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

Aguirre Newman Puts Large High Street Portfolio Up For Sale

21 April 2016 – El Confidencial

Aguirre Newman has decided to put the “For Sale” sign up on one of the largest assets that it owns through its fund, Zaphir. The asset in question is a portfolio of retail outlets spread across Spain, all of which are located on major high streets. Moreover, unlike the operations carried out by the banks and El Corte Inglés, this portfolio has lots of different tenants.

The firm, which has engaged Arcano to lead the process, considers that this multiplicity of clients is an advantage, along with the €32 million of prior year tax losses recorded by the holding company that owns these premises, which mean that the operation carries tax advantages of around €8 million.

Zaphir has already started to show the 32 assets that comprise this operation to a restricted number of interested parties, mainly core investment funds, Socimis and large family offices, on the basis that the estimated sales price amounts to €80 million, according to sources familiar with the process.

Although the portfolio is spread across Spain, almost half of the premises (15) are located in Madrid and they account for 56% of the rental income, together with some first-rate properties, such as number 82 on Calle Serrano, which houses the Trussardi store.

Despite the interest that some of these premises may awaken individually, the operation has been structured as a “share deal”, in other words, the company will be sold in its entirety, which will allow the new owner to avoid paying taxes on the gains generated by these assets, and any others than it already owns, until the prior year tax losses have been offset.

The average yield of the portfolio is estimated to amount to 4-4.5%, whilst its historical occupancy rate stands at 90%, with clients ranging from retail giants such as Zara Home, Vips, Trussardi, Cortefiel and Punt Roma, to pound shops and newsagents.

The sales process

Aguirre Newman’s decision to sell this portfolio forms part of its divestment plans for the Zaphir fund, which just two months ago completed the transfer of its logistics assets to Neinver and Colony for €87 million.

But, this divestment also comes at a particularly sweet time for the sector, given that interest in investing in profitable real estate assets is at its peak, due to the environment of zero and negative interest rates and the recovery of the Spanish economy.

In fact, last year, according to several studies, almost €1,200 million was spent on transactions in the retail sector, and some establishments in prime areas were sold with yields of around 3%.

This year it is expected that operations involving this kind of asset will multiply, both on the high streets of major capitals, as well as in secondary cities. These operations are beginning to address the recovery in consumption and the growing interest for a presence in our country, from both major fashion firms (Inditex, Primark, H&M and Uniqlo) as well as from players in the restaurant world (the hamburger chain Five Guys has arrived in Spain, opening its first property in Madrid).

The calendar communicated to potential buyers allows for the presentation of non-binding offers within the next two weeks, with the aim of closing the operation before the summer. Aguirre Newman and Arcano both declined to comment on the operation.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hines Buys Five Guys’s New Outlet On Gran Vía 44 For €40M

22 January 2016 – Expansión

The US real estate company Hines has acquired the retail premises at number 44, Gran Vía in Madrid for €40 million. The property has just been leased to the US hamburger chain Five Guys, which has signed a long-term contract to open its first restaurant in Spain there.

The premises have a surface area of around 900 m2, spread over three floors, and Five Guys expects to open its first Spanish outlet in the summer (2016). The US chain has more than 1,300 fast food outlets all over the world.

Hines has purchased the asset from the Spanish real estate company Grupo Baraka and has executed the transaction through its fund Hines Pan European Core Fund, which recently made its debut in Spain with the acquisition of another retail premises for around €38 million. That property is located in the centre of Barcelona and is leased to Desigual.

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake