Lar España Invests €250M To Build Sevilla’s Largest Shopping Centre

18 October 2017 – El Periódico

Lar España has started construction of the new ‘Palmas Altas’ shopping centre in Sevilla. The project will involve an investment of €250 million and will generate around 4,800 jobs during its execution phase and subsequent operation.

The centre, which will open its doors in 2019, represents the largest urban planning investment to have been made in the Andalucían capital for a decade. It is also going to be the most valuable asset in the portfolio of its owner Lar, the Socimi that specialises in shopping centres.

The first stone of the establishment was laid on Tuesday and the centre will be the largest commercial space in Sevilla, given that it will have a surface area of more than 123,000 m2. Moreover, it will have an artificial lake spanning more than 7,000 m2, along with green spaces and cinemas, amongst other facilities.

During the unveiling of the project, the CEO of Lar España, Miguel Pereda, said that the total surface area of the centre, comprising the retail and leisure space will span 100,000 m2 and will house 200 stores and terraces.

Primark and Media Markt

According to the property developers, the supermarket Mercadona has already committed to leasing a space in the new centre, as has the textile firm Primark, which will take over premises measuring 8,000m2; Media Market will occupy another large store. The cinema screens will be operated by the company Yelmo, which belongs to the Cinépolis group.

Moreover, the centre will be completed with a 3,200-space parking lot, most of which will be underground. All in all, the centre hopes to receive around 14 million visitors per year.

Original story: El Periódico

Translation: Carmel Drake

RE Experts Warn That The Cataluña Situation Is Seriously Affecting Investment

17 October 2017 – Expansión

The Spanish Association of Real Estate Consulting Companies (ACI) says that the “serious” situation currently being experienced in Cataluña is affecting the normal evolution of the real estate market since investors are fearful.

The Spanish association of real estate consultancy firms, comprising domestic and international companies alike, such as CBRE, Aguirre Newman/Savills, Cushman & Wakefield, JLL, Knight Frank and BNP Paribas, warned yesterday of the consequences that the secessionist challenge is having in the real estate market.

Specifically, the association chaired by Ricardo Martí Fluxá said that “the serious situation” in Cataluña at the moment, is affecting the strong performance of the Spanish real estate market as a whole. Until the third quarter, the volume of investment in real estate assets was registering record figures, at €10,300 million, up by 58% compared to the same period a year earlier. “The latest developments are seriously affecting the normal operation of investment activity and the evolution of our real estate market”, they warned.

For this reason, the real estate consultancy firms have called for respect for the laws, appealing to the Generalitat to abide by the order established in the Constitution. “Our association joins the large number of companies, institutions and entities that are calling on the Generalitat to comply with the provisions of our laws and abide by the order established in the Constitution”, they said in a statement.

The warning from the large real estate consultancy firms follows a statement made just a few days ago by the CEO of Lar España, one of the five large Socimis whose shares trade on the (main) Spanish stock exchange.

The CEO of the listed company, Miguel Pereda, said that if his firm had to make an investment in Cataluña today, it would “probably” not go ahead with it, in light of the political situation regarding independence.

Meanwhile, on 5 October, the ratings agency Moody’s issued a report warning that the “growing political tension” may negatively affect the credits interests of the Socimis Merlin and Colonial, given that the entities hold 13 % and 19% of their respective portfolios in Cataluña.

Indeed, Colonial is one of the listed companies that has moved its corporate headquarters from Barcelona to Madrid because of the secessionist challenge posted by the Catalan Generalitat.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake