26 January 2018 – Expansión
Unibail-Rodamco, the largest European real estate group, has committed investments for projects in its portfolio in Spain amounting to, at least, €800 million between now and 2024; it has already disbursed €120 million of that figure.
The Director of Development and Investments at Unibail-Rodamco in España, Javier Solís (pictured above, left), explained yesterday at a meeting organised by IESE, Tinsa and Savills Aguirre Newman, that the company has projects in its portfolio spanning a new gross leasable area (including extensions) of 187,000 m2 and a total committed investment of more than €800 million, reports Efe.
Of the projects underway, the director highlighted the shopping centre in Benidorm (Alicante), whose construction has already commenced and which is expected to open in 2020. In his opinion, the increase in visitor numbers and sales at shopping centres suggests “that returns have the potential to rise”.
The director explained that some of the investment planned for the coming years will be spent on improving its assets so that “they are more than just a place to shop”. In this sense, Solía advocates transforming them into centres for meeting up, having fun and being entertained, for enjoying new gastronomic experiences and with higher standards in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability.
In terms of future possible purchases, Solís said that the company’s intention is to incorporate new assets that are already operational, although, for the time being, it does not have any operations on the table.
In Spain, Unibail-Rodamco owns a dozen shopping centres and has two more under development. Its most high profile assets include Parquesur and La Vaguada (in Madrid) and Les Glòries and La Maquinista (in Barcelona), worth around €3.7 billion.
Unibail-Rodamco, which has a presence in 11 European countries, reached an agreement at the end of 2017 to purchase its Australian rival Westfield for $24.7 billion (€19.8 billion).
The operation will result in the creation of a colossus with a gross asset value of €61.1 billion and a presence in 13 countries. Following the integration, Unibail-Rodamco will extend its competitive distance over its main European rivals, Klépierre and Hammerson. Indeed, one month ago, the latter announced an agreement to purchase Intu and grow in the shopping centre segment.
Original story: Expansión
Translation: Carmel Drake