Merlin to Add 13,000 m2 of Coworking Space in Madrid & Barcelona by 2020

28 February 2019 – Idealista

Merlin Properties is expanding in the coworking sector, where it operates under the Loom brand. The Socimi led by Ismael Clemente currently has three shared offices in Madrid, spanning 3,500 m2 in total, and it is planning to open its next space, spanning 1,200 m2 on Calle Eucalipto, 25, also in the Spanish capital, in June.

The listed company also intends to open 1,600 m2 of coworking space in Torre Glóries, the office block that it owns in Barcelona, where its tenants will work alongside several high-profile operators, such as Facebook, Dynatrace and Oracle.

In September, Merlin is going to open 2,000 m2 of coworking space in the Salamanca neighbourhood of Madrid and before the end of the year, it will add 1,500 m2 of shared office space in WTC Alameda in Barcelona.

In 2020, the Socimi is also planning to open 1,100 m2 of shared work space in Torre Chamartín in Madrid and another 2,000 m2 in the 22@ district of Barcelona.

Merlin owns 31% of Loom House, which is managed by the siblings, Paula and José Almansa.

Original story: Idealista (by Custodio Pareja)

Summary translation by: Carmel Drake

Forcadell: 370,000 m2 of Office Space was Leased in Barcelona in 2018

13 February 2019 – Eje Prime

The office market in Barcelona is breaking records. In 2018, 370,000 m2 of space was leased in the city, up by 8.8% compared to 2017. According to the consultancy firm Forcadell, that trend was due to three main factors: interest from international companies, demand from tech companies and the boom in coworking.

Up to 60% of the surface area leased in 2018 corresponded to companies from overseas. According to the report from the consultancy firm, the interest from those companies in Barcelona is attributed to the city’s “entrepreneurial and innovation eco-system”, which is complemented by a commitment to technology, which has attracted companies such as Everis, Oracle and Indra.

In just one year, coworking operators have doubled the amount of space leased in Barcelona, renting out a surface area of 46,700 m2 in 2018. According to this report, the Catalan capital is the European city that has seen its office space increase by the most in percentage terms.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Warren Buffett Wants to Buy Torre Agbar for €150M

6 February 2019 – Expansión

The multi-millionaire investor Warren Buffet wants to buy the iconic Torre Agbar in Barcelona for around €150 million through his investment vehicle, Berkshire Hathaway, which the US magnate uses to deploy his asset purchase policy around the world. The information was revealed by Efe and confirmed by Berkshire Hathaway itself, which has announced several real estate investments in Spain in recent days, but without specifying any details.

The plan has been decided “directly” by Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world, in collaboration with Alessandro Proto, the senior executive at Proto Group, the company associated with Buffett in Barcelona.

The purchase proposal for one of the real estate icons of the Catalan capital, which currently belongs to the Socimi Merlin, and which was renamed Torre Glòries a few months ago, will be formalised before a notary within the next few days.

A few days ago, Berkshire Hathaway reported that it is going to invest €35 million in Spain to open 150 real estate agencies during the course of this year with Proto Group (…).

Berkshire Hathaway, which has more than 1,300 offices in 47 states around the USA and which employs 43,000 agents in the real estate sector, started its international expansion two years ago, primarily in Latin America and Europe, focusing on medium, medium-high and high-level residential properties (…).

Torre Glòries comprises offices and has an occupancy rate of 75%, with several technological tenants, including Facebook and Oracle. The tower spans 37,614 m2.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Is Málaga the Silicon Valley of the South? Its Offices Generate Yields of 7.25%

7 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Málaga is positioning itself as the possible Silicon Valley of the south of Spain. The second most populated city in Andalucía and the only Spanish city in the Top 10 for the best quality of life in Europe, according to Eurobarómetro, has attracted several technology giants in recent years. The interest from these companies in moving to the area and the lack of available space have driven up prime yields in the office market in Málaga to 7.25%, making it the most profitable place to own an office in Spain, according to data from CBRE.

The international consultancy highlights that Málaga is “consolidating its position as a city of reference in Spain in the development of the technology sector”. Oracle, Accenture, Microsoft, Huawei, Ericsson, Indra, Atos and Cisco, amongst others, have all opened offices in the city. The meeting point for these companies is the Andalucía Technology Park (PTA), recently included in the catalogue of European Digital Innovation Hubs, compiled by the European Commission, and which recorded a turnover of €1.9 billion in 2019, up by 8%.

In addition, the province is home to other smaller clusters, such as Málaga SmartCity and the ‘Polo de Contenidos Digitales de Málaga’, the first hub with those characteristics in Spain and which aims to accelerate projects and companies related to the digital sector.

The increase in demand for offices in the city also comes in response to the future forecasts for growth in the region. In fact, Oxford Economists names Málaga as the city where the economy is going to grow by the most in Spain over the next decade. The good connectivity of the province abroad and tourism are some of the factors driving those predictions.

In recent years, Málaga has enjoyed a facelift in recent years with improvements in its infrastructures, and the airport and port as anchors for tourism and business. In addition, the population has increased to 570,000 inhabitants in recent years and there are now more than 40,000 companies, of which 87.1% specialise in services.

These drivers have reactivated the office market, which has taken advantage of the boost in demand, on the rise since 2015. Rentals cost €17/m2/month in the city’s best buildings and the occupancy rate in the prime area exceeds 90%.

The shortage of competitive products in terms of location, finishes and facilities, has driven the increase in yields. In comparison with Madrid and Barcelona, the variation in prime yields is great, improving the yields of 3.25% and 4% that were being registered in the two major Spanish capitals at the end of the third quarter 2018.

Moreover, the office market in Málaga also generates higher yields than the market in Bilbao, although it is not far behind with average yields of 7%, as well as those in Sevilla and Palma, which do not exceed 6.75%. The yields in Valencia and Zaragoza amounted to 5.25% and 6%, respectively, in September last year (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hines Acquires Mediapro’s HQ in 22@ District for €90M

19 July 2018 – Eje Prime

Hines has scored a goal in Barcelona’s 22@ district. The US fund has completed the purchase of the Imagina building (owner and tenant of the asset) for €90 million. The property is located at number 177 Avenida Diagonal in the Catalan capital.

The complex, which spans more than 50,000 m2 spread over two properties, is owned by the company Mediacomplex, in which Imagina, the parent company of Mediapro, holds a stake, and the Town Hall of Barcelona.

Imagina holds a 66.7% stake in this office complex, which is located very close to Torre Glòries, owned by Merlin Properties, and the two Luxa buildings, owned by Catalana Occidente and leased to Amazon and WeWork.

Hines is strengthening its presence in Barcelona with this purchase. Last year, the US fund purchased the Popular’s headquarters on Paseo de Gracia for €90 million, which it is going to convert into a mixed-use building containing 5,000 m2 of office space and 3,000 m2 of premises for commercial use.

Similarly, this operation reinforces the interest from investors in the 22@ district. In recent months, the technological district in Barcelona has welcomed the arrival of tenants of the calibre of King, the creator of Candy Crush, and Glovo, which is going to move its offices to the Catalan capital to a facility measuring 1,200 m2.

Nevertheless, the star building is Torre Glóries. The iconic building is going back on the market this year after a comprehensive renovation and has already welcomed technology giants such as Facebook and Oracle, which has confirmed its entry into the property this very week. Hines is one of the largest funds in the world with more than USD 100 billion in assets.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin Leases 3 Floors in Torre Glòries to Oracle

16 July 2018 – Eje Prime

Torre Glòries is welcoming a new technological giant to its facilities. Merlin Properties is going to be Oracle’s landlord after it leased three floors in its building, located in the 22@ district, to the US firm. The multinational will join Facebook in the property after it signed up to lease ten floors from the Socimi back in May.

Oracle has leased 3,500 m2 of office space in the property, known in the city as Torre Agbar (after the former owner of the building) to locate some of its Netsuite team there, the cloud services company that it acquired in 2016, according to Expansión.

Merlin’s flagship property in Barcelona, standing 142 metres tall and with a gross leasable area of 37,614 m2, has been reformed in its entirety in recent years with an investment of €15 million. After being ruled out by the EMA (European Medicines Agency), the Socimi decided to convert its building into a multi-tenant space for the office sector.

The property contains 34 floors of offices, of which Merlin has now let thirteen at a variable price of around €25/m2/month. A new major operator is entering the 22@ district, Barcelona’s techie centre and currently the most sought-after neighbourhood in the Catalan capital. During the first quarter of the year, the office market grew by 4% in Barcelona with the leasing of 76,000 m2 of space.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Duro Felguera Sells 2 Madrid Office Buildings to Signal Capital

14 March 2018 – Property Funds World

Signal Capital Partners has completed the acquisition of two office buildings in Madrid from Duro Felguera. Optimus Global Investors acted as sole advisor instructed by the vendor.

The largest building is the corporate headquarters of Duro Felguera in Madrid, which is located at Via de los Poblados 7, in the consolidated Campo de las Naciones Business Park. The freestanding office building comprises an area of almost 14,000 sqm GLA, set over five floors, as well as two basements with 228 car parking spaces. Duro Felguera has entered into a new lease over part of this building.

The Campo de las Naciones office market is considered to be one of Madrid’s most established and attractive office markets outside the CBD, strategically located midway between the Barajas airport and the CBD and near Madrid’s exhibition centre. The building benefits from both high visibility from the main ring road (M-40) and large open plan floor layouts. It is also next to the Cristalia Business Park, comprising almost 100,000 sqm of office accommodation, a modern hotel and amenities such as a nursery and several restaurants.

The second property is a vacant office building located at Calle Jacinto Benavente 4 in Las Rozas, Madrid. That property comprises an area of 2,600 sqm GLA, set over three floors and with 133 car parking places. The property, next to Tripark, is located in the Las Rozas Business Park, a consolidated office area in the northwest of Madrid in which well-known multinationals such as HP, Bankia, Oracle, Día, Santander, Adidas, ING and Triodos, amongst others, are located. It has a high occupancy rate, is easily accessible by car from the main highways of Madrid (A-6, M-40 and M-50) and enjoys amenities such as restaurants, gyms, shopping centres (Las Rozas Village and Heron City) and leisure activities.

Kris Van Lancker, Managing Director at Optimus Global Investors, says: “This has been one of the most complex transactions in which Optimus has successfully advised. The difficulty lay in finding the fine balance between the financial and office space needs of Duro Felguera in the scope of its global refinancing program and the investment requirements of Signal Capital Partners. It allows Duro Felguera to divest its non-strategic assets and at the same time helps Signal meet its risk-adjusted return targets.”

Original story: Property Funds World

Edited by: Carmel Drake