Axa Sells Eight Buildings in Barcelona to Germany’s KanAm Grund for €100 Million

14 July 2019

A major German investment fund, KanAm Grund, has acquired eight buildings in Barcelona, in a deal reportedly worth 100 million euros. All are currently leased to the Catalonian government.

The seller, the French investment giant Axa IMRA, originally acquired the assets, together with another five buildings, from the Catalonian government in 2013 for €172 million. At the time, Spain was still mired in the real estate and financial crisis and the sale had been the cash-strapped administration’s second attempt to offload the assets. As part of the agreement, the Catalonian government agreed to remain in the properties for twenty years.

The buildings included in the deal consist of the Conselleria de Justícia, on Calle Pau Claris; the Citizen Service Office on Calle Carrera; the General Subdirectorate for Initial Employment Authorizations, on Calle Puig i Xoriguer and the headquarters of the Institut Català de les Dones (ICD), on Plaza Pere Coromines. The remaining buildings include the headquarters of the Institut Obert de Catalunya, on Avenida Parallel, the Territorial Judicial Archive of Barcelona, on Calle Roger de Flor, the headquarters of the General Directorate for Language Policy, on the Portal de Santa Madrona and the Employment Office on Calle Doctor Joaquim Pou.

Axa retained five of the larger assets in the portfolio: the offices of the Conselleria de Justícia and the headquarters of the Agència de l’Habitatge de Catalunya, both on Calle Aragón; the Conselleria de Enseñanza, on Via Augusta, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries, Food and Natural Environment, on the Gran Vía, among others.

Original Story: El Confidencial – E. Sanz / M. Lamelas

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Axa Puts Up For Sale 8 Buildings Acquired from La Generalitat in 2013

1 May 2019 – Eje Prime

The French insurance company Axa has put up for sale 8 of the 13 office buildings that it purchased from the Generalitat de Catalunya in 2013 for €172 million.

The assets are classified as large offices located in the centre of Barcelona and may have doubled in value in the last six years. The Generalitat de Catalunya still has long-term rental contracts for all of the properties.

Axa has engaged Savills Aguirre Newman to handle the sales process.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barcelona to Build Social Housing on the Rooftops of Schools & Markets

7 December 2018 – Eje Prime

Barcelona is adding a new twist to its efforts to increase its stock of public housing. The Town Hall of the Catalan capital, governed by Ada Colau, is planning to build social housing units for rent on the rooftops of public buildings such as libraries, markets, schools and even a metro station.

The first test of this new housing model will be carried out in the Gràcia neighbourhood. The Town Hall’s urban planning area is also looking at other areas in the city such as the Gothic neighbourhood, El Raval, Ciutat Vella, Sant Antoni and the Sagrada Family district, according to El País. Another idea that the Town Hall is considering is building flats on top of the Fontana metro station in Gràcia.

The Town Hall is searching for public buildings that have not used up all of their buildability into which to incorporate social housing. The benefit of this model is its speed, given that the procedures would be streamlined by the absence of the need to modify the current urban plan.

This new proposal from the Town Hall of Barcelona forms part of the Housing Plan 2016-2025, which Ada Colau’s government launched two years ago. Another formula that the Town Hall is going to use is Aprop, whereby homes are constructed inside (shipping) containers.

Moreover, this week, Colau received the green light from the Generalitat de Catalunya to establish her star measure involving new-build projects. Barcelona is going to modify its metropolitan general plan (Mgpm) so that 30% of all new build and renovated residential developments must be allocated to social housing.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barcelona’s Town Hall Asks Airbnb to Remove 2,577 Illegal Tourist Apartments from its Database

24 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Barcelona wants to put an end to adverts for unlicenced apartments. The Town Hall of the Catalan capital has asked Airbnb to remove a total of 2,577 illegal tourist apartments that are currently advertised on its platform. Janet Sanz, deputy mayor for urban planning in Barcelona, confirmed that the list of identified apartments has now been handed over to the company.

The Town Hall has explained that the Airbnb team responsible for removing the adverts, located in Ireland, received the list on Thursday. Moreover, it has highlighted that it has already opened sanction proceedings against the owners of those unlicensed apartments, but not against the company itself.

In this sense, the Town Hall of Barcelona is only planning to impose sanctions on Airbnb if the company refuses to eliminate the adverts for the illegal tourist apartments, as established by the regulations of the Generalitat de Catalunya. The local government expects the platform to withdraw the adverts within a few days like it did last summer.

Similarly, Sanz has explained that the Town Hall is scheduled to meet Airbnb next week to consider a technological proposal designed by the platform to avoid the advertising of illegal apartments.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake