12 March 2018 – El Confidencial
Cerberus wants to take advantage of the appetite that exists for retail premises on Spain’s main high streets at the moment and to this end, has opened a process to sell two of Bankia’s star branches, located on Plaza de Catalunya in Barcelona and at number 1 Calle Alcalá in Madrid, according to sources familiar with proceedings.
The operation has been instrumented through Haya Real Estate, the real estate servicer of Cerberus, which is in charge of managing the assets thanks to the contract signed with the entity, and has been organised as a closed process, rather than through the website, like it does with other assets when it puts them on the market.
In both cases, the bank chaired by José Ignacio Goirrigolzarri is planning to vacate the premises, so that the buyers can let them to a new tenant and whereby obtain more attractive offers.
The establishment located on Alcalá 1, a historical building dating back to the 19th century, has a surface area of 900 m2 spread over the ground floor and basement. The process, which was launched last month, has received interest from several parties looking to acquire the empty space.
On the plus side, it is located right next to the entrance of the well-known Puerta del Sol, and it is very close to Calle Preciados, the most expensive shopping street in Madrid, with an average rent of €3,180/m2, according to Cushman & Wakefield (C&W). On the downside, its shop window overlooking Calle Alcalá is very reduced.
Meanwhile, in Plaza de Cataluna, the 1,000 m2 branch that Bankia owns is homes to its headquarters in the Catalan capital. Haya already identified it at the end of last year as a serious candidate for sale, a decision that it took in the end boosted by the record retail investment figures.
According to figures from Savills-Aguirre Newman, investor interest in the commercial segment in 2017 allowed it to break records, reaching €3.5 billion, levels that the real estate consultancy expects will be maintained this year thanks to the strong outlook that still exists for tourism, amongst other factors.
Plaza de Catalunya is also one of the most commercial areas in Spain, with rents exceeding €1,200/m2, and with the added bonus that it is a genuine magnet for large fashion firms.
In fact, Uniqlo was on the verge of acquiring the 3,000 m2 that Fundación Montemadrid used to own next door to Bankia’s branch, a property that ended up being sold to Desigual to house its new flagship store. El Corte Inglés, Apple, Zara and Fnac are just some of the distinguished neighbours on this sought-after square.
Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)
Translation: Carmel Drake