Aedas Homes Unveils its Plans for Hacienda del Rosario (Sevilla)

8 January 2018 – ABC Sevilla

A new neighbourhood with more than 1,000 homes for families aged between 30 and 45 at affordable prices. That is the project that is now being built in Hacienda del Rosario, right opposite the Decathlon store and next to the Parsi Industrial Estate. The aim is to develop the city’s urban planning project and recover the demographic indices last seen a decade ago.

The Aedas Homes group is going to build 1,046 two-, three- and four-bedroom homes in seven 10-storey towers over a surface area of 93,000 m2, of which 73,000 m2 will comprise green space. And the Town Hall is going to build another 218 social housing properties on an adjacent plot, owned by the Urban Planning Department, which Emvisesa has already started to process. That means that by the start of 2019, Sevilla will have a new district with more than 2,000 homes, including not only these projects but also the one in Santa Bárbara.

On Monday, the mayor, Juan Espadas, visited the site where Aedas – which is also responsible for the Cisneo Alto project and the new Ramón y Cajal urbanisations – is starting work on land that it purchased in 2016 from Gabriel Rojas in the East of the city. Specifically, the plots are located between the A-92 and the shopping centre that houses the aforementioned Decathlon store. The access roads have already been built and the Town Hall has granted the relevant licences for the construction of the residential areas, which will include a park measuring seven hectares, a social club and common areas with a swimming pool and padel courts.

For Espadas, “this project is not simply a housing development, but rather the creation of a new neighbourhood in Sevilla, which means that we are at the beginning of the post-crisis and we have left behind the black hole in the construction sector”. The area of expansion is destined for “established families who want a more comfortable environment at a good price”, explains the mayor. The regional director of Aedas, Diego Chacón, highlight that these homes will cost between €120,000 and €150,000, and will be financed by Banco Santander and constructed by San José. The first tower, which will have 142 homes, will be handed over within a year. And from then, the area will come to life continuously in search of a clear objective that the major himself has admitted: “The registration of citizens (‘empadronamiento’) in the city will be activated again”.

Original story: ABC Sevilla (by Alberto García Reyes)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Invesco Develops Luxury Homes On Madrid’s Golden Mile

29 December 2016 – Expansión

Invesco joins forces with the Barba Group / The partners are going to invest more than €26 million in 30 high-end apartments. The construction work will begin in 2017.

A plot of land measuring more than 700 m2, next to Paseo de la Habana and Calle Serrano in Madrid, is one of the latest additions to Invesco’s real estate portfolio in Spain. The German fund manager has invested more than €25 million to buy this plot of land, located in Plaza Valparaíso, where it will create 30 luxury homes. “We have been negotiating the purchase of this plot of land for a year now. It was owned by a family and a religious congregation. In the end, we have completed the acquisition and we have requested a licence to begin construction”, say sources at the fund.

The German fund has been one of the most active investors in Spain in 2016, and after acquiring several important retail assets such as Prada’s flagship store on Paseo de Gracia and a batch of eleven Eroski hypermarkets, it has placed its focus on the residencial segment. “Spain is one of the largest markets for Invesco. We have purchased profitable assets for several funds there, such as on Paseo de Gracia and the hypermarkets. But, in addition, we have entered the world of property development, like we have in other countries such as the USA and certain Asian markets, with funds that seek added value opportunities; Spain is one of the first countries where we have begun”, explained Tim Nalder, Head of Invesco Real Estate in Spain.

Added value

To this end, the German firm has teamed up with the real estate company Barba Group and, through a joint venture, has started to develop high-end homes in the most exclusive areas of Madrid. “Last year, Invesco told us about its plans to invest across Europe with an added value fund that offers high returns and we have already invested more than €100 million through the joint venture”, said César Barba, CEO of the Barba Group.

The latest major project is this plot of land on Paseo de la Habana, where 30 homes will be constructed and then sold for around €6,500/m2. There will be several ground floor and penthouse duplexes, with swimming pools and terraces. The most expensive home will be sold for €1.5 million. But the jewel in Invesco and Barba’s project will be a sky terrace, located on the top floor of the block, which will have a gym and swimming pool, amongst other services. The construction work at this exclusive development, which has already started to be marketed, will begin between April and May next year.

Currently, Invesco’s most advanced project in the capital is a development containing nine 3- and 4-bedroom homes, with terraces and solariums, located in the Arturo Soria neighbourhood, which will be ready for its first residents in the spring. Moreover, this joint venture recently bought the building at number 53 on Calle Serrano in Madrid, where it will create high-end homes on the upper floors and a retail store for a luxury brand on the ground floor.

In total, Invesco is working on four developments in the capital and another housing complex in Valencia. Invesco has invested more than €500 million in the Spanish market during 2016 between its residential and retail asset purchases. “Currently, Invesco has €200 million to invest across Europe and Spain is going to be one of our primary markets”, said Nalder.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Carmena Grants Partial Demolition Licence For Former MOD Building

9 December 2016 – Expansión

The Town Hall of Madrid has granted a licence for the partial demolition of the Precision Artillery Workshop, on Raimundo Fernández Villaverde, despite opposition from Ganemos.

Cooperativa Maravillas, the property developer behind the residential project that is going to be constructed on a plot of land that used to be owned by the Ministry of Defence, on Calle Raimundo Fernández Villaverde, has received some good news this week. The Town Hall of Madrid has granted the management company Domo a licence to demolish the Precision Artillery Workship, now in disuse, despite opposition from Ganemos, one of the parties that forms part of the municipal government’s coalition.

Following a favourable report from the Community of Madrid’s Local Heritage Committee, the Town Hall has authorised the partial demolition of the building. The remodelling of the property forms an essential part of the management company’s plans, which involve the construction of more than 300 homes on this street, located in the Madrilenian neighbourhood of Chamberí.

In any event, the licence for the complete demolition is pending a decision by the Heritage Committee to determine whether the building’s basement still contains any old air-raid shelters from the Civil War, in which case, they should be preserved. In addition, the cooperative is waiting for the agreement reached between the Town Hall and the management company to be ratified.

Details of the agreement

According to this agreement, the Town Hall of Madrid will receive 5,422 m2 of land for residential use, corresponding to 10% of the obligatory concession.

Similarly, the Town Hall of Madrid will receive 3,360 m2 of green space and 1,000 m2 of space on the ground floor of the building, where it plans to building a primary school. It will also receive 250 m2 of free space.

Manuela Carmena’s urban planning team has reached an agreement with the property developer to assign the property in this way, rather than monetise it, with the aim of “covering the deficiencies of these types of facilities in the district of Chamberí”, explained the Town Hall.

The agreement, which is necessary for the approval of the urban planning project and the subsequent work and construction licence, will be circulated for public information purposes and referred to the Town Hall for its ratification.

Opposition from Ganemos

The decision to demolish this building does not have the blessing of Ganemos. The municipal platform, which forms party of Ahora Madrid, considers that “there is no reason” to grant a licence to allow the demolition of the historical building, given that the management agreement required to be able to construct the new buildings has not been approved. According to the platform, several legal cases are still open with the Prosecutor’s Office and the High Court of Justice of Madrid that may still result in the cancelation of the urban planning project. (…).

Meanwhile, the cooperative pointed out that the buildings belonging to the former Workshop are not classified as being of cultural interest, nor do they have any kind of offical protection. “The General Urban Planning Plan of 1997 and its subsequent review did not foresee the need to classify buildings or land as urban land for residential use.”

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry Of Development: Housing Permits Rise By 37%

30 September 2016 – Expansión

The number of housing permits granted by the college of technical architects soared by 37% during the first seven months of the year, to reach 39,497, the best figure between January and July since 2011, according to the latest data from the Ministry of Development.

Despite the increase, residential construction permits are still a long way from the highs recorded in 2007, when at the height of the boom, 448,991 permits were granted between January and July, i.e. 91% more than have been issued so far this year.

The number of housing permits started the year (2016) with an increase of 44% to 4,943. In February, the YoY increase was 35%, as 5,663 permits were granted, whilst in March the figure doubled to 6,176. In April, the increase was more moderate, up by 6.5% to 4,795 permits and in May the number soared by 79% to 7,985. In June, the figure rose by just 0.6% and in July, double-digit growth returned with an increase of 21%.

The total number of permits granted for new builds, renovations and extensions during the seven months to July was 56,407, which represents an increase of 24.6% with respect to 2015.

By property type, the number of permits granted to construct block housing rose by 45.5%, to 29,362 licences, whilst the number granted for family homes grew by 17% to 10,129.

In terms of surface area, the average size of family homes amounted to 200 sqm, whilst the average size of apartments in block housing stood at 117 sqm.

Since the Ministry of Development began to prepare these statistics in 1991, the number of permits reached their historical monthly minimum in August 2013, when just 1,585 permits were granted. The historical monthly maximum was recorded in September 2006, when 126,753 permits were granted.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ministry Of Development: Housing Permits Rise By 49.8%

29 July 2016 – El Economista

The number of new permits authorised to build homes in Spain amounted to 28,662 between January and May 2016, representing an increase of 49.8% compared with the same period last year (19,132 units).

In this way, permits for the construction of homes are continuing their positive trend in 2016, after recording two consecutive years of increases in 2014 and 2015, according to data from the Ministry of Development published on Thursday.

Of the total figure, 21,497 permits corresponded to blocks of flats (representing a YoY increase of 58.2%) and 7,160 related to family homes, i.e. a YoY increase of 29.4%.

In addition, five permits were requested for other types of buildings not intended for use as family homes, compared with 12 such permits during the first five months of 2015.

This overall increase during the first five months of 2016 comes after the consolidation in 2015 of the recovery in the number of permits granted (with an improvement of 42.5%), which had begun in 2014, when seven years of consecutive decreases were broken by a rise of 1.7% (to 34,873 units).

This real estate market indicator reached its historical low in 2013 (34,288 units), a figure that represented a 96% decrease from the peak recorded in 2006, when 865,561 permits were granted.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Villar Mir Receives Approval To Resume Work At Canalejas

24 May 2016 – Cinco Días

The Canalejas Complex has returned to cruising speed after overcoming one of the obstacles that stood in its path. In April 2015, the Local Heritage Committee (comprising the Town Hall of Madrid and the regional Government) opened an investigation into the construction work that the Villar Mir Group was carrying out, after it detected that damage had been caused in the first bay (the space between load-bearing walls). After months of work, it completed its investigation in January 2016 – confirm sources at the company – and so Villar Mir was allowed to continue with the building work at the site, which will house a Four Seasons Hotel, luxury homes and a shopping arcade right in the centre of the capital.

“The investigation into the first bay was resolved and the suspension (of the building work) was lifted”, explain sources at OHL, the listed company that forms part of the Grupo Villar Mir and which is responsible for developing this complex. The Committee’s investigation was opened by municipal technicians when Ana Botella (PP) was still the mayoress. Sources at Estudio Lamela Aquitectos, which was appointed to design Canalejas, confirm that the construction work has continued as normal since then.

The problem arose when part of the bay, located in a small area, threatened to break off, say sources at the company chaired by Juan Miguel Villar Mir. For the time being, although the investigation has been closed, they do not know whether the listed company will face any financial penalties in the future.

The team led by the Government of Manuela Carmena (Ahora Madrid) has also granted OHL a structural licence to raise the frame of the building, and so construction work has continued apace during the first few months of the year. “We received the structural licence in January”, say sources at Estudio Lamela. “That licence has allowed us to carry out the work that is visible from the outside”, say sources at OHL. Now the only licence pending is the one relating to the completion of the refurbishment.

The project was unblocked at the end of last year by political and legal means. On the one hand, a trial judge dismissed the application to suspend the building works, which had been filed by a company that alleged that it had signed a previous sale and purchase contract with Santander. Villar Mir ended up acquiring this central block for €215 million and whereby took ownership of the properties in the Canalejas area, next to Puerta del Sol.

On the political side, after Carmena took over the reins of the city, the Town Hall decided to review the project and it opened a negotiation table with the company and the regional Government. In October, the parties agreed to reduce the volume of the block at its highest point so as to reduce the visual impact. The agreement meant that the listed company had to relinquish its plans for the height of the building in order to unblock the construction work and accept a lower return on the project.

The last remaining stumbling block now is the public prosecutor, which is continuing its investigation, following a claim by the Madrid, Ciudadanía y Patrimonio Association that an alleged crime has been committed against the historical heritage of the city during this refurbishment.

The renovation involves seven adjoining properties located between Calles de Alcalá, Sevilla, Plaza de Canalejas and Carrera de San Jerónimo. For the last few decades, those historical buildings have housed the headquarters of financial institutions such as Banesto, Central Hispano and Zaragozano.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

La Zagaleta To Replicate Its Luxury Marbella Complex In Sotogrande

8 January 2016 – Expansión

La Zagaleta, one of Europe’s most exclusive residential developments, located on the Costa del Sol, is going to replicate its business model in Sotogrande (Cádiz), the other major hub for luxury real estate in Andalucía.

Through its English subsidiary, the group has acquired the prestigious Valderrama golf course from the British company MGI for €40 million. Moreover, it will invest another €200 million in the development of the project.

As an indication of its exclusivity, this sporting venue is the only place that has hosted the Ryder Cup in Continental Europe (in 1997). The Ortiz Patiño family converted it into a first-class facility in 1984 and since then the complex has been sold several times. La Zagaleta will continue to lease the venue to the golf club that currently operates there.

Several companies are included in the operation, which encompasses the residential estate, the land that is still undeveloped and the project for a new golf course in the municipal area of Castellar, in other words, Valderrama II. In total, the site covers 220 hectares. This plot is one of the few that has been granted a licence by the Junta de Andalucía to construct homes after IU (la Izquierda Unida or United Left (Political) Party) – which led the Ministry for Tourism under the previous government – approved a restrictive regional policy to limit urban expansion.

Residential and tourist properties

La Zagaleta’s plans include placing it in the “current golf course’s frame of reference” and constructing a residential tourist and hotel resort “in keeping with the quality standards synonymous with La Zagaleta”. Thus, it will develop villas and homes on this land, which will require additional investment of €200 million over the next ten years.

According to a statement by the company, all of the necessary permits and licences are in place to begin the work, but the start date has not been confirmed yet because the design phase is still being completed. In any case, the design “will be inspired by the philosophy and values of La Zagaleta”, an urbanisation that is accessible only to those individuals who have assets worth ten times the value of the property that they acquire.

The CEO of the firm in Spain, Jacobo Cestino, said that “this operation strengthens our leadership position in the luxury property market and links us to one of the most prestigious golfing brands in the world”. Similarly, he said that the company has not ruled out acquiring other brands in the medium term.

La Zagaleta, founded by Enrique Pérez Flores and currently chaired by Oswald Grubel, the former CEO of UBS and Credit Suisse, has 235 mansions with a market value of €1,800 million, which increases to €3,000 million if we include the two golf course and other facilities at the 900 hectare site.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz/Lidia Velasco)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Operación Campamento Delayed Until Mid-2016

23 September 2015 – El Confidencial

According to the popular proverb, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And Operación Campamento, a development that has already been delayed for more than a decade, may not be completely “clean” to be put up for auction until the middle of 2016. In other words, one of the most anticipated urban planning projects in the capital, whose expected sale was announced in style by the Ministry of Defence – which owns the land – through the real estate website Addmeet in April, will have to wait almost a year. And all because of the urban “paperwork”.

At the beginning of September, Pedro Morenés, from the Ministry of Defence, blamed the Town Hall of Madrid for the delay, as it “has to grant the licences for the project to go ahead. The Ministry of Defence has already gone to the Town Hall to ask for the permits”, he assured the Senate.

According to the experts consulted by El Confidencial, “although the pending urban planning procedures are simple, they will take time. And, in this case, we could be talking about months”. However, far from harming the Ministry of Defence, which expects to generate revenues of €80 million from the sale – as reflected in the State’s General Budget for 2016 – the delay may end up benefitting the central government department, given the significant level of interest the land has sparked amongst investors over the last year. At the beginning of July, the State Land Company (‘Sociedad Estatal de Suelo’ or Sepes) awarded the largest package of land in Madrid to date – measuring 120,000 m2, on which more than 1,200 social housing properties will be constructed – for €50 million.

On a smaller scale, but of no less importance for the purposes of measuring the temperature of this market, have been the on-going sales of land in Valdebebas, which has also witnessed this renewed buyer appetite at first hand, along with the slight “overheating” that is starting to be seen in some land purchases. Prices in this development bottomed out a few years ago at around €800/m2 and currently stand at around €1,100/m2, although some operations are being closed at higher prices.

The experts consulted calculate that Operación Campamento may be put on the market for between €200 million and €250 million, and that the urban planning delay may tip the balance towards an even higher figure. It is worth remembering that this development has a surface area of almost 1.5 million m2, of which 1.3 million m2 are buildable, and almost 11,000 homes (social housing and unsubsidised homes) may be constructed. (…).

In any case, the Town Hall insists that “the procedures that the Ministry of Defence says depend on the municipal institution, are being carried out within the appropriate timeframes” and they criticise the Ministry of Defence for trying to make the general public believe that the Town Hall is to blame for the delay to the Operación. (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Elena Sanz and Paloma Esteban)

Translation: Carmel Drake