Exina Acquires Building on Paseo de la Habana for €21MM

9 July 2019 – Richard D. K. Turner

Exina, an investment vehicle controlled by the president of Santa Lucía Seguros, Carlos Javier Álvarez Navarro, acquired the office building located at Paseo de la Habana, 101, just a few meters from Madrid’s Paseo de la Castellana. The area has been the focus of a number of real estate deals in recent times. Navarro reportedly paid 21 million euros for the asset, which he acquired from Philip Morris.

The building has a surface area of 4,000 square meters and has four floors and two additional floors for parking.

Original Story: El Confidencial – E. Sanz

 

Madrid’s Regional Government Gives Green Light to Operación Madrid Nuevo Norte

19 May 2019 – El Mundo

According to information obtained by El Mundo, the Community of Madrid is going to send its Environmental Assessment Report regarding Operación Chamartín to the Town Hall of Madrid on Monday, which will leave the path clear for the municipal plenary to vote on the plan before the local elections are held on Sunday 26 May.

The urban development project, which is now known by its new name, Madrid Nuevo Norte, will see the construction of 10,500 homes at the northern end of Paseo de la Castellana, together with the development of offices, retail areas, green spaces and three new metro stations.

The only requirement stipulated in the definitive report issued by the Community of Madrid is that agreements be made upfront about who is going to pay for the public building works, including the Canal de Isabel II installations, the construction of the three new metro stations and the preparation of the surrounding roads.

According to the protocol of execution signed a month ago by the Town Hall of Madrid, Adif – the public entity that owns the land – and Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN) – the private company that is promoting the development – the three leading players will share the cost of developing the aforementioned infrastructures, whereby ensuring that local taxpayers do not have to foot the bill.

Original story: El Mundo (by Marta Belver & Isabel F. Lantigua)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Project Caleido will Revolutionise the Commercial Offer on Paseo de la Castellana

9 May 2019 – Expansión

From the end of 2020 onwards, Project Caleido, which is being promoted by the property developer Inmobiliaria Espacio and the Philippine company Megaworld Corporation, is going to launch 14,000 m2 of commercial space at the northern end of Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid, whereby providing a much-needed leisure area for workers in the Cuatro Torres business district.

The commercial space will seek to imitate a typical high street with between 70 and 80 premises distributed over two floors. The premises will house restaurants (35%), services (11%) and retail, technology, accessories and cosmetics brands.

Caleido’s offering will also include a boutique cinema, a supermarket, a gym, an exhibition and events centre and an eSports space. The developers have already marketed 30% of the space and expect to fill another 20%  of the premises before the summer.

According to a study performed by GfK, Caleido will receive more than 3 million visitors per year and will serve not only the employees that already work in the area, but also the more than 6,000 students who will be studying at IE’s new high-rise campus in the fifth tower as well as employees and patients of the Quirónsalud Group’s new advanced medicine centre.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Allianz RE Negotiates the Purchase of Castellana 200 for c. €250M

2 April 2019 – El Economista

The office and retail complex Castellana 200 in Madrid is on the verge of changing hands once again. Its owner, the pension fund of the Canadian armed forces, PSP, is negotiating its sale with Allianz Real Estate in a deal that could amount to €250 million.

The property is listed on the MAB through the Socimi Silvercode, which made its debut on the stock market in 2016. The company’s majority shareholder is Java International, (97.51%), which is in turn owned by PSP Britannia (87.76%) and Enavap Investments (9.75%). The latter is controlled by Luis Iglesias, founder of Drago Capital, which is the current manager of the complex.

Castellana 200 was last sold in July 2014 for €144 million, after opening its doors in April 2013. It is located on Paseo de la Castellana, just 300 m from Plaza de Castilla, and comprises two office buildings, spanning more than 20,000 m2, plus a shopping centre measuring 6,416 m2 and 817 parking spaces. There are also plans for a hotel in the pipeline with a surface area of 18,000 m2.

Through this deal, Allianz Real Estate, the strategic real estate division of the Allianz Group, would strengthen its position in Spain, a market it first entered in 2016.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Distrito Castellana Norte Plans to Start Work on Operación Chamartín in 2020

10 January 2019 – Eje Prime

The countdown to the start of the work on Operation Chamartín could begin very soon. The developer behind the macro urban development project, Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN), is hoping that the Town Hall of Madrid will definitively approve the plan to start construction in 2020.

Antonio Béjar, President of DCN, explained that “it is perfectly possible and expected that all of the administrative approvals will be granted before the elections”.

The director says that it is “a 20- or 25-year project” that will have to survive various governments “at the three levels of administration”. For this reason, Béjar classified Operación Chamartín as a “State Project”.

What will become a new neighbourhood in Madrid will have 10,500 homes and a new large business centre. All of that constructed on 2.66 million m2 of land, which is 26% less than the 3.37 million m2 planned in 2015, when the Town Hall was governed by Ana Botella.

Each of the two sides of the M-30 where the project will be built will have a very different feel. To the north, office skyscrapers are going to be built, whilst to the south, there will be large green spaces and cycle paths, as the backdrop to residential developments.

The office area will be built to the north of Paseo de la Castellana, opposite the Cinco Torres, and will have a buildability of 1.3 million m2, which is 200,000 m2 less than agreed in the previous plan.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Healthcare Activos Closes 2018 with Purchases in Ciudad Real, Murcia & Madrid

8 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Healthcare Activos closed 2018 by adding some new real estate assets to its portfolio. The investment fund led by the former CEO of the residential group Sarquavitae, Jorge Guarner, ended the year by making acquisitions in Ciudad Real, Murcia and Madrid.

The company closed the purchase of the Las Cármenes residence, located in the town of Poblete, in Castilla-La Mancha, which has a surface area of 6,161 m2 and 201 beds available. Similarly, the investment platform specialising in the health and dependency sector also purchased the San Pablo de Ceutí Residence (Murcia), with a surface area of 6,785 m2 and 172 beds.

After its purchases in Ciudad Real and Murcia, Healthcare Activos also bought the MiraMadrid residence, located in the town of Paracuellos de Jarama. That centre has a surface area of 6,221 m2 and 170 beds distributed over three floors.

In parallel, Healthcare Activos has also started work on the renovation of the El Carmen residential centre, located in Baracaldo (País Vasco). That property, which has 70 beds and a surface area of 2,650 m2, will be operational from 2020, as will the Amézola residence, located in Bilbao.

Since its creation at the end of 2016, the firm has acquired more than twenty assets, with a total committed investment of approximately €200 million. It now has a portfolio comprising more than 40 assets in different stages of development including nursing homes for the elderly, hospitals and clinics, some of which are fully operational, others of which are to be renovated and launched and others of which are land development projects.

First incursion into the hospital and office sectors in Madrid  

In October, Healthcare Activos entered the hospital sector in Spain with the acquisition of Hospital Campo de Gibraltar in Palmones (Cádiz) from the Quirón group. The property has a surface area of 12,300 m2 and the plan is to expand the facilities to reach 120 beds in total.

Also, during the second half of the year, the company conquered the centre of Madrid with the opening of a commercial office on Paseo de la Castellana. That property, which is located at number 45, will respond to the expansion plans that the company is preparing for the country as a whole. The facility joins the central offices that the group has on Calle Pau Casals in Barcelona.

To carry out new plans, Healthcare Activos has recruited a new financial director (…). Guarner’s firm has appointed Juan Pedro Vergara as the new person responsible for that area.

Vergara has developed his professional career in the financial entity Natixis, a company created in 2006 (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Alberto Escobar)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Operación Chamartín’s Secret Contract: Adif Sells 1.2 million m2 of Public Land at Half its Market Value

27 December 2018 – El Diario

For 25 years, the agreement has remained a secret. It is the document that supports one of the largest urban development projects in Madrid in one of the most sought-after areas of the capital, in the north of the city, to continue the Castellana, where the financial district and the most expensive homes and offices are located, which are being sold for more than €5,000/m2. The contract is going to be signed on Friday. On the one hand, Adif, the public company that forms part of the Ministry of Development and that manages the railway infrastructure, and on the other, Distrito Castellana Norte, a property developer that has changed its name repeatedly over the last quarter of a century.

In 1993, the Ministry of Development, chaired at the time by Josep Borrell, now the Foreign Minister, signed an agreement with the construction firm San José and BBVA to develop the railway land reserved for Chamartín station. That agreement, whose term has been extended several times, has been kept under lock and key until today. The property developer filed several lawsuits to prevent it from being published.

However, eldiario.es is now exclusively publishing the latest draft of the agreement, which reveals the economic conditions of the project, which is reportedly the largest urban development project in Europe: the sale of 1.278 million m2 for homes and offices. On Friday, the definitive agreement will be signed, confirm sources at Adif, which has been blessed by the municipal planning of Manuela Carmena’s government and which will see the disposal of public buildable land for a price of €769.5/m2 in that area to the north of Madrid, the expansion area of the financial district, one of the most expensive parts of the capital.

Sources in the real estate sector claim that the agreed value represents half the market price at which other plots in the same area have been sold recently. In January, the same vendor, Adif, put another plot up for sale, further north, in San Sebastián de los Reyes, outside of the capital, which was sold for €1,500/m2 to a real estate cooperative: €16.3 million for 1,500 m2.

The gigantic plot that Adif is going to sell to Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN), formed by the construction firm San José and BBVA, groups together 1.27 million m2 of land, according to the current contract. For that space, DCN is going to pay €984.2 million, which represents a price of less than €769.5/m2 excluding the financial interest corresponding to the payment over 20 years.

Hours after eldiario.es published the contents of the agreement, Adif issued a statement confirming that the cost that the private partners (…) will pay for the operation is above market prices. To reach this conclusion, the public company (…) is taking the price of the land and adding the interest that will be paid for 20 years (3% each year), the budget for the urbanisation of the plot and even the transfer of the land that the law obliges to the property developer: 100,000 m2 for public housing that Adif estimates at €67.4 million.

In September, the Government of Manuela Carmena approved the general plan to authorise the urban development of the so-called Operación Chamartín. In the accompanying financial report, the only official estimate that exists, the Town Hall of Madrid calculates a land value that is three times higher than the figure that Adif is going to receive. In that document, Manuela Carmena’s Government establishes that the sale of the whole reclassified area (which groups together twice as much land as mentioned above and which also involves other landowners) “would amount to €3.749 billion in total”. The price established in that financial report corresponds to 2.6 million m2 of that urban development. According to those accounts, the price per m2 equates to €1,407/m2, well below the €769/m2 that Adif is going to receive (…).

Original story: El Diario (by Fátima Caballero)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CaixaBank & Allianz Grant a €135M Loan to Finance Caleido

20 November 2018 – Expansión

CaixaBank and Allianz have granted a €135 million loan to finance the construction and operational launch of Caleido, a project led by Inmobiliario Espacio, the property developer of the Villar Mir Group, and MegaWorld Corporation, the business conglomerate owned by the Philippine multi-millionaire Andrew Tan.

Caleido, which will constitute the so-called Fifth Tower in Madrid, is going to comprise a vertical 35-storey building, which will contain the facilities of Instituto de Empresa, and a second horizontal building at the base comprising four above ground floors and standing 17 metres tall in which Quirón Salud is going to manage an advanced medical centre. Moreover, Caleido is going to include an extensive commercial and services area, as well as lots of green space for Madrid and its citizens.

The loan, which has a 10-year term, will finance the construction period until the hand over of the property, in the final quarter of 2020, as well as seven years of operation.

The property developers have explained that the aforementioned agreement will cover the financing needs of Caleido, with a total estimated investment of approximately €300 million.

“This operation strengthens the confidence that financial institutions have in the project and the great expectations that are being generated around its construction. In this way, the technical solvency of the project is clear, as is its future management and operation”, said the property developers.

Caleido – designed by the architecture studios Fenwick & Iribarren and Serrano Suñer Arquitectos – will be located in the epicentre of the new financial district of Madrid and will serve to eliminate a scar from the north of the Spanish capital, connecting Paseo de la Castellana and Anida de Monforte de Lemos, as well as revitalising the current business complex.

The project is being built on some plots owned by the Town Hall of Madrid, granted to Espacio Caleido through a concession arrangement for the construction and operation of the project for the next 75 years. In exchange, Espacio Caleido will pay an annual fee of €4 million. The launch of Project Caleido will generate around 2,400 jobs during the construction period and another 3,992 jobs once it is operational.

Original story: Expansión (by R.A.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

BBVA Repurchases 166 Bank Branches for €250M

17 November 2018 – Expansión

An unexpected decision from BBVA. The entity, which has made digital transformation the cornerstone of its strategy in recent years, has just repurchased 166 bank branches from Merlin Properties. According to comments made by the Socimi yesterday, the bank, which had been occupying these branches on a rental basis, is going to disburse €252 million to acquire the batch of offices.

The intention of the bank is to gain flexibility for the daily management of the 2,870 branches that it operates throughout Spain, according to sources at BBVA. Since 2007, the entity chaired by Francisco González has embarked on a policy to divest its main assets, such as its former headquarters in Madrid on Paseo de la Castellana, and other iconic buildings in the capital. Between 2009 and 2010, the entity sold more than 1,000 branches to investment funds.

As one of the conditions of those operations, BBVA committed to remain as the tenant of the branches for between 20 and 30 years, with the possibility of extending those rental terms and ultimately repurchasing the properties.

Economic sense

“Some of the branches that have been repurchased are closed and even so, we have still been paying the rent”, explain sources at the bank. That was one of the reasons that caused BBVA to take a different step in its strategy.

In the sector, experts believe that BBVA’s new course of action with the repurchase of branches may respond to a double objective: to reduce recurring costs due to the payment of rent and to take advantage of the upward cycle in the real estate sector with the subsequent ale of these premises. In fact, the bank has just closed the operation to transfer around €13 billion in foreclosed assets to a new company.

The fund Cerberus controls 80% of that joint venture, of which BBVA will retain the remaining 20% in order to obtain possible gains. With the ownership of the branches, the bank could also save time to expand or reduce the size of those premises, according to sources at BBVA.

The Socimi is still the owner of almost 700 BBVA branches. The entity rules out returning to repurchase a new batch from that portfolio, at least in the short term. The bulk of the branches repurchased from Merlin are located in cities with medium-sized populations.

To accelerate its digital transformation, BBVA is planning to close 179 bank branches in Spain at the end of this year. Based on data as at September, the most recent audited information, the entity has already completed more than 80% of the planned adjustment. BBVA’s commitment to digitalisation translates into more business, given that it sells 34% more to those clients considered as online.

The distribution model has changed drastically since 2009 and has focused on digital transformation. In fact, the network is the smallest it has been for 16 years, the latest available data, with fewer than 3,000 branches (…).

Original story: Expansión (by R. Sampedro)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spaces Launches its Third Co-Working in Madrid on Paseo de la Castellana

24 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Spaces is launching its third project in Madrid. The co-working space brand, owned by Regus, has opened a complex located at number 200 Paseo de la Castellana, in the heart of the Spanish capital’s business district.

The company leased 5,155 m2 of space in the complex in February. The facilities comprise more than 160 offices and 700 workstations. The space is owned by the Socimi Silvercode Investments, although it is managed by Drago.

The Castellana 200 property is the third office that Spaces has opened in the Spanish capital, where it also has another complex in Madrid Río and another in Atocha. In addition, Regus has a fourth asset in the 22@ district of Barcelona.

Castellana 200 was built in 2011 and spans an office area comprising two buildings, one smaller one, which Spaces has moved into, and another measuring 15,127 m2, which is home to tenants such as Discovery Channel, Linkedin and CBRE. The companies that have already decided to move into Spaces Castellana 200 include Ikan Biotech, Pervasive Technologies and Alliance Borntein, amongst others.

Spaces, founded in Amsterdam in 2008, competes directly with other groups such as WeWork. The company is experiencing exponential growth with the opening of 130 new centres, whereby it hopes to close 2018 with 150 centres in total all around the world. Moreover, it is consolidating its position in large markets such as in the USA, the UK, France and another 30 countries around the world.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake