Emesa’s Storage Space Company Boxinfiniti Debuts in Madrid with 5,100m2

22 March 2018 – Eje Prime

Emesa, the investment group owned by Emilio Cuatrecasas, is continuing to grow the businesses in which it operates. Boxinfiniti, which specialises in the rental of storage space and in which Emesa holds a stake, has made its debut in Madrid with the absorption of 5,100 m2 spread over three locations.

Two of the premises are located in the centre of Madrid (in the Cuatro Caminos-Nuevos Ministerios and Pacífico areas, close to Atocha station) and the third is located in Alcorcón. Together, the sites span a total surface area of 5,100 m2.

In Barcelona, with the upcoming opening of four new centres in the process of being implemented, the total surface area under management will increase by 3,650 m2. The new establishments there are located in the neighbourhoods of Eixample, Gràcia and Sants, in Barcelona and in Santa Coloma de Gramenet.

With these openings, Boxinfiniti, led by Luis Casanovas, is expanding its network to include thirteen storage centres in Barcelona and Madrid. “The company is constantly on the lookout for premises in the best locations of Barcelona and Madrid within the framework of its strategic plan”, according to sources at the group.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Large Retailers Compete For City Centre Premises

14 September 2017 – El País

Retailers that typically occupy out-of-town stores only, brands such Ikea, Decathlon, Media Markt, Leroy Merlin and Kiabi have done an about turn with their strategies. Now, they want to take their products to the heart of cities to reach clients who are not visiting them on the outskirts. They are occupying the few large retail premises that are available close to the major commercial thoroughfares of Madrid and Barcelona. They are not pushing up the rental prices of these properties yet; in fact, they are investing between €1 million and €5 million on renovation work. But they will.

The main retail areas in the centre of Madrid and Barcelona have new tenants. The so-called out-of-town retailers, which, until recently, could only be found in retail parks on the outskirts are undertaking a new urban strategy. They want to approach a new group of customers, those who want to avoid using their cars and it wants to lock them in. This week, Decathlon announced that it will open three stores in the heart of Madrid, where Leroy Merlin will also set up shop in 2018, following in the wake of Ikea (which inaugurated its store on c/Serrano in May), Kiabi (which has just done the same in Barcelona on Paseo de Gracia) and Media Markt, the first to arrive in the centre of both cities (as well as in Valencia).

The trend started two years ago in major European cities and comes in response to a move by the population towards the centre and to the fact that e-commerce is requiring companies to respond rapidly to their clients. That means being close to them, explains Robert Travers, Director at the real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield (…).

The strategy of these chains is to open stores on the main commercial thoroughfares of large cities in smaller spaces than those they occupy in the out-of-town retail parks, but of considerable dimensions given that they are in the centre. “They are not looking for prime locations, but rather premises very nearby, because they cannot afford the rents of operators such as Zara, Mango and H&M. Instead they pay around 30% less because their margins are smaller”, says Travers. They need streets with high footfall and premises measuring at least 1,000 m2 or 2,000 m2, with open-plan floors; such features are very few and far between in the best shopping areas.

For the time being, the arrival of these brands has not had any impact on rental prices, given that, according to Sergio Fernandes, the Director of Retail at the consultancy firm JLL, the availability of these kinds of properties on the main commercial thoroughfares is very limited and the operators that demand them are also very few. “Only the leaders of each sector are brave enough to make the move. For the time being, we are seeing only six or seven brands”, he says. Examples include Aki, Bricor, Verdecora, Sport Zone and Kiwoko Mundo Animal. Nevertheless, “they are managing to make use of certain properties that would otherwise go unoccupied as they are not in the right locations for the fashion brands”, says David Barragán, Director of Retail at the real estate firm Aguirre Newman (…).

The search is not easy, according to estate agents and retail chains (…). The negotiations are intense and prolonged because the premises need renovating and the brands demand grace periods whilst the construction work takes place, which tenants typically pay. Rental contracts are being signed for periods of between seven and 20 years.

But it is worth it. The pilot store that the Swedish chain Ikea has opened in Madrid is performing better than expected. In fact, some of the new formulas that it offers have already been extended to its other stores (customisation of fabrics, dressers and doors). Nevertheless, Ikea is still assessing whether or not to open more central stores with this format, which combines sales and entertainment (…).

Original story: El País (by Claudio Álvarez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Värde Creates A New RE Company: Dospuntos

21 June 2016 – Cinco Días

One of the real estate firms that suffered during the real estate crisis has been reborn under a new name and with new owners. Värde Partners has created a new property developer, Dospuntos, out of the San José Desarrollo Imobiliarios structure, which it acquired from the San José Group last year. The US fund has an ambitious plan to turn the company into one of the major players in the sector as the incipient recovery starts to heat up.

“Värde and the rest of our shareholders believe in the recovery of Spain and in the growth of the real estate sector”, said Javier Eguidazu (pictured above), CEO of Dospuntos, who joined the firm in September from the Valdebebas urban development in Madrid. According to the Director, Värde and its partners paid more than €1,000 million to purchase the real estate company from San José, basically the amount equivalent to the value of its debt, and the debt clock was reset when the agreement was signed.

The company now owns land from the former subsidiary of San José, as well as from Várde, which was a dynamic and discrete purchaser of land during the recession in Spain. “We now have 800,000 sqm of land, on which we will build 7,000 homes”, said Eguidazu. “Värde is a very active operator in the market and is always studying deals. It is our majority shareholder, but that does not mean that it constructs all of its developments through our entity, nevertheless, it is likely that it will”, said the Director.

The major shareholder of this new real estate company is the US fund, with a stake of more than 50%; it manages assets worth more than €10,000 million all over the world. Värde has been particularly active in Spain in recent years, with the acquisition of Popular’s credit card bsiness, as well as half of the real estate firm Aliseda, from the same bank, in an operation that it entered into together with the fund Kennedy Wilson. Moreover, it is currently holding negotiations to acquire a stake in Procisa’s office business.

Värde (which means “value” in Swedish) is accompanied in its shareholder capacity in Dospuntos by the funds Marathon and Attestor, as well as banks such as Bank of America and Barclays.

The shareholders plan to invest €2,000 million between 2016 and 2012, at an average rate of €400 million per annum, of which €800 million will be allocated to continuing to acquire land on which to build homes. Over the long term, 30% or 40% of the company’s resources will come from bank financing. “Our aim is to create the best land bank in the country and to be the most profitable property developer in Spain”, said Eguidazu. The firm has already invested €100 million in land and another €55 million launching developments. (…).

The new property developer plans to put its first 1,300 homes up for sale in 2018, given that it is already starting to construct its first properties in Madrid, Málaga, Sevilla and A Coruña. Its other target locations include Pamplona, Valladolid, Zaragoza, Sevilla, Barcelona and Tenerife. From 2019, it plans to reach a cruising speed of 2,000 homes per year on average. By then, the company also expects to be generating revenues of between €500 million and €600 million.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake