The Gran Hotel Velázquez, on Sale for More Than 60 Million Euros

2 March 2016

The Salazar family continues its process of selling off hotels, one that began in 2014 with their eviction from the Hotel Ada.

Madrid’s hotel market is at a fever pitch. This Tuesday, the sale of the Villa Magna hotel, on the Paseo de la Castellana, to the Turkish Dogus Group was announced. Just 300 meters from the Madrid’s central avenue, another well-known property has come on the market. The Gran Hotel Velázquez is up “For Sale,” asking for more than 60 million euros.

Owned by the Corporación Hispano Hotelera (which is in turn owned by the Salazar family), the investors who have made offers for the property have been rebuffed by the family, which is nevertheless beset by debts. “They are asking for approximately 62 million euros”, sources in the real estate sector explained to 02B. Meanwhile, those same sources believe that a fair price for the asset would not exceed €35 to 40 million.

An old-fashioned property

Although the location and the building are very attractive, it would be necessary to adapt the building, bringing it up to modern standards. Some call it “old-fashioned.” Others added that the property could be called, “vintage, if not just old.” The 435,000 euros per room requested by the Salazar brothers would require significant additional investments to remodel the establishment.

At first, the owners of the Gran Hotel Velázquez confirmed that the property has been on sale “for a while.” However, other sources at the firm then stated that they had no information on the possible sale and that any statements to the contrary were “rumours.”

The hole of the Salazars

The Salazar brothers have been divesting themselves of their hotels since 2014. In May of that year, they left the Ada Hotel – currently owned by Único Hotels – evicted for failure to pay rent to Real Gran Peña. A year later, in March, the Hotel Maria Elena went to Hotusa while Asturias went to Platinum Estates in May.

The former owners of SOS Cuétara, the current Deoleo, are awaiting a court appearance regarding fraud allegedly committed in 2008. A €213-million loan ended up on the balance sheet of another the group’s company. For that, a judge confiscated their passports and imposed a fine of 93 million euros. Also, the magistrate seized its assets to guarantee a €360-million security.

A hotel bubble

The Gran Hotel Velázquez is just one example, but prices have skyrocketed in Madrid. “A bubble is forming,” warns Bruno Hallé, a consultant at Magma HC. “Threats of a possible moratorium generate uncertainty and consequently the value of real estate increases.” Also, growth is not commensurate with the pace of occupancy and prices in the capital.

Meanwhile, an investor says: “They’ve put this price on to see if someone bites.”

Original Story: Cerodosbe – Carles Huguet

Translation: Richard Turner

 

The Salazar Family Sells Hotel Velázquez For €63M

26 July 2016 – El Confidencial

Beset by debt, the Salazar family, the former owner of SOS-Cuétara, has spent the last three years trying to get rid of its vast hotel and real estate empire, an emporium whose last great jewel was the Gran Hotel Velázquez in Madrid, a property for which it has just received an irresistible offer.

Corporacion Hispano Hotelera, the company owned by the Salazar-Bello family, has reached an agreement with the Didra Group, famous for having constructed the luxurious residential areas of Montepríncipe and El Encinar, to sell the property for €63 million, according to several sources close to the deal.

The Ardid Villoslada family, which is behind Didra, has been linked to the property development business for decades and was made famous due to the marriage of one of its members, Rafael, to Mariola Martínez Borduí, the granddaughter of the dictator Francisco Franco. One of their sons, Jaime Ardid Martínez Bordiú has closed this agreement, with a view to opening a luxury 5-star hotel.

On 23 August 2016, Corporación Hispano Hotelera will present this sale for approval by the General Shareholders’ Meeting, with the aim of wrapping up the final sale in January, once the Salazar family has also received the blessing from its creditor banks, led by Banco Popular.

With its privileged location, in the heart of the neighbourhood of Salamanca, just a stone’s throw from the Retiro Park and the capital’s golden mile, the Gran Hotel Velázquez is a sought-after establishment. Nevertheless, it needs to be completely refurbished, according to experts in the sector.

In fact, Didra is expected to invest between €15 million and €20 million refurbishing the property. It plans to retain the image of a more bourgeois Madrid that characterises it, and always under the maxim of reserving the right to manage it, meaning that the Ardid family’s plans do not include opening a large hotel chain.

Didra maintains a close relationship with brands such as AC and NH, with which it operates some of the properties in its hotel group Nevertheless, the plans that the Ardid family have in mind for the Gran Hotel Velázquez more closely resemble the concept of the Hotel Palacio de Villapanés in Sevilla, a 5-star property located in the neighbourhood of Santa Cruz, in a former seventeenth century palace, which Didra manages itself.

With this sale, Corporación Hispano Hotelera will be reduced to an empty shell, after selling off the majority of its hotels in just over two years. The house of cards first started to topple in the Spring of 2014, when it had to close down Hotel Ada Palace, located on Gran Vía in Madrid, after it was evicted by the owner of the property, Real Gran Peña, which denounced the company for not paying the rent.

A year later, Hotusa purchased the Hotel María Elena, located 50m from Puerta del Sol, and renamed it the Eurostars Casa de la Lírica; meanwhile, Platinum Estates acquired the Hotel Asturias, in Plaza de Canalejas for €21.5 million. (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake