Starwood Capital Finalises the Purchase of an Office Portfolio for €125M

24 January 2019 – Expansión

The fund Starwood Capital is seeking to strengthen its presence in Spain with the purchase of a portfolio of offices in Madrid and Barcelona. Specifically, Starwood is finalising the purchase of an office complex in Madrid, comprising four buildings, and another one in Barcelona from the Socimi Autonomy for €125 million, according to explanations from market sources speaking to Expansión.

In the case of Madrid, the four office blocks are located in the north of the city, inside the Omega business park, in the Arroyo de la Vega area. They span a combined surface area of 33,458 m2 and have 940 parking spaces.

The Omega Business Park, which is home to the headquarters of companies such as Samsung, BP and Allianz, is located next to the airport of Madrid and has become one of the most established areas in the north of the capital.

Besides the offices in Madrid, the operation also includes a new build property in the 22@ district of Barcelona, with a surface area of 12,596 m2.

The building in Barcelona comprises two towers connected by a common entrance hall, with twelve and four floors, respectively. The building also contains commercial premises and 216 parking spaces.

The building on Calle Pallars is occupied by tenants such as Regus, General Electric and Ticketmaster. The operation has been advised by the real estate consultancy CBRE, on the vendor side, and by Drago Capital, which has advised the buyer and which will manage the properties (…).

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spaces Leases 3,100 m2 of Office Space from MGS in Recoletos

13 December 2018 – Eje Prime

Spaces is going to be looking closely at the goddess Cibeles from now on. The co-working firm owned by Regus has found a space on Paseo de Recoletos in Madrid, one of the most prime areas of the Spanish capital, where it is going to lease the entire building that Mutua General de Seguros (MGS) owns there, according to reports from sources close to the operation speaking to Eje Prime.

The building is located at number 5 on the central Madrilenian street, very close to Plaza Cibeles. There, Spaces is going to occupy the property’s entire surface area of 3,053 m2, spread over five storeys and an attic. It will be the company’s sixth centre in the Spanish capital.

Spaces’ new office in Madrid has been owned by MGS since 2017 when that firm purchased the building from a local family office for €30 million. A year before the sale, the former owners completely renovated the property, which now has a large entrance hall with high ceilings, two elevators, a raised floor and Led lighting.

On the other hand, the co-working owned by Regus is already studying the rental of its seventh asset in Madrid. It is another prime space in the city, where the company is looking to occupy between 4,000 m2 and 5,000 m2.

With these new operations, Spaces could add more than 15,000 m2 of space to its Madrilenian portfolio during the fourth quarter of 2018. The company recently signed two other spaces in Méndez Álvaro and María de Molina, spanning 5,500 m2 and 3,500 m2, respectively.

Expansion in Spain

In addition to consolidating its presence in Madrid, the company led in Spain by Philippe Jiménez is working on its domestic expansion. The company is finalising openings in Bilbao, Sevilla and Gijón, as revealed by Eje Prime. Moreover, the manager is already looking for spaces in some of the country’s other major cities, such as Valencia (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barcelona’s El Triangle Shopping Centre: 20 Years On

13 November 2018 – Eje Prime

El Triangle is growing up. One of the most iconic shopping centres in Barcelona, owned by the Immobilien Investment fund, which forms part of the Deka group, is celebrating its twentieth birthday in a context marked by the rise of e-commerce and the arrival of technology start-ups in search of offices on the most prime thoroughfares.

“Due to our location and facilities, many retailers choose to open their flagship stores in our shopping centre”, explains Joan Mas, manager of El Triangle, speaking to Eje Prime. In fact, in recent years, brands such as Urban Outfitters and Sephora have decided to back the Barcelona shopping centre with their flagship stores, a shop format that enhances the consumer experience.

In this sense, the director believes that e-commerce, far from representing a challenge, has become an opportunity for this shopping centre, which is located at number 1 Plaza Cataluña, in the heart of the Catalan capital. “Although shopping from home is more convenient for retail clients, the centre of the city is always going to be a busy area that attracts a lot of visitors”, adds Mas.

Currently, El Triangle has an occupancy rate of 100%, both in terms of its 14,000 m2 of gross leasable area (GLA) used for retail, as well as its 11,000 m2 dedicated to office space. According to explanations provided by the executive, the gradual increase in rental prices has not caused any problems when it comes to attracting tenants. “Demand has not ceased at any point, we are the ones who choose which brands and companies we want to carry out their activity in the building”, he said.

Proof of that is the arrival of two new operators to El Triangle between the end of 2018 and 2019. On the one hand, Lacoste is soon going to occupy 150 m2 in the shopping centre with the opening of one of its flagship stores. On the other hand, the restaurant chain Five Guys will arrive next year to lease the space that was operated by Masvisión until October.

Technology arrives at the offices in El Triangle

Although large brands are continuing to conquer the leisure and retail space in El Triangle, there has been a change in the trend in the space dedicated to offices in recent years. “Whilst at the beginning, most of the companies that entered as tenants were companies specialising in financial services and banks, recently, our building has been welcoming a significant number of technology firms”.

For example, Skyscanner and My Taxi are some of the companies that have their offices at number 1 Plaza Cataluña. Alongside them operate the coworking giant Regus and the company specialising in video games MSI. With an occupancy rate of 100%, multinationals from the FMCG sector also operate in the property, such as Bacardi, which recently leased a whole floor in the building, spanning 2,700 m2 in total (…).

With more than 150 million visitors from more than 120 countries, El Triangle opened its doors on 12 November 1998. Three years ago, its owner started to modernise the property, with an investment of €1.4 million. The most iconic boulevard of the Catalan capital currently houses 22 retail and restaurant premises, with brands such as Havaianas, Fnac, Sephora and Starbucks, amongst others.

Original story: Eje Prime (by B. Seijo)

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

Co-Working Spaces in Madrid & Barcelona Rise by 71% YoY to September

23 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Co-working spaces are on a roll in Spain. This global phenomenon in the office market is also reflected in ratios that keep on growing. In Madrid and Barcelona alone, 55,900 m2 of this type of flexible office space was leased between January and September, which represented an increase of 71% with respect to the same period last year.

According to the Flexible spaces in Spain study, compiled by the consultancy firm Cushman&Wakefield, during the first nine months of the year, 26,800 m2 of co-working office space was leased in Madrid and 29,100 m2 in Barcelona.

This growth is the result of the commitment to co-working spaces by large corporations. According to explanations provided in the report, “at the beginning of the 2000s, small spaces predominated, occupied by self-employed people and freelancers; nowadays, those spaces still exist, but the potential of the co-working phenomenon has led to companies such as Banco Santander (Openbank), Accenture and Everis, amongst others, also using flexible spaces for some of their activities”.

The boom in flexible and shared office space intensified in 2014, the first year of the recovery. Besides large corporate groups, which rely on this office model for optimising their real estate resources and the productivity of their employees, international co-working giants have arrived in Spain in recent years to create supply to meet the growing demand.

WeWork and Spaces (owned by Regus), global specialists in this segment, already have expansion plans for the domestic market. The same is happening with the main Socimis, such as Merlin and Colonial, which, in addition to promoting brands that manage co-working spaces, are also adapting several of their properties to convert them into flexible offices.

Madrid and Barcelona are the focus of this market. WeWork already has 35,000 m2 of office space leased in the two capitals. It is managing one fifth, 7,000 m2, from 22@, the technological hub of Barcelona, one of the epicentres of co-working in Spain. Spaces is planning to grow in the same district, where it already has 6,000 m2 of space across several buildings.

In terms of the large Spanish real estate companies, Merlin and Colonial are, to date, the firms that have backed this new trend most convincingly Both have entered the sector by purchasing or teaming up with specialist companies this market. Colonial acquired the brand Utopicus at the end of 2017, as revealed by Eje Prime, and now has a commitment to open ten new co-working centres from 2019, which will span a total of 15,000 m2 between Madrid and Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Merlin has launched the brand Twisttt, through Loom House, a Spanish shared office manager in which the Socimi owns more than 30%. Other domestic players such as Inmobiliaria del Sur have already made investments in this sector. In October last year, the Andalucian real estate firm launched iSspaces, a co-working centre in Sevilla measuring 1,800 m2 (…).

The identity of the next players to enter the stage is a mystery, but the fact that co-working has a long journey ahead in the office market in Spain and around the world is very much a reality.

Original story: Eje Prime (by J. Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Regus on the Hunt for Partners to Open 550 Centres Across Spain

8 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Regus wants to expand to the last corner in Spain. The supplier of flexible workspaces has set itself the objective of opening 550 centres in the domestic market and, in order to develop that plan, the company has launched a franchise model through which “we want to be everywhere”, said the Director-General of Regus in Spain, Philippe Jiménez, speaking to Eje Prime.

The franchisees of Regus, as well as their clients “will enjoy the same services as the company’s own centres”, said Jiménez. Currently, there is an “exceptional demand” for flexible workspaces in Spain and the company wants to provide a service that “would be impossible” without this new model, recognises the executive.

“We want to grow quickly and for that, the franchise model is necessary”, explains the Director. In exchange, the company offers its partners the same operating and marketing support that is provided to Regus’s own centres.

Jiménez says that “there will not be any limitations in terms of location”. “We like metropolitan areas in large cities, but also in secondary and tertiary cities too”, he continued. The only conditions that Regus is going to impose are that the franchisee must assume the full investment of the centre and that “the quality of our centres must be maintained”.

“For us, Barcelona and Madrid are the same as any other smaller city”, highlights the executive, who believes that with this expansion, through franchises, the company will provide clients with an increasingly “more efficient and more technological” service.

The new expansion formula that Regus is launching in Spain is a “mandate” that comes from the firm’s parent company, the giant IWG, but one that Jiménez supports. “Having centres all over the place allows you to be more productive”, explains the executive.

A former director of Día will lead the franchise area 

Regus’s new plan in Spain will also have a new director. Luis Herranz will be responsible for managing the expansion of the franchises. Recruited a month ago, the director comes from Día, where he has been working for the last four years. Since 2016, the executive has been the Director of Franchises and Master-franchises at the supermarket chain.

“We are adopting the franchise formula as a key lever in our growth strategy to expand Regus”, says Herranz on the social network Linkedin. It is a “business model that is simple to manage and that generates good returns”, says the director.

In terms of returns, Jiménez says that the flexible office model offers “large cash yields and significant double-digit investment returns”. “The sector of offices as a service is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world, and has become the new target for investors and franchise operators”, highlights the Director General of Regus in Spain.

New openings and targets: Murcia, Toledo, Sant Cugat and Gijón

Whilst it searches for its first franchisees, Regus is continuing with its growth plan in Spain. Already present in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Sevilla, Málaga, Bilbao, Palma and Zaragoza, in November, Regus is going to add Murcia and Toledo to its footprint in Spain.

Over the last year, the company has opened 10,600 m2 of new office space. The most recent centres to be inaugurated have been those in Alcobendas and on c/Ortega y Gasset in Madrid; Diagonal Hightech and Sarriá Fórum, in Barcelona; and the Torre Aragonia centre in Zaragoza (…).

The main brand of the giant IWG, which also operates the co-working firm Spaces in Spain, Regus has a presence in 120 countries and more than 1,100 cities with 3,500 centres. The company provides services to more than 2.5 million clients around the world.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Co-Working Operators Leased 5-Times More Office Space in 2017

8 February 2018 – Expansión

Operators of co-working offices are gaining strength in Spain and multiplied by five times the space leased in 2017, to 40,500 m2.

The international co-working giants –WeWork, Regus, Glue Concept and Busining– are claiming their space in Spain and have recorded a milestone in the leasing of co-working office space in Madrid and Barcelona.

Last year, 40,500 m2 was leased for use by these kinds of work spaces, which represents a five-fold increase in the figure recorded the previous year, according to explanations provided by the real estate consultancy firm Savills Aguirre Newman.

Sources at the consultancy firm explain that the arrival of international operators has definitively reactivated the so-called serviced office sector in Spain, which includes business centres and co-working spaces.

Specifically, Regus, WeWork, Busining and Glue Concept closed 15 office space rental operations in Spain last year. Those operators opted for new and renovated buildings, with large and bright spaces, locations that are well-connected by public transport and with excellent services for their users in the vicinity of the offices, explained Ana Zavala, National Director of the Offices Agency at Savills Aguirre Newman.

By city, Madrid accounted for 82% of the surface area leased, whilst Barcelona represented 18%. By number of operations, 53% corresponded to Madrid, compared with 47% to Barcelona.

For the consultancy firm, the participation of this new model in the global office calculation for Madrid and Barcelona still has room for growth, as it currently accounts for around 5%. Thus, whilst in Madrid and Barcelona, the leasing by these types of business accounted for 3% in 2016, in London, they represented 10%.

“The growth in terms of leasing has been very significant in 2017, but the model is still very new in Madrid and Barcelona, and will depend on the success and demand that is generated. London is a much more mature market in terms of co-working in Europe and there the market share has amounted to around 9%-10% of the volume leased over the last two years”, said Zavala.

For the National Director of the Offices Agency at Savills Aguirre Newman, the benefits of these spaces are attractive for SMEs and micro-companies used to working in a collaborative way (…).

New players

In an effort to take advantage of the new needs in the market, the large Spanish Socimis Colonial and Merlin have also taken their first steps into this business. In this way, in October, the Catalan Socimi closed an agreement to acquire a controlling stake in the co-working platform Utopic_US. That agreement also includes the development of a strategic plan through successive capital injections by Colonial. Utopic_US, founded by 2010, has three centres in Madrid and will open another one in Barcelona within the next few weeks.

Also in October, Merlin announced the purchase of a stake in Loom House. In the case of the Socimi led by Ismael Clemente, its alliance with Loom House involves jointly converting some of the buildings in Merlin’s portfolio into co-working office spaces. Loom House currently has two co-working centres in Madrid, one in the Atocha area and another on Calle Huertas.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

WeWork, The Co-Working Giant, Arrives In Spain

13 September 2017 – El Español

The co-working space giant WeWork, which is worth around $22,000 million, has finally arrived in Spain. And it already controls two offices in Barcelona and Madrid. The latter is going to open first, with a hosting service for small companies and independent professionals.

The offices in Madrid are located on Paseo de la Castellana, 43. This 9-storey newly-renovated office building, with a surface area of 6,000 m2, is owned by Colonial and used to house the headquarters of the consultancy firm PwC and also of Abengoa (which moved out in July 2016 to cut costs).

WeWork is not yet offering on its website the space that it has available in Barcelona. According to Ejeprime, it signed an agreement with the Catalan group Castellví in July to occupy a building in the 22@ district, where many of the main technological companies are concentrated.

The strategy that WeWork has adopted for its arrival in Spain is similar to the one that it has implemented in other markets: it does not own any real estate properties outright but rather reaches long-term agreements to lease them. Nevertheless, in May, it signed an alliance with an investment firm with the aim of acquiring real estate assets.

Who is WeWork?

WeWork is a project born in 2010 that offices flexible work spaces for workers. In Madrid, its launch prices start at €250 per month (in the case of individual desks for workers) and range up to €14,500 for private offices with up to 50 desks.

The company, which has a presence in another 17 countries, has raised more than $4,400 million, with investors ranging from fund managers, such as Fidelity and T Rowe Price, to banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

The most recent capital injection was received in August. In total, $4,400 million was contributed by the Japanese technological and telecommunications giant Softbank.

There has been debate over the valuation of the company in recent months. The $20,000 million figure represents 20 times its forecast revenues for 2017. That is much higher than those of its competitors such as Regus. The reason? It is not only a business that is growing quickly (by more than 80% if the forecasts for 2017 are fulfilled, according to CBInsight, with $1,000 million of revenues), but also because of its projection as a expert in how companies work with access to a vast quantity of data, as the magazine Wired pointed out in a recent report.

How does WeWork work?

The company has already created a Spanish company: WeWork Community Workspace SL. It was constituted at the end of June and its administrators include Mike Nolan, the company’s Head of Global Business Planning and Abraham Safdie, Vice-President of the International Business.

Its tax structure is very similar to that of other companies in the sector, such as Uber and Yahoo: the parent company that controls the subsidiary, WeWork Companies International BV, has its centre of operations in the Netherlands, a country with a very favourable tax regime and used by multinationals to reduce their tax bill.

Original story: El Español (by J.M.G)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Telefónica Sells A Building In Madrid To Princeton For €25M

16 January 2016 – El Economista

Telefónica has sold a building with a surface area of 9,700 m2 located in the Argüelles neighbourhood of Madrid to the British real estate group Princeton Investments for around €25 million.

According to the British group, the operation, which was announced by Princeton Investments, represents a decisive step in its expansion strategy in Spain.

The real estate company highlighted that the building is in an “excellent location” for the development of luxury housing.

According to sources in the real estate sector, the price paid for the property amounts to around €25 million.

The building, a unique asset located on Calle Irún, next to Parque del Oeste, has a garden and a roof top pool with views over the Royal Palace and the Templo de Debod.

In addition, it has 350 parking spaces, a gym and common recreation rooms.

According to Princeton, the operation consolidates its investment position in Spain, a market in which it has already made several purchases.

In 2015, the British group acquired a building with a surface area of 10,600 m2 on La Cuesta de Santo Domingo, close to Gran Vía, also from Telefónica, for its subsequent rental.

In March 2016, Princeton bought a building with a surface area of 4,000 m2 next to the Google Campus in Madrid from Gas Natural to open a co-working centre.

That property, which is being renovated, has been leased to Regus and will be inaugurated in Q2 2017.

In parallel, the British group plans to launch a student hall of residence project in Valencia in a building that has a surface area of 10,160 m2.

Princeton is keen to replicate this model in other major university cities across Spain, including in Madrid and Barcelona.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake