Colonial Seeks to Grow Utopicus, its Flexible-Office Subsidiary

28 October 2019 – Utopicus, Colonial’s flexible-office space subsidiary, plans to have fifteen such offices, with a total of 40,800 square meters of surface area, by early 2020. The company started operations in 2010, and currently operates ten offices in Barcelona and Madrid, with a current total of 21,230 square meters of offices.

Original Story: Eje Prime

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Co-Working Spaces in Madrid & Barcelona Rise by 71% YoY to September

23 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Co-working spaces are on a roll in Spain. This global phenomenon in the office market is also reflected in ratios that keep on growing. In Madrid and Barcelona alone, 55,900 m2 of this type of flexible office space was leased between January and September, which represented an increase of 71% with respect to the same period last year.

According to the Flexible spaces in Spain study, compiled by the consultancy firm Cushman&Wakefield, during the first nine months of the year, 26,800 m2 of co-working office space was leased in Madrid and 29,100 m2 in Barcelona.

This growth is the result of the commitment to co-working spaces by large corporations. According to explanations provided in the report, “at the beginning of the 2000s, small spaces predominated, occupied by self-employed people and freelancers; nowadays, those spaces still exist, but the potential of the co-working phenomenon has led to companies such as Banco Santander (Openbank), Accenture and Everis, amongst others, also using flexible spaces for some of their activities”.

The boom in flexible and shared office space intensified in 2014, the first year of the recovery. Besides large corporate groups, which rely on this office model for optimising their real estate resources and the productivity of their employees, international co-working giants have arrived in Spain in recent years to create supply to meet the growing demand.

WeWork and Spaces (owned by Regus), global specialists in this segment, already have expansion plans for the domestic market. The same is happening with the main Socimis, such as Merlin and Colonial, which, in addition to promoting brands that manage co-working spaces, are also adapting several of their properties to convert them into flexible offices.

Madrid and Barcelona are the focus of this market. WeWork already has 35,000 m2 of office space leased in the two capitals. It is managing one fifth, 7,000 m2, from 22@, the technological hub of Barcelona, one of the epicentres of co-working in Spain. Spaces is planning to grow in the same district, where it already has 6,000 m2 of space across several buildings.

In terms of the large Spanish real estate companies, Merlin and Colonial are, to date, the firms that have backed this new trend most convincingly Both have entered the sector by purchasing or teaming up with specialist companies this market. Colonial acquired the brand Utopicus at the end of 2017, as revealed by Eje Prime, and now has a commitment to open ten new co-working centres from 2019, which will span a total of 15,000 m2 between Madrid and Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Merlin has launched the brand Twisttt, through Loom House, a Spanish shared office manager in which the Socimi owns more than 30%. Other domestic players such as Inmobiliaria del Sur have already made investments in this sector. In October last year, the Andalucian real estate firm launched iSspaces, a co-working centre in Sevilla measuring 1,800 m2 (…).

The identity of the next players to enter the stage is a mystery, but the fact that co-working has a long journey ahead in the office market in Spain and around the world is very much a reality.

Original story: Eje Prime (by J. Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CBRE: Office Leasing in Madrid Records Best Third Quarter for a Decade

17 October 2018 – Real Estate Press

The office market in Madrid recorded its best quarter of the year between July and September with almost 142,000 m2 of office space leased. That figure makes it the sector’s best third quarter for a decade, according to the latest data published by the real estate consultancy CBRE.

“Leasing figures during the third quarter are traditionally characterised by less activity due to the holiday period, so this latest data highlights the strength of the office market in Madrid”, says José Mittelbrum, National Director of A&T Investor Leasing Offices at CBRE España. “Looking ahead to the end of the year, it is very likely that, if some of the large deals currently active in the market are closed, then 2018 will see office leasing figures in Madrid very similar to those of 2017, which amounted to more than 600,000 m2, figures that have not been seen since 2007”, added Mittelbrum. Since January, almost 400,000 m2 of office space has been leased, the best figure since 2008.

Increase in rents

The increase in demand, boosted by demanding occupants with respect to the quality of the properties, and the reduction of the available supply, especially in renovated buildings and new properties in the central business district (CBD), led to a YoY increase of 9% in prime rents during the third quarter of the year to around €33/m2/month.

Empty space in high-quality Grade A buildings has decreased by 26% over the last year, which has led to situations of competition between several candidates for the same building.

Since the lowest point of the previous cycle, prime rents have grown by 35%. Other submarkets are also rising: average rents, calculated on the basis of actual operations, between July and September, increased in all submarkets with increases of more than 30% in the CBD and Secondary Centre (inside the M-30) and of between 15-20% on the Northern (A-1) and Eastern (A-2) axes of Madrid. Rising rents and the prospect that this trend will continue is one of the reasons why the office market in Madrid is the priority objective for a large number of domestic and international investors.

Notable operations

Madrid Norte saw significant activity in the last quarter, with two high-profile operations: the rental of the Oxxeo building in Las Tablas to Cap Gemini (9,300 m) and the rental of 7,000 m2 in Torre Chamartín by Deloitte; both new build properties.

The Public Sector reaffirmed its return to the Madrilenian office market, by closing two of the ten largest operations in the third quarter, namely, the rental of 4,200 m2 in the Agustín de Foxá, 25 building by the Ministry of Finance and of 2,400 m2 in Fray Luis de León, 11 by the Community of Madrid.

Finally, the flexible space operators continued their expansion: WeWork moved into Castellana, 77 to occupy more than 4,600 m2 in that building, the first to obtain the WELL Qualification in Spain. It is worth highlighting that so far this year, 10% of the office space leased in Madrid was taken up by flex-space companies, compared with 4% in the third quarter last year.

Available supply

At the end of September, the available surface area in the Madrilenian office market amounted to around 1.22 million m2, equivalent to 9.7% of the total stock of offices in the capital, compared to 11.7% a year earlier.

Over the coming months, investors’ commitment to reposition existing offices means that iconic buildings are going to come onto the market such as the Los Cubos building in Plaza de España and the Axis building in the heart of Plaza de Colón (…).

Original story: Real Estate Press

Translation: Carmel Drake