Lar To Build Its 6th Spanish Logistics Park In Cheste (Valencia)

17 October 2017 – Eje Prime

Lar España is putting its foot down on the accelerator. The Socimi is finalising plans for a new logistics park in Cheste (Valencia), the sixth industrial project to be undertaken by the firm in Spain. The firm has already created a company to manage the complex, which spans a leasable surface area of 122,000 m2. Now, planning permission just needs to be granted for the site so that the construction work can begin.

The project has already been granted environmental approval, according to El Español, and will be located in one of the most important enclaves for the logistics sector in Valencia, a short distance from the major distribution centre in Ribaroja on the Ciudad Circuito industrial estate. The forecast investment in this new logistics park will amount to almost €16 million.

In addition to logistics activities, the site will also be kitted out for cross-docking and will allow the entry of mega-trucks.

The company created for this asset is called Lar España Inversión Logísitic VI, which will be led by Miguel Pereda, a proprietary director of the Socimi, whilst Jon Armentia, Corporate Director of Lar España, will perform the role of Vice-President.

The project in Cheste represents the company’s sixth logistics investment, given that it already owns one complex in Valencia, in Almussafes, and four in Guadalajara (Alovera), worth €77 million in total.

In Spain, 80,000 m2 of logistics space was leased during the third quarter of 2017, down by 29% compared to the previous quarter (112,000 m2). In terms of the cumulative figure for the half year, more than 317,000 m2 of space was leased, down by 57% compared to the same period last year.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Junta Accelerates Paperwork For Puerto De Málaga Hotel-Skyscraper

16 October 2017 – El Confidencial

Clear path ahead. The Qatari owners behind the hotel-skyscraper in the Puerto de Málaga, also known as Torre del Puerto, had feared that the environmental impact statement of the hotel complex land would not be shortened (to four months) and would be extended to take 18 months. But, in the end, the Qataris have got their own way. The Junta has accelerated the processing of the paperwork to allow the project to go ahead. The tower will be 135m tall and the project will cost at least €100 million.

Pleas from Málaga’s College of Architects and the Ecologists in Action group against the height (of the tower) have fallen on deaf ears. A delegation from the Ministry of the Environment and Territorial Organisation is driving the abbreviated environmental procedure for the Dique de Levante platform, where the Torre del Puerto de Málaga is going to be built. In its definitive report, it concludes that the modification to the special plan for the Puerto for the construction “does not have any effect on the environment”.

“This is good news. It was one of the possibilities that was being considered and we were defending it, but we will need to process the paperwork for the environment and the tower”, explained José Seguí, author of the project, in declarations to El Confidencial. Seguí admitted that a non-simplified environmental impact statement “would have muddied the waters”, although in the event of an extended version “we would have tried to process as quickly as possible”.

In addition to the environmental impact statement and the possibility of including a casino, which is still up in the air, the Special Plan for the port now needs to be changed to modify the use as a public space. The Port Authority of Málaga, chaired by Paulino Plata, former Minister for Agriculture, Culture and Tourism at the Junta (…) defends the application of the reduced environmental procedure, which will have to be resolved before the end of the year. In a visit to Málaga, the Minister for Development, Íñigo de la Serna, announced that the Government would approve the tower. The Council of Ministers is the body responsible for definitively authorising the project.

In the midst of this process, Abdullah al Darwish, from the company Andalusian Hospitality II (on behalf of the Al Bidda group, which is behind the project), made his intentions clear in an interview with ‘El Sur’ newspaper: “We cannot wait forever, the time has come to take decisions. We have to move forward. For us, it would be perfect if everything could be ready within one year”.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Agustín Rivera)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Chilean Group Osim Debuts In Spain With €480M Inv’t On Costa Del Sol

29 September 2017 – Diario Sur

The Chilean investment management company Osim has initiated the development of a series of projects along the Costa del Sol where it plans to invest around €480 million in total. The company is going to make its debut in Casares, where today (Friday) it will present a real estate project comprising more than 400 homes and involving an investment of €200 million, which will materialise over the next four years.

The site in question is the Alcazaba Lagoon urbanisation, where 92 homes have already been built and where another 340 units are expected to be constructed. This urbanisation, which will be officially unveiled tonight, includes a giant artificial lake, which occupies a surface area of 1.4 hectares and has an average depth of 2.5 metres. It is the first development of this kind to be undertaken in Europe.

The project comes in response to an initiative by the company, formed by the Chilean entrepreneurs Óscar Lería and Patricio Rojas, who through the management company Osim are planning to channel the arrival of capital from Chile into several real estate projects to be developed over the next few years in Marbella, Estepona, Torremolinas and Málaga capital, according to comments made by Lería to Diario Sur.

The businessman explained that Alcazaba Lagoon represents the rescue of a project started in 2006 in Casares. Construction was suspended during the years of the crisis and has now has been brought back to life with the construction of the artificial lake and the redesign of the whole site, which will now comprise a block development with 78 units (…). The Town Hall of Casares has already granted the property developer the building permit for the first block.

According to Lería, the artificial lake forms the centrepiece of the complete rethink of the original project and has been the pet project of the architect Hugo Torrico. The development of housing blocks, which has also involved the modernisation of the original plans, has been carried out by three Chilean architects: Cristian Larrain, Jaime Hernández and Diego Aigeren.

Lería explains that the water feature, as well as forming the central part of the project, represents an absolute innovation in Europe, offering several advantages and not only functionally speaking, given that it contains an artificial beach 6km from the coast, where people can practice water sports. Moreover, he explains, the maintenance of the lake requires a water cost of less than 50% of that of a garden, twenty times less than that of a golf course and 100 times less than that of swimming pools with the same volume of water.

The homes have asking prices ranging between €250,000 and €500,000 and are aimed primarily at the foreign market, with British buyers in the lead.

According to data provided by the company, the residential complex will result in the creation of around 3,000 direct and indirect jobs during the construction and sales process and for the maintenance of the facilities.

Original story: Diario Sur (by Héctor Barbotta)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Värde Buys Up Reyal Urbis’ Debt To Exchange For Its Assets

22 May 2017 – Expansión

The American fund Värde Partners, which owns the property developers Vía Célere and Aelca, has become one of the main creditors of the real estate company Reyal Urbis. It is negotiating to take over more loans, which it plans to exchange for land.

The fund Värde Partners is competing with Lone Star to become the largest residential investor in Spain. The fund, which first entered the Spanish market in 2013, is progressing with its investments in the country and has placed its focus on one of the most important property developers from the previous boom: Reyal Urbis.

The real estate company emerged from the fusion between the construction company Reyal, owned by Rafael Santamaría, and Urbis, the real estate arm of Banesto, and it filed for creditor bankruptcy in 2013. With a liability of €4,660 million and negative own funds of €3,449 million, the company is negotiating against the clock to obtain support for its proposed agreement, which will allow it to avoid liquidation. The deadline to secure the backing of at least 75% of the creditor mass expires on 31 May.

In this process, which affects large banks such as Santander, Sareb (which is owed €1,000 million) and the Tax Authorities (which are owed more than €400 million), a new player has emerged: the fund Värde Partners. According to sources close to the operation, the fund has acquired a significant amount of Reyal’s debt, to place itself amongst the real estate company’s largest creditors. (…).

The purchase of this debt, which is backed by mortgage guarantees, allows Värde to have rights of Reyal’s real estate portfolio that, according to the latest appraisal, has a market value of €1,170 million. Of that figure, €863 million corresponds to land and finished assets (it owns 217 homes in stock).

After four years of bankruptcy and more than five years of losses, Reyal Urbis’ main asset is its land portfolio. The company owns plots of land spread across 30 cities, the majority of which is buildable (planning permission has been granted for it). This type of asset fits perfectly with the US fund’s investment profile, which owns two of the most active property developers in the country at the moment: Vía Célere and Aelca. (…).


Reyal Urbis is currently proposing a series of discounts to the outstanding debt that it owes (…), but its creditors are not convinced by the high level of those discounts and according to sources close to the process, they are currently leaning towards rejecting the proposal, which would mean that company would end up filing for liquidation. (…).

However, the company’s entry into liquidation would not put a brake on Värde’s plans, given that it could acquire the assets that it is interested in a subsequent process. If Reyal does not obtain the support of its creditors, it will follow in the wake of its former competitor Martinsa Fadesa, which is in the process of liquidation and which is selling off its assets through periodic auctions.

During the first quarter of 2017, Reyal Urbis recorded revenues of €8.9 million, of which €45,000 came from its residential department (which, in turn, generated expenses of €421,000). These revenues are 2% higher than those obtained during the same period in 2016. During 2017, Reyal has so far recorded losses of €34.35 million. Since 2013, when the company filed for bankruptcy, it has accumulated losses amounting to €1,847 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ebrosa Buys Ministry Of Defence’s Last Auctioned Plot In Madrid

9 February 2017 – Expansión

The Ministry of Defence is continuing with its real estate divestment plan. Its last major sale was completed yesterday with the sale of an urban use plot that has a surface area of 3,569 m2 and a buildable surface area of 9,865 m2. The plot is located in the former central park of the engineers in Villaverde, in the neighbourhood of Los Angeles, in the south east of Madrid.

Like in the case of the Administration’s other assets, the sale has been conducted through a public auction, which was publicised through the real estate portfolio addmeet. Specifically, the Ministry of Defence had planned to carry out two simultaneous auctions, for an initial asking price of €4.7 million (in the first round of bidding) and a second asking price of €4.28 million (in the second round). In the end, the second round was not necessary as the initial bids exceeded the initial asking price, and the plot was awarded to the real estate company Ebrosa, which bid €5.04 million.

This Zaragoza-based property developer will use the land, for which planning permission has already been granted, to build a block of flats similar to those projects that it is already developing in other areas of Madrid, such as in Las Tablas and Sanchinarro, in the north east of the city, as well as in Ensanche de Vallecas.

Ebrosa’s new development will be located next to “residential developments that are being sold at a good rate”, according to information included in the addmeet advert. Specifically, one hundred homes that Inmoglacial is promoting together with the investment fund Aquila Capital, in the same central park of the engineers in Vallaverde, after it was awarded nine plots of land from Sepes in July 2015, covering a buildable surface area of 120,000 m2. That project, which is being completed in nine phases, involves a total investment of almost €200 million to construct more than 1,200 homes, whose first phase is due to be completed in the spring of 2017.

According to the most recent annual accounts, corresponding to 2015, Ebrosa generated a profit of €31.38 million, compared with €4 million the year before, from a turnover of €16.68 million.

Divestment plan

The sale of the plot in the neighbourhood of Los Angeles was included in the real estate asset sales plan that the Ministry of Defence launched in 2013, with the aim of divesting some of its land, premises, rural estates and homes.

The most high profile sales in this plan include the sale of the former Precisión Workshop, located on Calle Raimundo Fernández Villaverde, next to Paseo de la Castellana and Nuevos Ministerios. In November 2014, the Ministry of Defence awarded those unused plots to the housing manager Domo for €111 million, which acquired them with the aim of constructing a 320-home development on the site, with an average price of €325,000.

Currently, the Ministry of Defence has two other plots of land up for sale, in Alcalá de Henares and in the Campamento area. The latter, whose sales price has not been revealed, is one of the most attractive sites for construction in the capital, given its location, between the Somosaguas area and the former land of Campamento, whose sale is also being considered by the Ministry.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Grupo Insur Buys Plaza del Teatro Building From Sareb

23 November 2016 – Málaga Hoy

The Plaza del Teatro residential development, one of the most attractive of all the projects currently being undertaken in the historical centre of Málaga, has changed hands once again. Sareb took ownership of the property after the real estate asset was hit hard by the property crisis, and on Friday, the bad bank closed a sales agreement with the Andalucían property developer Grupo Insur (Inmobiliaria del Sur).

The estimated investment could amount to €15 million, including the sales price of the asset (the appraisal that the Town Planning Department performed just a few months ago amounted to €8.7 million) and the construction work, which is expected to amount to almost €6.5 million. The firm, through its subsidiary IDS Residencial S.L.U., will take over the development of the project directly, given that it has been granted a construction licence by the Town Planning Department.

According to sources at the property developer, Insur has complied with the procedures, as well as with the commitments agreed with the Town Hall. The façades of this property must be maintained and restored, but the interior will be renovated and turned into high-rise residential apartments, with retail space on the ground floor and underground parking. Specifically, the refurbished building will comprise 58 homes, 7 retail premises, 58 storerooms and 108 parking spaces.

Marketing of the properties will begin imminently, with construction work due to commence during the first half of 2017. Financial support is being provided by Banco Sabadell, which is offering favourable conditions for future purchasers of these homes. It is expected that this project will generate direct and indirect jobs for more than 140 people.

The planned construction work will involve an investment of €6,456,544.27, according to data provided by the Town Hall. And the project is expected to be completed within 36 months. (…).

Original story: Málaga Hoy (by S. Sánchez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

German Firm Buys Building In Valencia To Convert Into Hotel

10 November 2016 – Real Estate Press

Realzia, the real estate consultancy firm, has advised on the sale of a building on Calle María Cristina, 8 in Valencia, located between the Central Market and the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, which has been acquired by a German property developer.

The property has a surface area of 1,723 m2, distributed over nine above ground floors and one basement level. It overlooks both Calle María Cristina, as well as the pedestrianised Calle San Fernando. The asset used to belong to Unicaja, but because of the complex urban planning rules associated with it, has been in disuse since 2008.

Following several months of urban planning work, the Town Hall of Valencia recently granted permission for the building to be used as a hotel, which has resulted in this purchase by the German property development company.

As such, within the next 18 months, Valencia will have a new and exclusive 35-room boutique hotel and restaurant, with a terrace on the ground floor, right in the heart of the city.

Realzia specialises in the sale of tertiary-commercial assets and urban land, for both residential and tertiary use. The company currently owns one of the most important portfolios in the city containing buildable land and buildings that need to be renovated, with almost a hundred assets in total in Valencia capital alone.

Original story: Real Estate Press

Translation: Carmel Drake

Neinor Homes Buys 4 Plots Of Land In Boadilla Del Monte

6 October 2016 – Real Estate Press

Neinor has purchased four plots of land in Boadilla del Monte, which have a combined buildable surface area of 15,000 sqm. The real estate company is going to construct 110 family homes on the plots.

The property developer has acquired the plots for €12 million and the homes will be aimed at clients with high purchasing power.

True to its vocation of being the largest residential property developer in Spain, Neinor Homes has been buying up buildable land in recent months in Madrid, Cataluña, País Vasco and Andalucía, where it plans to construct more than 800 homes. Neinor Homes avoids urban planning risk by always buying land for which planning permission has already been granted.

The development in Boadilla del Monte will go on the market for an estimated price of €3,000/sqm.

Original story: Real Estate Press

Translation: Carmel Drake

Wanda Not Allowed To Demolish Edificio España’s Façades

14 October 2015 – El Mundo

Wanda cannot “dismantle” the façade of Edificio España and subsequently proceed with its “reconstruction”. The Local Historical Heritage Commission (‘Comisión Local de Patrimonio Histórico’ or CLPH) of the municipality of Madrid has ruled out the plans set out by the Chinese business group, alleging that the “technical impossibility” of carrying out the renovation work on the skyscraper whilst retaining its protected features “has not been attested”.

According to the conclusions linked to this public body, which comprises representatives from the Community and Town Hall of Madrid, the Asian company will now have to draft a new project that includes an alternative solution to its complete demolition. That solution will have to be adapted to the “applicable law” and ensure the “necessary level of safety” for the renovation.

In July, Wanda requested permission from the CLPH to go ahead with the “dismantling” of the façades of Edificio España, which is grade 3 listed, and subsequently rebuild them “using the same materials, in the same way and with the same dimensions as the originals”. To support the “exceptional nature” of this proposal, governed by article of the Town Planning Regulations of the General Urban Development Plan, the company owned by Wang Jianlin provided “technical reports and studies prepared by independent professionals”, attesting that it was materially impossible to carry out the renovation work whilst retaining the exterior walls, given the risk that the structure will collapse.

Meanwhile, Madrid’s Town Hall commissioned two other reports on the subject, one from the former dean of the College of Architects of Madrid, Ricardo Aroca and the other from Hugo Corres, Professor of the Structural Concrete Teaching Unit at the University of Vaelancia. Both studies concluded that the comprehensive renovation of the property in Plaza de España to construct a hotel, shopping centre and luxury homes is “technically and economically viable” without the need to demolish its protected features.

After analysing this opposing information, the CLPH considers that Wanda’s request to remove the façades of the building is “not viable”, since alternative proposals exist for carrying out the building work. As such, the criteria applied in the end is that originally presented by the Department for Sustainable Urban Development, which insisted from the beginning that it would be “impossible” to dismantle a concrete building. (…).

The proposed solutions

The technical studies commissioned by the Town Hall of Madrid, to which this newspaper has had access, propose solutions for maintaining the protected features of the building, whilst proceeding with the building work.

One involves “respecting two parallel bays” (‘crujías’ or spaces between the supporting walls) of the outer wall overlooking Plaza de España and “one bay” on the side walls, “which will enable it to use the existing beams to ensure the most effective way” of keeping the structure upright.

The other proposal involves “bringing forward the construction of the future building in such as way that a part of its structure that does not interfere excessively with the demolition process can serve to ensure its stability against the force of the wind”. (…).

Original story: El Mundo (by Marta Belver)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Town Hall Seeks To Resume ‘Canalejas’ Construction Work

20 July 2015 – El Confidencial

Almost four months have passed since Madrid Town Hall’s Department of Town Planning decided to suspend some of the construction work at the monumental Canalejas Project, as a precautionary measure. The council, which was led at the time by Ana Botella, took the decision because it considered that some of the demolition work being carried out by the Villar Mir Group was affecting certain areas that are protected due to their historical value and was exceeding the work permitted by the municipal licence.

Following the electoral change, the new team responsible for Town Planning at Madrid’s Town Hall, led by Manuela Carmena, seems willing to resolve this situation as soon as possible. According to sources close to the project, the council is working to create a technical committee that will allow the works to recommence, however the Town Hall has denied that this is the case, at least for the time being. (…).

At the end of 2012, the Villar Mir Group purchased seven buildings located on Plaza de Canalejas (number 1), Carrera de San Jerónimo (number 7) and Calle Alcalá (numbers 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14) from Banco Santander. The group paid more than €200 million for the buildings and with an additional investment of around €300 million, is going to create a unique complex that will house around thirty luxury homes, a shopping centre measuring 16,000 m2 spread across three floors and a five-star hotel to be operated by the Four Seasons chain with 215 rooms and measuring 26,000 m2.

To achieve this, all of the buildings need to be joined up and to make that possible, Madrid’s Town Hall (PP) changed the protection in place on some of the buildings a few months ago. Specifically, it reduced the ‘Building of Cultural Interest’ protection to the front bay (crujía) and roof of the building at Canalejas, 1 and the front bay (crujía) and patio at Alcalá, 14; it also reduced the protection on all of the buildings to confine it to the façades.

Suspension of the building work

And it was the work performed on the front bay (crujía) between Calle Alcalá, 14 and Plaza de Canalejas, 1 that led to the stoppage of the works, as the Town Hall considered that protected pillars, slabs and stairs had been demolished…Nevertheless, sources linked to the project say that all of the work has been performed in accordance with the scope of the licences granted. The rest of the works – which affected 90% of the complex – have continued in the meantime, in accordance with the licences obtained.

In order to resume the suspended work, the planning experts consulted say that the licence for the next phase of the work needs to be granted, i.e. the licence for the new construction work. And for that to happen, the construction company must legalise their actions. The creation of a technical committee could accelerate the process, whereby leaving the final decision in the hands of professionals and not Madrid’s Town Hall.

It is worth remembering that Canalejas, along with other projects such as Operación Chamartín, Campamento and the shopping centre that is planned for Madrid Río, are coming under the spotlight of the new mayoress, Manuela Carmena, who is now less critical of these projects than she was in her electoral program. Carmena recently met with Antonio Béjar, the head of the Distrito Castellana Norte project, and promised that she would evaluate the most important urban planning project in the capital.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Elena Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake