Herrero & Lebois Are Behind Madrid’s Latest Luxury Homes

14 June 2017 – Voz Pópuli 

The owner of Kiss FM, Blas Herrero and the Mexican investor Rodrigo Lebois have completed one of the most significant real estate operations of recent times in the Spanish capital. The two businessmen have spent around €50 million on the building located at number 11, Plaza del Marqués de Salamanca, which they plan to convert into 15 luxury apartments measuring 300 m2 each.

According to sources close to the operation, the building has a surface area of 8,800 m2, with 1,000 m2 on each of its eight storeys. Until now, the property belonged to an aristocratic Asturian family and was authorised for residential and hotel use. During the sales process, the owners received nine offers: two from domestic investors and seven from overseas buyers, according to El Mundo.

The buyers plan to create three apartments per floor, and claim that they will be “the most luxurious homes in Madrid”. The building has a commercial premise on the ground floor and a rooftop, which will not be touched during the renovation work, which is due to begin soon. Until now, the homes in this building have operated under lease contracts. (…).

Blas Herrero and the real estate market

The operation again certifies Blas Herrero’s interest in the real estate market, in which he has made several significant investments in recent times. Just over three years ago, he paid €16.75 million – in a legal auction – for the Hotel Foxá 32 Suites, located next to Chamartín Station. A few months later, he reached an agreement with Barceló to manage the 158 rooms in this 5-star hotel establishment for 12 years (…).

For his latest purchase, of the building on Plaza del Marqués de Salamanca, Herrero has teamed up with the Mexican magnate Rodrigo Lebois, President of Unifin Financiera, one of the most active investment firms in Latin America, which specialises in pure leasing, factoring, automotive credit and insurance. At the time of the purchase, Lebois expressed his desire to keep one floor for his own personal use.

A third Mexican investor has also participated in the transaction, whose name has not been revealed, according to sources close to the operation.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Rubén Arranz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Knight Frank: Demand For Offices Soared By 30% In 2015

11 January 2016 – Cinco Días

The city of Madrid exceeded the real estate sector’s expectations with respect to the leasing of office space in 2015, as the volume of office space rented by companies grew by almost 30%, representing the best figure since 2008. In Barcelona, on the basis of data as at Q3, the increase was even greater, at 91%.

The real estate market is recovering at the same time as companies are starting to forecast their own growth. Unlike in recent years, during which time many companies have been delaying the decision to move offices or lease more space – because many of them have been involved in processes to reduce their workforces – last year there was a recovery, showing confidence in the future.

In Madrid, office rental agreements were signed for a total surface area of 480,000 m2 in 2015, the highest figure since the start of the crisis in 2007. The data was published last week by the real estate consultancy Knight Frank, which compiles industry information. The most optimistic forecasts predicted that the year would close with a figure of around 420,000 m2. The actual volume represents an increase of 27% with respect to the previous year. In 2014, 358,000 m2 of office space was leased out.

The minimum in the historic series was recorded in 2012, when 261,000 m2 of office space was leased out, at the height of the storm over sovereign debt in the countries in Southern Europe and when doubts over the economy were at their peak. By contrast, the best year was recorded in 2007, when 828,000 m2 of office space was leased.

This shows the positive behaviour of the market in recent months, which, in turn, has resulted from the strong macroeconomic outlook. At the end of the year, BNP Paribas Real Estate forecast that the volume of office rental operations would increase by 100,000 m2 in 2015 and by a further 84,000 m2 in the case of Barcelona.

In the Catalan capital, where full year data for 2015 is still pending, the volume of office space leased almost doubled during the first three quarters. During the 9 months to September, operations relating to 297,000 m2 of office space were closed, an increase of 91% according to the data provided by the consultancy firm CBRE.

The second half of the year has performed even more strongly in terms of new demand in Madrid. During the six months to June, office space measuring 198,000 m2 was leased; and from June to December, that figure amounted to 282,000 m2, i.e. 42% higher.

The most sought-after areas in Madrid are located inside the M-30, where there is a shortage of high quality buildings. In the case of Barcelona, demand is highest on Avenida Diagonal, el Paseo Gracia, the 22@ district and Plaza Europa. (…).

Moreover, the lack of high quality space, combined with the greater volume of demand, drove rental prices up by 6% in the best buildings in Madrid in 2015, to reach €27/m2/month. Even so, that rental figure is still one of the lowest in the historic series, well below the figure of €45/m2/month that tenants paid in 2008.

The main operations

One of the most important office rental operations in the capital involved the agency WPP, which took over a 36,000 m2 building on Calle Ríos Rosas. Another highlight was KPMG’s expected move to the 20,000 m2 Torre de Cristal, owned by Mutua Madrileña. Meanwhile, the bank BNP Paribas leased offices measuring 19,100 m2 in a building owned by Torre Rioja. Also, the consultancy EY signed an agreement to move into Torre Titania, owned by El Corte Inglés.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CaixaBank Will Be S&P’s New Neighbour On The Castellana

9 March 2015 – Expansión

Lease Agreement / The bank is going to rent 2,800 square metres of office space in Banesto’s former headquarters. It will share the premises with the credit ratings agency, S&P, amongst others.

After a record year for investment in offices (Socimis and large international funds spent more than €1,000 million on acquisitions in 2014), the buildings in Madrid are also beginning to observe an increase in their occupancy rates, especially those located on the city’s main thoroughfare.

That is the case of the office building located on Paseo de la Castellana, 7. The former headquarters of Banesto will soon house another well known tenant. CaixaBank had agreed to rent out 2,800 square metres in the building. The bank will pay around €70,000 per month for the space, according to real estate sources.

In the last quarter of 2014, rents in the prime office areas of Madrid amounted to around €25.50 per square metre per month, the highest figure in the last three years, according to JLL.

Tenants

CaixaBank will join companies such as the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P), the Swiss bank Julius Baer, the law firm White & Case and the firms Munich Real Estate and FTI Consulting, which already have offices in the property. Until the arrival of the entity, chaired by Isidro Fainé, the most recent addition (to the property) was the Japanese business group Mitsui, which leases 1,500 square metres over two floors.

Castellana, 7 is owned by the Aragonese group Samca, which also owns the (property) developer Ebrosa. The building offers 12,869 square metres of office space in total and for years it housed the headquarters of Banesto. In 1997, the owner of Samca, the businessman Ángel Luengo, paid the entity 8,000 million pesetas (around €48 million), after failing to reach a preliminary agreement with Telefónica.

In 2011, the building was refurbished by the team at Aguirre Newman Arquitectura. Following the deal with CaixaBank, the building will have less than 5,000 square metres unoccupied.

Transactions

The rental of 2,800 square metres of office space on the Paseo de la Castellana by CaixaBank comes just two weeks after the first major office lease agreement of 2015 was signed in Madrid.

The professional services firm KPMG has reached an agreement with Mutua Madrileña to move its corporate headquarters in Madrid to the Torre de Cristal skyscraper, in the Cuatro Torres business district. KPMG has leased 20,000 square metres in the tower.

In 2014, office space occupying a surface area of 365,000 square metres (of the total 15.1 million sqm) was leased in Madrid. The most significant transactions included the move by Havas to the building on Eloy Gonzalo, 10, which had been acquired by the real estate group GMP a month before. The multi-media group will occupy the office space, which covers around 12,000 square metres. In Barcelona, the law firm Cuatrecasas signed an agreement to lease 19,900 square metres at the end of the year.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake