Aedas is Building Spain’s Largest Ever Residential Development in Sevilla

21 January 2018 – El Confidencial

In all likelihood, this is the largest high-rise housing development to have ever been built in Spain. Not even during the boom years, when some of the biggest follies and real estate extravaganzas were committed, was a project undertaken to build a community of more than 3,000 residents. This proper new neighbourhood will involve an investment of €100 million for its developers.

The mega-urbanisation in question is the masterpiece of Aedas Homes, the listed property developer launched by the US fund Castlelake, which was the entity behind the purchase of the land on which the 1,046 homes that comprise the project are going to be built – the same number of units that the company sold during 2017. The homes are going to be spread over seven towers and the inhabitants will share all of the common areas of the urbanisation, including: a running track, a 1,000 m2 Olympic swimming pool, six padel courts, a five-a-side football pitch, a multi-sports court, a social club and an enormous private garden spanning 33,000 m2. The service charge will be very similar to the amount charged in any other urbanisation, around €80-€90 per month (…).

Not Madrid or Barcelona…but Sevilla

The striking thing about this project, in addition to its size, is its location, given that it is not found in either of the large real estate markets in Spain (…) but rather in Sevilla, which wasn’t even on the radars of most property developers, let alone large investment funds, just a year ago.

To understand the situation in this market, we have to rewind more than two decades. “During the economic boom cycle, the General Urban Development Plan for Sevilla was reviewed, which led to a lack of buildable land and a complete stoppage in terms of construction with the consequent increase in house prices. When the sector was on the up, there was no land on which to build, and so when the bubble burst, the market was paralysed to such an extent that, since 2007-2008, nothing has been constructed. The cranes disappeared from Sevilla for 10 years”, says Diego Chacón, Regional Director in Andalucía for Aedas Homes.

With the approval of the General Plan in 2006, the situation changed. Nevertheless, it was then, with four years of paperwork ahead, that the bubble burst. When the recovery happened, Sevilla was not a market to invest in. That privilege was assumed by Madrid and Barcelona, primarily. Then, Castlelake spotted this enormous plot, which had benefitted from the new General Plan, due to the opportunity that was presenting itself with demand from a middle class that had been completely expelled from the market. The vendor was a local property developer: Gabriel Rojas.

How much are these homes going to cost?

“When we looked at the land with a view to buying it, we conducted a study of the market and we identified that there was some unmet demand. There were potential buyers aged between 30 and 45 years, who were looking for high-quality, new build homes costing between €120,00 and €150,000 for two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, with good common spaces”, said Chacón, who explains that the prices in the first phase start at €111,000 – including a parking space and storeroom – in other words, at around €1,250-€1,300/m2, a very competitive price if we take into account that second-hand properties in the area cost around €1,500-€1,600/m2.

The purchase was closed in 2015 – sources in the market indicate that the transaction could have amounted to €30 million, around €350/m2 – and by the end of 2016, the plot was buildable and had been approved by the Town Hall of Sevilla. In other words, it was ready for construction work to begin.

Aedas’ strategy involves executing the project in phases. The marketing of the first tower has already begun. The first phase comprises 79 primarily three- and four-bedroom homes, almost all of which have been sold and which will be handed over in 2019. The second phase of the first tower will begin in November, whilst work on the second tower will begin after the summer (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Carmena’s Team Dismisses Proposals For Cuatro Caminos

19 May 2016 – Expansión

The Town Hall of Madrid has rejected plans for the old engine sheds in Cuatro Caminos presented by the Metropolitan Residential Cooperative because it considers that they breach the General Urban Development Plan.

The Town Hall explained that the proposal must be redirected legally because, otherwise, “it would infringe the legally established rules”. It also warned that the reason for the breach of the General Plan is due to Metro’s refusal to modify the level of the engine sheds, on the basis that such a change would make it impossible to access to them from the current tunnel under Calle Reina Victoria.

According to the Town Hall, the Partial Plan and the proposed development deviate from the objectives and conditions established, given that the engine sheds would remain at their current level, even though the General Plan requires them to be placed underground. “There are alternatives and we hope that this project will be sorted out soon so as to fulfil the expectations of the cooperative members”, said a representative from the Government’s Sustainable Urban Development Department, José Manuel Calvo.

Sources from the cooperative consulted by Expansión expressed their surprise and indignation because, after more than a year of meetings with technicians and managers from the Town Hall, they are now reporting a “very serious legal problem”, which has not been mentioned until now. “We understand that this is more about the political battle between the Town Hall and the Community (of Madrid)”, say the sources, who lament the fact that the hostages in this battle are 450 families.

The same sources also warn that they are considering taking legal action against those responsible for this situation and that they do not rule out bringing criminal charges or filing an administrative appeal against the Town Hall.

Meanwhile, the Town Hall explained that, with this decision, it is seeking to eliminate the “serious legal uncertainties” that would result from a breach of the General Urban Development Plan and whereby provide the cooperative members with “greater legal guarantees”.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

MoD Sells A Plot Of Land In Mallorca For €5.5M

27 May 2015 – Expansión

The Ministry of Defence is continuing its real estate divestment plan to generate revenue. To this end, the body chaired by Pedro Morenés has closed the sale of a plot of land measuring 14,429 square metres, with more than 25,000 square metres of buildable area, in Cas Capiscol (Mallorca).

Given that the building is owned by the Administration, the Ministry of Defence organised a public auction, through the real estate portal addmeet. The plot of land that is up for sale houses former (army) barracks, spread over several buildings, which have been in disuse since the 1990s.

The Ministry of Defence put this land on the market for €5.318 million. In the end, it has been sold for a slightly higher price: €5.55 million. The winning bid was submitted by a subsidiary of the Catalan real estate company La Llave de Oro. The buildable plot measuring 25,131 square metres may be used for tertiary purposes, i.e. to build offices, hotels and retail buildings. Nevertheless, the general urban development plan where this land is located is currently in the process of being modified.

The Ministry of Defence also own other plots of land in Mallorca, including in Son Busquets, where it has a plot measuring more than 110,000 square metres.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)