Lar España has already Leased 60% of Palmas Altas Shopping & Leisure Centre (Sevilla)

17 May 2018 – Inmodiario

Palmas Altas is progressing well. More than 60% of the gross leasable area (GLA) in the shopping and family leisure complex, which is owned by Lar España, has already been leased. Specifically, agreements have now been signed to occupy 50 stores, which span 42,581 m2. The shopping centre will have 100,000 m2 of retail and family leisure space in total and comprise almost 150 stores.

The Socimi expects to lease more than 90% of the complex by the end of 2018. Lar España forecasts that Palmas Altas will generate annual rental income of around €15 million from the lease of its stores.

Those who visit Palmas Altas will find an extensive offering of leisure, fashion, household goods, restaurants and entertainment at Sevilla’s largest retail and leisure complex. That will be complemented with public spaces and a lake spanning 6,000 m2. Specifically, 60% of the total surface area will be dedicated to commercial space and 40% to restaurants, leisure, sports and green space.

Lar España has reached agreements with major brands, such as Mercadona, which will manage the complex’s hypermarket, and MediaMarkt, which will open a large store dedicated to the sale of household appliances, IT products and consumer electronics. The leisure offer will include Yelmo’s latest generation cinema screens and an Urban Planet space measuring 3,000 m2, which will include a wind tunnel and aquatic activities around the lake, amongst other options.

In the restaurant area, highlights will include Five Guys, McDonalds, 100 Montaditos, Starbucks and Friday’s, as well as several Andalucian operators. The fashion brands that have already confirmed their presence in Palmas Altas include Primark, Levis, Jack & Jones, Diechmann and Foot Locker (…).

Progress of the construction work

The work to build Palmas Altas, which began in August 2017, has already completed the foundation phase (…). In total, almost 30% of the project has been finished.

The Palmas Altas project will result in the creation of 4,800 jobs. Of those, 1,500 are related to the construction of the retail complex and the remaining 3,300 will be permanent jobs. This represents a significant wake-up call for the economy and creation of jobs in Sevilla: in fact, Lar España prioritises the contracting of local suppliers for the construction and maintenance of its assets.

The total investment in the development of this commercial and family leisure complex will amount to €250 million, which represents the largest urban planning investment in the city in the last decade and the Socimi’s most valuable asset to date.

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake

AECC: Sales At Spain’s Shopping Centres Rose By 3.6% In 2016

3 March 2017 – Mis Locales

The health of the Shopping Centre and Retail Park sector in Spain is still good. In 2016, sales rose by 3.6% compared to 2015, to reach €42,464 million. The market share held by Shopping Centres and Retail Parks over the Spanish retail sector as a whole remained stable at 17.8% and average sales per visit grew by 2.1% with respect to 2015.

It is estimated that 1,935 million visits were made to Shopping Centres and Retail Parks during 2016, up by 1.5% with respect to the previous year, according to data from the Spanish Association of Shopping Centres and Retail Parks (AECC).

Investment through transactions in Shopping Centres and Retail Parks amounted to €2,000 million in 2016, with 19 operations closed, involving domestic and international investors.

The importance of this sector within the country’s overall economy is also clear, thanks to the employment being generated. Six new shopping centres were opened in 2016, with the resulting creation of 4,500 new jobs.

There are currently 550 Shopping Centres and Retail Parks in Spain, with a combined GLA (Gross Leasable Area) of 15,595,800 m2, which are home to almost 33,500 shopkeepers. Between 2017 and 2019, 27 new projects are expected to be launched, including new centre openings and extensions, to create more than 1,300,000 m2 of new retail space.

For Javier Hortelano de la Lastra, the President of the Spanish Association of Shopping Centres and Retail Parks, the sector is the key to the consolidation of the Spanish economy “given that during 2016, it continued to grow not only in terms of sales but also in terms of visitor numbers and the creation of employment”. Hortelano also emphasised the high profile role that shopping centres and retail parks play in the real estate context of the country.

Original story: Mis Locales

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar España Invests €250M In Mega Retail Complex In Sevilla

17 November 2016 – Expansión

Yesterday, the Socimi Lar España Real Estate presented its largest investment project to date, which will be built in Sevilla. The project will involve the construction of the Palmas Altas retail and leisure complex, which will be built on a plot of land measuring 123,500 m2 in the Andalucian capital. It will create 3,300 jobs in total, with a further 1,500 jobs during the construction phase.

The company expects the construction work at the site, which is located next to the district of Los Bermejales in the south of the city, to take approximately two years, which means that the largest shopping centre in the city, and one of the largest in Andalucía, will likely open in the spring of 2019. (…).

Almost two hundred brands have already said they want to open stores in the future shopping centre, the design of which prioritises sustainability and accessibility, according to its developers. The commercial and leisure area will cover 100,000 m2 of the plot, and will have space for 150 retail units, cinemas, green areas and restaurant spaces with various cuisines on offer, as well as children’s playgrounds, look outs, and a 6,000 m2 lake for recreational use, sporting activities and cultural events. (…).

The Socimi Lar España currently owns 26 real estate assets, worth €1,201 million in total. Of those, €901 million correspond to the fourteen shopping centres that the group owns in 13 provincial capitals all over Spain, including Madrid and Barcelona. It also owns four office buildings in those two cities, worth €168 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Nacho González)

Translation: Carmel Drake

BBVA: Residential Investment Will Accelerate In 2017

9 September 2016 – Expansión

Investment in construction, in particular in residential housing, will become one of the main drivers of the recovery next year. BBVA Research, the research arm of the financial institution, forecasts that real estate investment will experience annual growth of 2.8% in 2016 and of 3.3% in 2017. According to the entity, the real estate boom will continue for the next two years.

Nevertheless, the “Economic Observatory for Spain” report, which the research arm presented yesterday, warns that domestic uncertainty and new “fronts of scepticism” – such as those resulting from Brexit – “will also affect the real estate sector over the next two years”. Even so, BBVA forecasts that house sales will continue to grow over the medium term, supported by “favourable financing conditions”. “The gradual increase in demand in an environment of decreasing supply will encourage construction activity and the emergence of new residential projects”, predicts the bank.

The Chief Economist at the BBVA Group and Director of BBVA Research, Jorge Sicilia, explained that the recovery in the housing market is still in its “very early” days, and as such, he believes that we should be “on alert” to the effect of low interest rate policies in the event that they last for a long time. In this sense, he indicated that although these policies are driving savings and investment decisions, they may end up having a “negative impact”. Despite these risks, BBVA’s research service calculates that residential investment will increase by 2.8% this year and by 3.3% in 2017. It also forecasts that investment in construction – which includes public works and non-residential properties – will grow by 2.3% this year and by 3% next year.

Echoing the report published on Wednesday by Analistas Financieros Internacionales regarding the evolution of GDP, BBVA forecasts that the economy will grow by 3.2% this year, before slowing down to 2.3% in 2017, due to a deceleration in private consumption and exports. According to the report, the political uncertainty resulting from the lack of Government may reduce economic growth by up to seven tenths this year and next, although this negative effect on GDP is one tenth lower than the impact calculated in May.

The labour market will also feel the effects of the slow down in the economy. This year, half a million full time jobs are expected to be created, but next year that figure will decrease to 300,000. The unemployment rate is predicted to decrease to 18.2% by the end of next year.

Original story: Expansión (by C.R.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Amazon Will Invest €200M In Its New Centre In Barcelona

29 June 2016 – Expansión

Amazon’s new logistics centre in El Prat de Llobregat (Barcelona) will be ready in the autumn of 2017. Yesterday, the US multinational e-commerce giant completed the acquisition of land covering 150,808 sqm, next to the airport, from the Generalitat for €30 million. It also announced that it will hire 1,500 direct workers between now and 2020.

This represents the largest investment in terms of job creation in Cataluña in the last five years. The project, financed in its entirety by the group, will absorb a budget of more than €200 million, including the cost of the land, according to sources from Amazon.

The e-commerce giant, founded by Jeff Bezos, will construct a logistics platform in El Prat with a surface area covering more than 60,000 sqm, the equivalent of eight football pitches. It will be its second largest warehouse in Spain, after its complex in San Fernando de Henares (Madrid), which it acquired in 2012. That site has a surface area of 28,000 sqm but Amazon is currently working to expand those facilities, which means that the two centres will be around the same size.

Amazon’s Catalan platform will allow the company to cope with its strong growth, satisfy future demand and ensure that its deliveries to clients are fast and reliable. The centre at El Prat will not only supply the Spanish market, it will also handle orders from across Europe, given that the complex will be incorporated into Amazon’s European logistics network, comprising 29 centres located in seven countries and capable of supplying customers with the more than 132 million products available in its online megastore.

Amazon Fulfillment, the group’s logistics company, has hired the construction company Dragados – which forms part of the ACS Group – to carry out the building work, which will start on Friday. The aim is that this centre will be operational by the autumn of 2017 and it will open with an initial workforce of 500 people. That figure will gradually increase over the next three years, to reach 1,500 people by the end of 2020.

Original story: Expansión (by S. Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ilunion and Vincci Launch A €500M Hotel Socimi

21 June 2016 – Expansión

Vincci Hoteles and Ilunion have launched a Socimi called Plaza Hotel Assets.

The agreement between the two companies forecasts an ambitious growth plan, through acquisitions and contributions of hotel assets in urban and vacation locations.

The establishments will be situated in Madrid, Barcelona, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, the Costa del Sol, as well as in certain international destinations.

This Socimi has been created with the objective of facilitating the growth of these two groups in the Spanish tourism sector and consolidating their growth plans as operators.

According to the CEO of Vincci Hoteles, Carlos Calero, the opportunity for multi-management within the same Socimi means that a lot of value has been placed on the versatility that this new form of growth offers. The hotel chain, which has been operating in the sector for fifteen years, has forty hotels in its portfolio and owns properties in Spain, Portugal and Tunisia.

Meanwhile, the CEO of the Ilunion group, Alejando Oñoro, thinks that this agreement is good news for his company, as it represents another step in the consolidation of the group launched just over a year ago.

Similarly, he is convinced that the project will help to create quality jobs for people with disabilities in a strategic sector for the country, such as tourism; and will continue to expand accessibility and design for everyone in hotels.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Amazon Leases Axiare’s Mega-Warehouse In Tarragona

16 June 2016 – Expansión

The logistics market is gaining strength in Spain, thanks to e-commerce, the sector that is growing the most and has the most optimistic forecasts. Keuhne+Nagel (K+N) has leased a logistics complex in Constantí (Tarragona) where it will work almost exclusively for the US giant Amazon.

One hundred jobs will be created during the first phase, but once the complex is operating at full capacity, it is expected to employ 400 people, according to sources familiar with the operation. To these figures, we have to add the typical reinforcements required during certain periods, such as at Christmas.

The land is owned by Axiare, which purchased the two empty warehouses last year for €13.5 million from the French insurance company Axa. (…).

Twin warehouses

The two warehouses are almost the same size as each other and have a combined surface area of 42,253 sqm in total. This is the largest operation in the sector in Cataluña so far in 2016 and one of the most important in Spain. Both facilities were constructed in 2009, but have not been used until now.

Axiare has leased the warehouses to Huenhe + Nagel, a Swiss logistics operator, which will work for Amazon. The US company will not lease this land directly, unlike the 150,000 sqm plot that it is planning to buy next to El Prat airport (Barcelona). At the facilities in El Prat, for which Amazon will reportedly pay €30 million to the Generalitat de Cataluña, 1,500 jobs will be created and €100 million will be invested, according to the Generalitat, although Amazon has not confirmed those figures.

Sources in the sector explain that the logistics infrastructures of companies the size of Amazon need several types of warehouses. As well as a central space for Southern Europe – such as the one that will be opened in El Prat, in a prime area – they also require dispatch points to handle larger objects. That activity requires more affordable, but still well-connected locations. Constantí is very close to Tarragona and is situated next to the AP-7 and A-27 motorways, and close to the AP-2. ID logistics opened a 20,000 sqm centre not far away from the site, in Vila-rodona, where Privalia is its main client.

Although the warehouses are six years old, the customisation of them has been minimal. They have 38 loading bays, are almost 11 metres tall and have offices for administration. Activity is expected to begin at the new complex in Constantí this summer.


Stuart William McDonald, the Director of RE at the Socimi said that Axiare’s strategy involves dedicating 80% of its business to the office sector and the remaining 20% to logistics. The company led by Luis Alfonso López de Herrera-Oria, earned €5.1 million during Q1 2016, up by 22%, after recording rental income of €10 million from its assets. Its portfolio is worth €900 million and 96% of its assets are located in Madrid and Barcelona.

In 2015, Axiare also purchased land without an end customer in Valls (Tarragona), which it ended up leasing out to Kelloggs. (…). Axiare’s share price rose by 0.49% yesterday and its market capitalisation amounted to €879 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Artur Zanón and Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Neinver To Invest €80M In A New Shopping Outlet In Barcelona

9 April 2015 – Expansión

Construction work will begin on a new fashion outlet in Viladecans (Barcelona) in May. The project will require an investment of €80 million and will create around 600 direct jobs and up to 400 indirect jobs during its first phase.

The developers of the project, dubbed Viladecans The Style Outlets, are the real estate group Neinver, which specialises in shopping centres and outlets, and the fund manager TIAA Henderson Real Estate. The two companies signed an agreement in January to invest jointly (50% each) in projects such as the one in Viladecans. The plot where the future outlet will be constructed was acquired last December from Incasol (the Catalan Land Institute or Instituto Catalán del Suelo) for €24.5 million. Around 130 shops will be opened during the project’s two phases.

Original story: Expansión (by M. Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Number Of People Out Of Work Fell By 13,528 In February

4 March 2015 – El Mundo

The construction and industrial sectors were the main drivers behind job creation, once again.

The labour market offered a breath of fresh air yesterday, after starting the year on a bad note. The number of people out of work decreased by 13,538 in February, the largest drop in this month for 14 years; and the number of people registered with Social Security increased by 96,909, the best figure in this month since 2007, according to the Ministry for Employment. The construction and industrial sectors were the main drivers behind job creation.

Traditionally, February tends to be a strange month for employment, with highs and lows, and since 2008, when we began to feel the first effects of the crisis, unemployment has always increased in this month, except for last year when the figures decreased by 1,949 people. This year, the number of unemployed people decreased by 13,538 in February. Despite this decrease, the number of people out of work in Spain is still worryingly high, with more than 4,512,123 people registered with the Public Employment Services (formerly Inem). This figure is even higher than the one Mariano Rajoy inherited when he arrived at La Moncloa for the first time.

By sector, unemployment increased in the agriculture sector only in February (by 467 people), whilst it decreased in construction (10,091), industry (6,535) and the service sector (233).

In light of this data, the Government is optimistic and confident that it will achieve its objective of creating three million new jobs by 2019. Currently, the total number of people in paid work amounts to 16,672,222.

The increase of almost 100,000 new taxpayers in February partly offset the significant decrease in the number of jobs in January, when the number of taxpayers decreased by 200,000, following the end of the Christmas season.

By sector, construction – one of the hardest hit by the crisis – was where the most jobs were created (26,968), together with industry (15,097). Meanwhile, the service sector registered 61,842 more taxpayers, thanks to boosts from education (16,203) and hospitality (14,012).

However, the resurgence in the construction sector concerns the opposition party and the trade unions. The PSOE’s (Shadow) Secretary of State for Employment, Luz Rodríguez, says “the return to property could mean that we exit the crisis through the same door that we entered it”.

In terms of the number of contracts, 1,226,950 contracts were registered in February, up 12.5% compared with the same month last year. Nevertheless, the majority (more than 90%) were still temporary. Only 120,181 contracts were permanent, equivalent to 9.8% of the total number. Nevertheless, the Ministry for Employment highlighted that these figures are 23% higher than in January last year.

In terms of the number of hours worked, 71,754 of the permanent contracts were for full-time positions (16,804 more than in the previous year, an increase of 30.58%) and 48,527 were part-time (5,673 more than in February 2014, an increase of 13.24%).

However, these figures are not good enough for the trade unions UGT and CCOO, which report that the jobs that are being created are “precarious” and “low quality” and that the wages are “clearly insufficient”. Moreover, they point out that the inequalities between men and women are increasing and that young people are being left behind. Thus, whilst the unemployment rate decreased for men in February (with 19,587 fewer unemployed men than in January), they increased for women (with 6,319 more unemployed women), taking the total number of unemployed men and women to 2,117,980 and 2,394,173, respectively.

Furthermore, the number of unemployed young people under the aged of 25 increased by 2,569, and the number of foreign unemployed people increased by 3,030. In the opinion of the USO trade union, these figures show that “the recovery in terms of unemployment is not on the right track”.

By autonomous region, Madrid was the community where unemployment increased the most in the month of February, by 2,411 people to be exact; followed by Andalucía, with 2,121 more unemployed people and Castilla-La Mancha with 139. Meanwhile, unemployment decreased in 14 autonomous communities.

In terms of the coverage rate, i.e. the percentage of unemployed people that receive benefits or allowances, it continued to decrease in an alarming way.

During the month of January – the latest month for which data is available – it amounted to 56.49%, i.e. five points lower than in the same month in 2013. This means that almost one in every two unemployed people registered with the former Inem, does not receive any kind of financial aid. Moreover, total spending on benefits amounted to €1,962 million in January, which represented a 17.7% decrease compared with the same month last year.

Original story: El Mundo (by Isabel Munera)

Translation: Carmel Drake

BBVA: Positive Outlook For Housing Market In 2015

3 March 2015 – El Economista

The positive outlook for economic growth, better employment figures and favourable financing conditions will drive further increases in house sales in 2015, which will be accompanied by a “moderate” increase in prices and a further increase in construction activity.

That is according to the latest “Real Estate in Spain – Flash Report”, prepared by the Research Department at BBVA, which also states that “2014 could be classified as the year in which the recovery of the real estate sector began”.

Sales recovery

The entity points out that, according to the General Council of Notaries (Consejo General del Notariado), demand for properties showed signs of recovery month after month during 2014, to close the year with 364,000 homes sold, up 19.1% compared with 2013. “That was the first increase since 2007 and it reflects the greater level of activity in the mortgage market”, says BBVA.

At the same time, data from the Ministry of Development shows that there was a 0.5% increase in house prices last year, again, the first increase since the start of the crisis.

This recovery in the key real estate parameters led to a 1.7% increase in the number of construction permits for new homes in 2014, which the financial institution notes “breaks the trend of seven consecutive years of decreases and makes 2014 the turning point in terms of construction activity”.

The report forecasts that this positive trend will really take hold in 2015. BBVA Research expects the Spanish economy to grow by 2.7% this year, with the creation of around half a million jobs and relatively stable interest rates.

“All of these factors indicate that there will be a further increase in house sales and that prices and construction activity will respond with further growth”, says the bank.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake