets, distributed among 33 buildings and four undeveloped plots of land, were taken over by the specialised operator Greystar, partner of AXA Real Assets and CBRE GI.

Greystar’s place at the top of the list remains firm, but a long list of other players are vying to take the top spot. The British operators GSA and Collegiate, and the Luxembourg fund manager Corestate all have ambitious plans for growth in Spain.

GSA will invest 300 million euros in new acquisitions in the Spanish market, as reported by EjePrime. The international student-accommodation giant expects to be managing 10,000 beds in Spain within five years’ time. For now, the company has two projects underway in Barcelona, ​​in a total investment of thirty million euros, and is already working on plans to enter the market in Madrid, as well as exploring other cities such as Salamanca along with regional capitals in the south and north of the country.

For its part, Collegiate allied itself with the Spanish group Early Capital at the beginning of the year to enter Barcelona. The operator will manage the student residences at the Finestrelles complex, in Esplugues de Llobregat, acquired by Early last autumn, its third asset after the ones it already owns in Madrid and Valencia. Now, the company is looking for opportunities in Bilbao, Malaga and Granada.

Corestate also flew in from Luxembourg. Like the more than 473,000 university students who arrive every year in the country, searching for accommodation, the fund is looking to enrol in the sector. After beginning work on its first two projects, in Madrid (inauguration in September) and Seville, it is now finalising the purchase of a plot of land on which it is to develop another 400 beds. The manager’s goal is to become one of the top three players in the sector by 2020, with more than a thousand beds spread across the country. The company is already analysing the acquisition of another half a dozen plots of land to attain the goal it set for itself.

The Student Hotel is another of the major European players that have begun to take a close look at Spain. The Dutch operator has announced plans to invest 240 million euros in Spain and has already acquired two assets in Barcelona and will debut its first project in Madrid in 2019.

The Spanish ‘resi’ listed on the MAB

Although much of the capital that is being allocated to the student residence market in Spain comes from abroad, the local players are also looking for their piece of the pie. The Lofttown and Syllabus, a specialised vehicle created by Urbania International, are two clear examples of emerging, local interest in the sector.

Lofttown started its journey in the picturesque neighbourhood of Gràcia in Barcelona. Presided over by Santiago de Cruilles, the company already has two more projects in the Catalan capital in which it invested 24 million euros, EjePrime reported. The company is also analysing a possible debut in other cities around the country, such as Madrid, Girona and Valencia.

For its part, Syllabus is already currently one of the most active investors in the student residence market. Created last April by Urbania, the vehicle expects to invest up to 200 million euros in the development of new student residences in Spain. The company hired the former CEO of Hill International, Jeffrey Sújar, and has already made its first acquisitions, in Valencia and Malaga.

In addition, the university market in Spain is undergoing such a boom that a company that focuses on the market is also listed on the local stock exchange. Student Properties debuted on the Mercado Alternativo Bursátil (MAB) last December. Currently, the company owns a single asset, located in the district of Salamanca in Madrid.

Other possible arrivals

During this year and, above all, the one that is coming, new players are expected to enter the market for university residences. On such arrival is the American giant CA Ventures, which has Spain squarely in its sights within a 500-million-euro European investment plan.

Other institutional investors that are interested in the market include the Belgian group Life, the American investment fund Round Hill and the British operator Amro. The latter is looking for a partner in the national market to invest up to €300 million to create a portfolio of 5,000 beds in southern Europe.

Original Story: EjePrime – Jabier Izquierdo

Translation: Richard Turner


German Fund Manager Aquila Capital Launches its own Property Developer in Spain

1 August 2018 – El Economista

The German fund manager, Aquila Capital, is demonstrating its commitment to Spanish property by launching a new property developer called AQ Acentor.

Until now, the firm has worked in Spain by delegating its development activities and in partnership with other real estate companies such as Inmoglacier, with which it has undertaken several projects. “The strategic partnership with the property developer has been positive and has resulted in the construction of three successful real estate developments, which have contributed to Aquila Capital’s expansion plans in the Spanish market under its own brand, AQ Acentor”, explains Sven Schoel, CEO of the German manager in Spain.

Aquila has been operating in Spain since 2014, focusing its business on the real estate sector, with projects worth more than €800 million. With the creation of this new brand, the firm has incorporated a management team to boost growth through in-house development.

AQ Acentor has been created with more than 3,000 new homes under construction, of which around 500 will be handed over during the course of this year. Currently, the firm is working on residential projects in metropolitan areas, primarily in Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga and Valencia.

“The company has a multidisciplinary team comprising more than 40 professionals located in offices in Madrid, Barcelona and Málaga”, explain sources at the firm.

“The creation of AQ Acentor responds to our firm commitment to the Spanish market and is backed by a pipeline amounting to €1 billion over the next five years”, specifies Schoel.

The manager is also present in the logistics market in Spain, one of the other real estate segments that is experiencing a boom, besides the residential segment. In that case, it has launched an investment plan amounting to between €350 million and €400 million for the Iberian Peninsula and Italy.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Leroy Merlin Will Arrive in Madrid’s Centre in 2018 after an Investment of Nearly €5 million

25 June 2017 – Expansión

The company will open a store on Madrid’s retail ‘golden mile’, taking over a space that was vacated by Cortefiel.

Leroy Merlin will land in Madrid’s centre in the first quarter of 2018, after investing nearly five million euros in a 2,500-square-meter commercial area that will generate 100 jobs, according to a statement by the company.

The DIY retail chain is thus following in the footsteps of other multinationals such as Ikea and Media Markt, which have been opting to create presences in the centres of major cities.

The company’s first urban store in Madrid will be located on Raimundo Fernández Villaverde 43-45, taking advantage of the fashion company Cortefiel’s sale of one of its flagship stores, on Madrid’s golden mile.

Leroy Merlin Spain’s director of development, Juan Sevillano, highlighted the importance of the opening. “This store in the city centre follows on the heels of another announcement, a few weeks ago, of a new store in the centre of Barcelona and the recently opened store in Vigo, which is also located in the centre of the city,” he noted, regarding the company’s decision to position itself in city centres.

“This strategy is the result of Leroy Merlin’s constant attention to the changing needs of its consumers, who are demanding closer geographical proximity,” he explained.

Leroy Merlin plans to continue opening stores in city centres after opening the stores in Madrid and Barcelona. “The company intends to look for other locations in the centres of other major Spanish cities,” Sevillano stressed.

Job creation

The new store will create approximately 70 direct and 30 indirect jobs and will specialise in projects and decoration, offering its consumers more than 10,000 items for sale.

Leroy Merlin Madrid will join the other nine points of sale that the company currently has in the region. This inauguration is part of the firm’s 2017-2021 expansion plan, in which it expects to open 31 stores in Spain, in an investment of more than 608 million euros.

The French multinational closed 2016 with an increase in net profits of 5.02%, to 93.18 million euros. Leroy Merlin also set a new sales record in the year, reaching 1,931 million euros, 8.6% more than in 2015.

Original Story: Expansión / Europa Press

Translation: Richard Turner

MK Premium Buys 2 Residential Buildings In Barcelona

15 November 2017 – Inmodiario

MK Premium, the family-owned real estate company, has just acquired two new buildings in the city of Barcelona, on the same street. With a total investment of €1.5 million, the two buildings, located in the Sants neighbourhood, specifically on Calle Gayarre, at numbers 38 and 42, have a combined surface area of 1,082 m2.

“We were presented with the opportunity to acquire the two buildings, which are almost next door to each other, at the same time. These properties date back to the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries and are located in one of the fastest growing areas of Barcelona in terms of population. The two buildings have a combined surface area of more than 1,000 m2 and contain 9 homes, plus one retail store, with the individual surface areas ranging between 70 m2 and 88 m2. Despite the political situation in Cataluña, the real estate market is still active; the outlook for the last two months of the year is very good”, said Daniel Leiva, Founding Partner at MK Premium.

The property on Calle Gayarre, 42 dates back to 1900, and has a total surface area of 660 m2, comprising 6 homes; whilst the building located at number 38 is older, dating back to the end of the 19th century (1878), comprising 3 apartments and a retail store, with a total surface area of 424 m2 (…).

From these two buildings, located in one of the most well-connected parts of the Catalan capital, MK Premium expects to obtain a profit of 8% from the rental of each one of the homes, but not before subjecting both properties to a comprehensive renovation process, to restore the two iconic buildings to their former glory. (…).

These two latest acquisitions take MK Premium’s portfolio to 94 assets in 2017. The company expects to close one of its best years ever, at a time when it has completed its expansion plans, by opening an office in Madrid, on Paseo de la Castellana.

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barceló To Buy Back Crestline & Integrate Its 100 Hotels

25 January 2017 – Expansión

Barceló wants to become the sole owner of Crestline Hotels & Resorts once again and to strengthen its position in the USA. The Spanish group, which sold a 60% stake in the company to the fund ARC in 2013, is going to repurchase that stake and take back control of the entire US hotel management company, according to sources familiar with the deal.

Crestline Hotels & Resorts began operating in 2000, when its then owner, Crestline Capital, acquired Dubai Empresas and Stormont Trice Hospitality to create a hotel management company. In 2002, the Barceló Group acquired the group and renamed it the Barceló Crestline Corporation.

At the end of August 2013, Barceló decided to unwind some of its shareholding in Crestline and reached an agreement with the investment fund ARC to sell 60% of the company, which saw the group become a minority shareholder. This agreement included a clause that gave Barceló the right to repurchase its stake and that right is due to expire this year. The group intends to exercise this right, say the sources.

Currently, Crestline Hotels & Resorts manages more than one hundred assets in the country, which will be added to the existing hotel portfolio controlled by the Barceló group. This operation will allow the Spanish group to considerably strengthen its presence in USA, by consolidating the assets managed by Crestline onto its balance sheet.

Barceló, which presented its balance sheet for 2016 last Tuesday, along with its strategy for the next few years, is seeking to increase in size and continue to diversify its portfolio. Specifically, the company is looking towards the Middle East, a market it would like to enter through an alliance with a local partner.

Moreover, the Barceló Hotel Group has set itself two challenges for 2017. On the one hand, it wants to continue its expansion into the main provincial capital cities in Spain and the main cities in Europe, as well as into urban destinations in Latin America, especially in Mexico.

On the other hand, the company is planning to take the first steps of the agreement signed with Planeno in June 2016. The objective of the alliance is to reach a minimum of 100 establishments over the next 10 years.

In 2016, the company opened 12 hotels and this year it plans to add 20 new establishments to its portfolio. Specifically, last year, the chain incorporated hotels in new countries such as Panama and El Salvador; in urban destinations such as Querétaro (Mexico); in locations where the Mallorcan group is already established, such as Prague (Czech Republic), Istanbul (Turkey), Madrid, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and Bilbao; as well as three hotels in Granada, where it previously had no presence, whereby fulfilling one of its priority objectives of expansion.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake