Conren to Build 108 Homes on the Site of Hotusa’s Failed Luxury Hotel in Barcelona

The fund manager has purchased a plot on Paseo de Sant Joan where the Hotusa chain had been planning to build a five-star hotel.

The real estate manager Conren Tramway has acquired a plot of land located at the intersection of Paseo de Sant Joan and Avenida Vilanova, in the Eixample district of Barcelona, next to Arco del Triunfo metro station.

For more than a decade, the land has belonged to the Hotusa hotel group, which had planned to build a unique luxury hotel on the site. However, first, the refurbishment and expansion of the nearby metro station, and then the approval of the hotel moratorium launched by the city’s mayor Ada Colau when she arrived at the town hall (which prevents the opening of new hotels in the city centre) put paid to those plans. As such, the hotel group has now decided to sell the plot.

Amancio López’s New Record: Hotusa Runs More than 3,000 Associated Hotels

7 February 2019

Hotusa, controlled by the Galician Amancio López, incorporated more than 300 new establishments during 2018.

Amancio López, a Galician from Chantada, works at Hotusa Hotels’ headquarters in Barcelona. López’s hotel chain increased its portfolio through agreements with more than 300 new establishments in 2018, thus becoming the world’s largest hotel consortium and surpassing, for the first time, a total of 3,000 hotels in its portfolio. 85% of the new hotels are outside of Spain, compared to 15% in its home country.

The Grupo Hotusa independent hotel consortium, which currently has a total of 3,030 establishments and more than 275,000 rooms, has a portfolio distributed throughout a total of 71 countries on four continents. The hotel chain has 93 hotels in Africa, 490 in the Americas and 95 in Asia (including Turkey). The organisation also has a total of 2,352 hotel units in Europe, of which 974 are in Spain. Urban hotels predominate, mostly 4-star hotels and an average size of 90 rooms.

Shopping in Galicia

Last year, Hotusa finalised its acquisition of the Gran Hotel La Toja (5-star) and the Isla de La Toja hotel (4-star), two establishments that it had managed since 2015 through the Eurostars chain. It also controls the Gran Hotel de Lugo.

Among the main international markets in which the organisation has a presence, France, where it has 359 hotels, stands out as its main international presence. The group has 325 hotels in Italy; 104 in the United States and 103 in Germany. The hotel also has a significant presence in Colombia and Mexico, with 85 and 84 hotels, respectively.

Created in 1977, Hotusa employs more than 5,500 employees and a turnover of more than 1.2 billion euros. It comprises the Eurostars Hotel Company, a hotel management firm with close to 200 establishments, Hotusa Hotels (with 3,030 associated hotels), the Keytel hotel representative, with more than 1,300 affiliated establishments, and the Restel reservation centre.

Original Story: Economía Digital Galicia

Translation: Richard Turner

Eurostars Purchases Hotel Abba Centrum Alicante

5 December 2018 – Real Estate Press

The Eurostars hotel chain is growing in Alicante. Hotusa, one of the firms belonging to the group, has completed the purchase of the Hotel ABBA Centrum, which it has been negotiating since September.

The amount of the operation has not been revealed, although market sources calculate that it could fall in the range of €12 million to €15 million.

The intention of the chain is to reopen the hotel in January as the Eurostars Centrum, and so the work that it is going to carry out in the building is minimal. In fact, the hotel chain’s website is already accepting reservations for the new hotel in the centre of Alicante from next month. According to sources familiar with the operation, the Hotusa group brand will subject the property to a detailed review to get it ready and will continue to operate it without carrying out any renovation work, at least for the time being.

With this acquisition, Eurostars is growing in Alicante and is whereby adding its third 4-star establishment to its portfolio in the Alicante capital. To date, the chain operates the Eurostars Lucentum, in the former headquarters of the now defunct Banco de Alicante on Avenida de Alfonso X el Sabio, opposite the Central Market, and the Eurostars Mediterranea Plaza, in the same square as the Town Hall. In all cases, the Eurostars hotels are 4-star establishments and offer mid-range prices, in modern buildings and in iconic urban locations.

The chain has more than 100 hotels across fifty destinations, all of which are medium-high end and, in general, housed in unique buildings. The hotel arm of the group is completed with Exe Hotels (60 establishments in Europe and Latin America) and Ikonik Hotels. In addition to its own establishments, the group has around 300 establishments associated with its hotel representation division throughout the world.

In the case of Alicante capital, and in parallel to the negotiation with ABBA Centrum, the chain has also been sounding out the market in the San Juan beach area of Alicante capital, although in that case, the operation has not come to fruition. In that area, the hotel that would be best suited to Hotusa’s plans is Alicante Golf, which is currently managed by the Husa chain, but there has not been any progress on that front for the time being.

Original story: Real Estate Press

Translation: Carmel Drake

Town Hall of Málaga Authorises Four Buildings for Tourist Apartments

16 October 2018 – Diario Sur

The boom in projects to build new tourist apartments in the Málagan capital continues apace. That is reflected in the list of activities that received building permits from the Municipal Urban Planning Department during the months of July, August and September, which will be submitted to the governing board of that Town Hall body tomorrow. The projects include four properties for tourist apartments, of which two involve the adaptation of existing buildings, and the other two the construction of new properties on separate plots, located in the Trinidad neighbourhood.

One of the authorised projects involves the construction of a building for 49 tourist apartments, 26 parking spaces and a swimming pool on the plot located at numbers 7, 8 and 9 Avenida de Fátima, located right next to the parish of the same name. It is being promoted by the company Pinar Concept. Similarly, around 200 m from that site, also in the Trinidad area, the Town Hall has granted a construction licence for another tourist apartment building, to be promoted by Inmoplan Promociones, which will be constructed on the plot at numbers 5 and 6, Plaza de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, next to c/Don Juan de Austria.

The other two approved initiatives involve the conversion into tourist apartments of two residential-use buildings located at number 52 Calle Mariano de Cavia, in the Pedregalejo area, on the one hand, and at number 2 Calle Barroso, next to Calle Córdoba, on the other. As this newspaper already reported (refer to SUR18/9/2018), behind this latest activity in the Soho area is the chain Hotusa, which is planning to develop a project involving 42 tourist apartments through the company Tandem Apartments.

Student halls

On the other hand, on another plot of land in Trinidad, located at numbers 8 and 10 Calle Carril, the Urban Planning Department has approved the construction of a hall of residence for students promoted by the company specialising in internships for overseas students, Euromind Projects.

In addition, the Urban Planning Department plans to approve tomorrow the start of the procedure to declare the expiration of the permit that was granted in 2008 for the construction of an industrial, office and parking lot building at number 303 Avenida de Velázquez, next to the headquarters of Canal Sur. That project was started but only the structure was completed. In a letter to Aena in July, it was stated that in 2009, the obligations of the airport were modified and so currently its height represents “an obstacle” for manoeuvres for the approach and take off of planes from the runway.

Original story: Diario Sur (by Jesús Hinojosa)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CaixaBank Considers Selling Torre Sevilla Following its Opening

4 October 2018 – Eje Prime

CaixaBank is considering divesting Torre Sevilla. The financial institution is working on the sale of the mixed-used complex a week after the opening of its shopping centre. The bank, which is whereby pushing ahead with the divestment of its real estate assets, will assess offers upwards of €265 million.

Torre Sevilla has a surface area of 77,000 m2 spread over 37 floors for offices and a shopping centre. Although sources at CaixaBank confirm that the sale of the complex has not been initiated, they acknowledge that it is a “non-strategic” asset and that some funds are interested in acquiring it, according to reports from El Confidencial.

If the sale goes ahead, it would be the largest operation in the south of Spain in recent years by type of asset and asking price. The financial institution would retain ownership of the Caixaforum only, which is located on the lower levels of the shopping centre and which officially opened in 2018.

CaixaBank has injected a total of €110 million into the complex over the last six years, bringing the total cost to €320 million. The skyscraper was inaugurated in 2016 and the shopping centre was opened last week. Currently, tenants of the building include the Sevilla Chamber of Commerce, Deloitte, the technological firms Chakray, Everis, Active Business&Technology and Optima, and also Hotusa, which occupies 17 floors of the property with a hotel. The Catalan bank also has several subsidiaries and services on a number of floors.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

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

 

Atitlán Sells 6 Hotels to Bankinter’s New Socimi Atom Hoteles

19 March 2018 – Valencia Plaza

Atitlán is continuing to shake up the real estate market with its operations, in this case focusing on the hotel sector. The investment firm owned by Roberto Centeno and Aritza Rodero has sold six hotels to a new Socimi in the sector that is being promoted by Bankinter. According to sources familiar with the operation, speaking to Valencia Plaza, the asset sale has included the Hotel Rey Don Jaime de Valencia, amongst others.

The transaction represents Atitlán’s departure from a market in which it has operated by stealth since 2013 when it began to acquire hotel assets in Spain. Its modus operandi involved buying up hotels in need of refurbishment in good locations. The company then invested in the renovations before putting the properties back on the market, in some cases affecting a change of operator to optimise the management.

The brand acquired the aforementioned portfolio, containing six hotels in total, located in the cities of Madrid, Sevilla, Palma de Mallorca, Santiago de Compostela and Valencia, in the case of the latter through the purchase of the Hotel Rey Don Jaime from Grupo Beatriz, whose management was entrusted to the operator Hotusa.

That acquisition was completed in 2015 when the hotel was in the midst of a redundancy program. According to reports at the time by the Valencian edition of El Mundo, the investment made by the new owner – Atitlán – was €5 million. The 14-storey building is one of the largest hotels in terms of capacity in Valencia.

When asked about the subject, sources at Atitlán confirmed to this newspaper that a portfolio of six hotels – comprising 900 rooms in total – was sold in February – including the Hotel Rey Don Jaime. The firm declined to confirm the location of the other properties or the total amount of the transaction.

The operation comes shortly after another high profile sale by the company owned by Roberto Centeno – the son-in-law of Juan Roig – and Aritza Rodero. Last month, the firm sold three plots that had been owned for years by a subsidiary of Nuevas Actividades Urbanas (NAU) for €33.6 million, after taking control of NAU just over a year ago for €8.7 million.

The buyer, in that case, was the US fund Harbert Management Corporation, which made its debut in Valencia through this operation hand in hand with the property developer Momentum Real Estate Investment Managers.

Atom Hoteles Socimi

Sources familiar with Atitlán’s hotel operation add that the company that has acquired the assets is Atom Hoteles Socimi SA, a firm promoted by Bankinter, which owns 19 hotel establishments in total spread all over Spain.

The bank has also been silent about the project, although the Mercantile Registry reveals that the new company, which was constituted in January, is chaired by Eduardo Ozaita Vega, the Director General of Bankinter.

At the end of last year, market sources revealed Bankinter’s intention to launch a Socimi focused on the hotel sector this year for its private banking clients, in which it will maintain a stake of around 10%.

The entity led by María Dolores Dancausa plans to launch this investment vehicle on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) with a share capital of around €200 million, for those clients whose wealth exceeds €1 million. The minimum investment to participate in the Socimi will be €200,000 per client, up to a maximum of 15% of total assets.

In this way, Bankinter is replicating the model of Olimpo Real Estate (Ores), a Socimi that it launched to invest in small and medium-sized retail assets in which the entity retains a 10% stake and which was designed to respond to clients who were demanding higher returns in the context of low interest rates.

Original story: Valencia Plaza (by Dani Valero)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Cerquia’s Directors Launch New Hotel Development Company: Xpandia

14 February 2018 – Eje Prime

The managers of Cerquia have set their sights on achieving five stars. Carlos Cercadillo, Javier Pérez Picallo and Jesús Salinero, all senior members of the Spanish company, have teamed up with a group of investors to leap into the hotel sector. The executives have launched Xpandia Projects, a company specialising in hotel development with a focus on Spain and Portugal, according to Pérez Picallo, CEO of Cerquia, speaking to Eje Prime.

Picallo will be in charge of the new project, although he will also continue in his position at Cerquia, as will Cercadillo, who is the President of the company and Salinero, who leads the expansion department.

“The hotels will be urban properties and they will be handed over turnkey-style to the operators”, explains the CEO of the company (…). The objective of the property developer is to hand over 800 rooms over the next three years. For the time being, the company is going to work on three projects, two in Lisbon and one in Valencia. The latter, located on Calle Guillem de Gastro, is on the verge of being granted its licence, with the aim of being completed and ready for delivery in 2020. In the case of the Portuguese assets, the delivery will take place in 2018 and 2019, respectively. In total, these three hotels will place 386 rooms on the market. Some of the major operators for which the firm is going to work include groups such as Accor, Iberostar, Hotusa, Vincci and B&B.

The development of the assets will be undertaken through both the renovation of buildings, as well as the construction of new build properties. The first project in Valencia and one of the projects in Lisbon involve the complete renovation of two properties. In addition, during this first phase, the company has pre-agreements to develop hotels in Madrid, Valencia, Alicante, Sevilla, Málaga, Bilbao and Donostia.

Xpandia is not planning to accumulate assets itself. “We will not hold onto the assets, instead we will sell them to investors who will operate them after we complete the building work”, explains Picallo, adding that “in some cases, we will hand over the hotels completely decorated and furnished”. The only hotel that the new company will own is a property in Lisbon, currently owned by Cerquia, which will be transferred from one portfolio to another. Despite the obvious synergies between the group and the property developer, “this is a project that will operate outside of Cerquia”, said its CEO.

The property developer will work on all stages of the projects from the location and selection of the properties to the drafting of the technical plans and the organisation of the construction work. Location wise, the properties will always “be in cities, primarily in central areas, to respond to the tourist interest that operators demand”, says Picallo. The property developer will study 100 potential projects per year.

The company is not going to work in Barcelona for the time being. Although the Catalan capital is the most touristic city in Spain, the property developer considers that “there is too much uncertainty around obtaining hotel licences in the city” (…).

During this first phase, the hotel operators that Xpandia is working with are expected to invest around €30 million. The hotels that the company is going to develop will be 3- and 4-star properties.

The group driving the project, Cerquia, is a company dedicated to the management and operation of its own real estate assets. The company, created in 2006, has offices, hotels and homes for rent in a portfolio that spans a surface area of approximately 20,000 m2 in the office sector alone across the Iberian Peninsula.

The firm’s clients include companies such as Banco Santander, Uria Menéndez, Garrigues, Catalana Occidente, Hoteles Vincci,  Bausch & Lomb, Intermoney, Worx, Lycamobile and Shine Ibérica, amongst others. For 2018, the group’s roadmap is to maintain its activity and continue with the progress of its three residential developments.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Insur to Invest €70M in Office Complex in South of Madrid

31 January 2018 – Eje Prime

Insur is committed to the world of work. The Andalucían group is going to invest €70 million in the south of Madrid to build an office complex that will have a total surface area of 30,000 m2. The project will involve the construction of two buildings alongside Madrid Río.

The company chaired by Ricardo Pumar plans to inaugurate the complex at the end of 2019. The Madrid Río area, where the offices are going to be built, is one of the most sought-after by the real estate sector at the moment. This is evidenced by the Operación Calderón, which will constitute one of the most important real estate operations in recent times in Madrid when it is completed in June.

Insur’s development in the Spanish capital is going to be undertaken through an alliance with two financial partners, in which the group holds a 50% stake. This investment in prime offices will also strengthen the company’s real estate arm, which is looking to diversify both by geography and by segment.

Indeed, this week, the property developer announced the segregation of its property development and real estate businesses. In this sense, Insur has opened a new line of business with its inclusion in the hotel sector, where it already owns three buildings under development, including one establishment in Zahara de los Atunes (Cádiz), which will have 500 rooms. The other two properties will be located in Córdoba and Sevilla and will be operated by Hotusa.

Moreover, the real estate company is looking for opportunities to build out-of-town retail spaces in Spain to expand its real estate portfolio, which is currently worth €294 million.

The objective of Grupo Insur for 2018 is to strengthen its real estate arm, without forgetting about the residential sector. In fact, in that segment, it is going to invest between €75 million and €80 million until 2020 buying up developable land. Currently, the property developer has 2,039 homes under construction and owns a land portfolio with the capacity to build another 2,652 more residential properties.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Banco Sabadell Sells 5 Hotels for c. €20M

27 January 2018 – La Vanguardia

Banco Sabadell is continuing to divest its hotel business with the sale of five establishments in recent weeks for a total consideration of almost €20 million, according to market sources. The move comes after the entity sold its hotel management platform HI Partners to the US fund Blackstone for €630.7 million in October.

When it announced that sale, the entity reported that the transaction comprised 14 large and superior category hotels, including the ME Sitges Terramar, the Hilton Sa Torre in Mallorca and the Axel Hotel in Madrid. The bank reported that another 11 smaller hotels had been left out given that they did not fit the profile of the operation. But five of them have been sold by Sabadell in recent weeks, specifically: the Asta Regia Hotel in Jerez de la Frontera acquired by Hotusa; the Aparthotel Augusta in Boí Taüll acquired by Kesse Invest; the Bal Hotel Spa de Gijón purchased by Artiem; the Barceló Oviedo bought by Barceló; and the AC Lleida purchased by AA Hoteles.

Naturally, what Sabadell is selling is the ownership of the property. In most cases, these hotels were managed by other specialist companies. The hotels expanded Sabadell’s real estate portfolio during the economic crisis after their owners offered them to the entity as a way of paying the financial debt that they had contracted. They may also have resulted from foreclosures. The entity chaired by Josep Oliu and led by Jaime Guardiola (pictured above) worked with different scenarios to make its investments profitable, including debuting the company that was managing the hotels on the stock market. However, the appearance of Blackstone’s offer tipped the balance towards the sale. According to a statement filed with the CNMV, the bank obtained profits (extraordinary profits) of €55 million from the divestment.

The hotel manager does not form part of the bank’s business and a specific division had only been constructed to manage the foreclosed assets in the best way. The establishments that have now been sold are not beachfront or large properties, although some are located in purely tourist areas such as the case of the Aparthotel in Boi Taüll, which is situated in the closest urbanisation to the Llerida ski resort.

In the case of the sale of the 5 small hotels, the bank declined to disclose the amount of the sale although market sources indicate that the total transaction consideration amounts to around €20 million. Sabadell plans to continue with the divestment of the 6 remaining hotels over the next few weeks.

Original story: La Vanguardia

Translation: Carmel Drake