CBRE: Logistics Investment in Valencia Doubled to €60M+ in 2017

18 April 2018 – Las Provincias

The logistics business in the Community of Valencia skyrocketed last year. Logistics investment in Valencia doubled to exceed €60 million in 2017. The increase was driven primarily by large operations such as the purchase by TH Real Estate of Carrefour’s platform in Ribarroja and the acquisition by P3 Logistics of another platform that had formed part of GreenOak’s logistics portfolio.

That is according to a report compiled by the real estate consultancy CBRE, which places Valencia behind Madrid and Barcelona in the ranking of cities based on interest from funds in investing in logistics. On the other hand, leasing of logistics space also reached a new record in Valencia in 2017 with more than 220,000 m2 of space transacted.

The study reports that the logistics stock in Valencia amounts to 2,244,000 m2, of which just 20% may be considered as prime or maximum quality product. This increase is due both to the construction of new logistics warehouses and the renovation and adaptation of old industrial warehouses for this new use.

Lack of supply

Despite the delivery of more than 65,000 m2 of newly-built logistics warehouses, the availability rate decreased to 4.3% in 2017. The data shows the increase in demand for large spaces (measuring more than 10,000 m2, which accounted for 50% of the space leased last year). By area, the region to the north of Valencia accounts for the highest percentage of available industrial space with 13,200 m2 (6.4%), followed by the central area with 53,100 m2 (9.7%) and finally the south with 30,500 m2 (5.1%).

Ribarroja is still the most sought-after area with the highest leasing volumes. In fact, 15 of the 27 operations recorded in 2017, which together saw 125,000 m2 of the surface area contracted and which represented 60% of the total space leased (were located there). The continuous increase in demand and the scarce supply of quality products has caused prime rents to increase by 25% to €51/m2/year.

The centre of Valencia saw the highest price rises for both land, between €150/m2 and 225/m2, and rent, between €3/m2/month and €4.25/m2/month. The north and south regions recorded similar rental prices, between €2.75/m2/month and €3.90/m2/month, although the southern region was slightly more expensive than the north with prices of around €200/m2.

Original story: Las Provincias (by Á. Mohorte)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lennar’s Socimi Al Breck Sells 14 More Assets for €11M

19 April 2018 – Eje Prime

Whilst last year was marked by investments on the part of the Socimis, this year is being marked by divestments. Lennar Corporation is divesting in Spain again and has closed fourteen operations to sell properties through one of its Spanish Socimis, Al Breck, for €11 million, according to a statement from the company.

The company has carried out the transactions through the company Rialto Capital Management, an investment vehicle headquartered in Luxembourg, which Lennar uses to carry out its real estate operations in Europe and the only one that has a stable structure in Spain.

The company divested the properties between 16 February and 12 April, generating a gain for the company of €5 million. This divestment follows another carried out in January when it sold four assets for €3.5 million.

Lennar Corporation made its debut on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) with Al Breck at the end of November 2016 (although it commenced activity in Spain in December 2014), with a stock of around 639 rental homes located in the centre of Madrid. The Socimi created its asset portfolio through the purchase of a portfolio from Segurfondo Investion in December 2014.

Specifically, the Socimi’s assets are located in the centre of the Spanish capital (in the Centro, Salamanca, Chamberí and Chueca districts), as well as in La Moraleja and in towns close to Alcobendas and Torrejón de Ardoz. The portfolio also contains retail premises and offices. According to the IPO prospectus, the market value of the asset portfolio at the time of its stock market debut was €110.52 million.

The Socimi made its stock market debut with a business plan that involved generating value from its portfolio, in other words, selling all of its homes within a 5-year period, ending in December 2020. The company has now initiated this divestment process with the sale of these first assets.

Al Breck’s strategy

Specifically, the company’s plan involves investing in improvements in homes “to increase their yields and increase their occupancy rates to stable levels, and then implementing an aggressive rental strategy that includes, where necessary, reducing the rents and making concessions to tenants to improve the cash flow conditions”.

Subsequently, according to the group’s IPO prospectus, “after improving the occupancy rate, the objective is to keep it stable and start to progressively increase the rents in accordance with the improvements made to the properties and market prices”.

Finally, the Socimi plans “to optimise the value of its portfolio by selling assets individually or in batches, when the demand and price so dictate, and once the minimum ownership term of three years has passed in each case”, according to the firm in its brochure.

In addition, the company launched a second Socimi, Ceres Real Estate Socimi, at the end of last year. Although for the time being, that entity’s activity has been very limited (it does not hold any assets in its portfolio), the sole administrator of the company is Rialto Capital.

This new Socimi is, in turn, the heir of Clearfield Invest, a firm constituted just over two months ago and whose administrators form part of the TMF Group’s team in Spain, a company specialising in the provision of services for all kinds of companies.

Original story: Eje Prime (by C. Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Carmena’s New Plan Prevents Construction of 50,000 Social Housing Units in Madrid

10 April 2018 – El Mundo

The Compensation Boards of Valdecarros, Berrocales and Los Cerros have filed a contentious-administrative appeal requesting the precautionary suspension of the Master Plan approved by the Town Hall of Madrid in January, which prevents the construction of more than 50,000 social housing units in the southeast of Madrid.

The representatives of the three developments in the southeast of the capital have received public support from Madrid’s Association of Property Developers (Asprima), which considers that “the application of the Master Plan would have very negative consequences for Madrilenians by making house prices more expensive, in both the rental and purchase markets; it would cause serious harm to the municipal coffers due to the large number of compensation claims that the Town Hall would have to pay out”, say sources at the entity.

On the other hand, Asprima warns that the aforementioned plan “would prevent the construction of more than 50,000 social housing units and the development of important public housing construction plans for rental properties, and as a result, would lead to an increase in house prices, placing further pressure on demand in towns on the outskirts, and further congesting the access roads to the capital”.

The appeal highlights that the legal nature of the Master Plan is uncertain since it is not provided for in the Community of Madrid’s governing Land Law and that it should be considered as a binding directive or as a legal planning instrument, which may be appealed and suspended in a precautionary way.

Moreover, “the Master Plan has been built as a figure with regulatory strength, but it was approved by the Government of the Town Hall of Madrid without a prior report from the General Intervention or any report from the municipal legal services. Similarly, it was not subjected to any public consultation to allow citizens to express their opinions”, say sources at Asprima.

It is for this reason that Madrid’s Association of Property Developers considers that the Compensation Boards of Valdecarros, Berrocales and Los Cerros have sufficient legal grounds to request the suspension of the Plan and, in addition to the legal grounds, all of the economic and environmental data available to draw the conclusion that the developments in the southeast are absolutely necessary for the city.

Original story: El Mundo (by S. V.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Cerberus Puts 2 of Bankia’s Prime Branches Up For Sale

12 March 2018 – El Confidencial

Cerberus wants to take advantage of the appetite that exists for retail premises on Spain’s main high streets at the moment and to this end, has opened a process to sell two of Bankia’s star branches, located on Plaza de Catalunya in Barcelona and at number 1 Calle Alcalá in Madrid, according to sources familiar with proceedings.

The operation has been instrumented through Haya Real Estate, the real estate servicer of Cerberus, which is in charge of managing the assets thanks to the contract signed with the entity, and has been organised as a closed process, rather than through the website, like it does with other assets when it puts them on the market.

In both cases, the bank chaired by José Ignacio Goirrigolzarri is planning to vacate the premises, so that the buyers can let them to a new tenant and whereby obtain more attractive offers.

The establishment located on Alcalá 1, a historical building dating back to the 19th century, has a surface area of 900 m2 spread over the ground floor and basement. The process, which was launched last month, has received interest from several parties looking to acquire the empty space.

On the plus side, it is located right next to the entrance of the well-known Puerta del Sol, and it is very close to Calle Preciados, the most expensive shopping street in Madrid, with an average rent of €3,180/m2, according to Cushman & Wakefield (C&W). On the downside, its shop window overlooking Calle Alcalá is very reduced.

Meanwhile, in Plaza de Cataluna, the 1,000 m2 branch that Bankia owns is homes to its headquarters in the Catalan capital. Haya already identified it at the end of last year as a serious candidate for sale, a decision that it took in the end boosted by the record retail investment figures.

According to figures from Savills-Aguirre Newman, investor interest in the commercial segment in 2017 allowed it to break records, reaching €3.5 billion, levels that the real estate consultancy expects will be maintained this year thanks to the strong outlook that still exists for tourism, amongst other factors.

Plaza de Catalunya is also one of the most commercial areas in Spain, with rents exceeding €1,200/m2, and with the added bonus that it is a genuine magnet for large fashion firms.

In fact, Uniqlo was on the verge of acquiring the 3,000 m2 that Fundación Montemadrid used to own next door to Bankia’s branch, a property that ended up being sold to Desigual to house its new flagship store. El Corte Inglés, Apple, Zara and Fnac are just some of the distinguished neighbours on this sought-after square.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Café Iruña Building in Bilbao Goes On The Market for €20M

28 February 2018 – El Correo

The Heredia-Spínola family, owner of the property that has been home to the popular Café Iruña since 1903, has the future of one of the large real estate operations in Bilbao in its hands, after putting the building up for sale for €20 million. In addition to the hostelry establishment, which has been operated by the businesswoman Alicia Garmendia since 1980, the building, which has one of the most spectacular chamfered street corners on the Ensanche, also houses more than twenty companies on its upper floors.

Offices for lawyers and attorneys as well as for business and tax advisors, massage salons, yoga and pilates studios, insurance broker desks, psychologist and psychiatric clinics, study and documentation centres and even a nursing home are some of the services that occupy the six storeys of one of the most iconic premises of the Vizcayan capital. The Chinese Institute also has its headquarters in this building with views over Colón de Larreátegui and Berastegi.

There have been lots of comings and goings in the property since its owners expressed their intention to put the building on the market a few months ago. The operation, which is being undertaken with the utmost secrecy, is keeping a large number of its tenants in suspense. Most companies have been paying old rents, which are well below current market prices, for several years. But some are now starting to move out as their contracts are expiring and the new rents, more in line with the prevailing prices in the centre of the town, are proving unviable, both in the office and retail segments.

One of the fashion stores located on the ground floor of the property closed its doors several weeks ago after its rental cost increased. The other – Quo Bilbao – dedicated to the sale of clothing and accessories for women, which has been selling off its stock at a discount for weeks with articles costing between €10 and €50, is still open and has no intention of shutting down (…).

A hotel or luxury homes

Those who are also clear that “under no circumstances” shall they move from the site that they have occupied for 115 years are the managers of Café Iruña, the most popular cafeteria in Bilbao. Coincidently, it will reopen its doors tomorrow after being closed since last Monday to undertake several maintenance and conservation jobs (…). The Iruña Servicios de Hostelería Group confirmed that (…) under no circumstances will the change of ownership affect the operation of the business, which was founded on 7 July 1903 by the Navarran property developer Severo Unzue and which has become famous for its Moorish pintxos, amongst other snacks.

“We employ almost 30 people and we are going to continue”, insisted Garmendia. With two years to go until the current contract expires, only an exorbitant increase in the rental price may call into question the survival of this establishment, which spans 300 m2 and whose décor is inspired by the Mudejars with polychrome ceilings and stunning tiles that captivate thousands of tourists, making it one of the main restaurants of choice  in the city (…).

The companies that enjoy this central location are under the impression that the new owners could convert the property into luxury homes or turn it into a hotel (…).

Original story: El Correo (by Luis Gómez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

C&W: 876,000 m2 of Logistics Space was Leased in Madrid in 2017

9 January 2018 -Eje Prime

The logistics sector is starting 2018 with a bang. The industrial sector is soaring, after breaking records last year, with the leasing of 876,000 m2 of space in Madrid, its strongest location. That figure represents an increase of 80% with respect to 2016 and is the highest recorded in the last decade, exceeding even the 800,000 m2 of space that was leased in 2007, according to data from the real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield.

Similarly, the number of operations signed in relation to the purchase of warehouses and logistics centres amounted to 66, whereby exceeding the 50 recorded in 2016, and the average size of the surface area leased was 15,000 m2.

The areas bordering the A-2 and the A-4 were the most sought-after, as reflected by the influence that they had on the total volume of space leased in Madrid as a whole: the first area accounted for 60% of all operations, whilst assets located along the road to Valencia accounted for another 26% of transactions.

That significant increase in the sale of logistics land also resulted in a rise in prime rents. 2017 closed with an average price per square metre of €5.25/m2.

Meanwhile, in Barcelona, 450,000 m2 of logistics space was leased during 2017, which represents a decrease compared to 2016 when 645,000 m2 of space was leased, primarily because two large operations were registered during that year, with the arrival of Amazon and Mango, which incorporated warehouses with surface areas of 200,000 m2.

In the Catalan capital, by contrast, prime rents rose by 12.5%. The latest data shows an average price per square metre of logistics space of €6.25/m2 in the Mediterranean city. That rate is the highest of any of the capital cities in Southern Europe and is one of the highest on the continent. London is still the most expensive enclave for leasing warehouses and logistics centres with a price per square metre of around €15/m2.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barcelona’s Vía Portaferrissa Looks To Reposition Itself As Prime Real Estate

27 November 2017 – Eje Prime

Portaferrissa is claiming its place amongst the prime shopping streets of Barcelona once again. The road has a privileged location, between Portal de l’Àngel and Las Ramblas, receives local and tourist traffic and has several available retail spaces, but its prices are not competitive and only a handful of operations have been closed in recent times. Now, two historical properties are making a move to put Portaferrissa back on the prime map.

One of them is at number 25, so-called Casa Gralla, which until just a few months ago was occupied by Pepe Jeans. The property is owned by the Casacuberta family, which also controls the building that houses the Decathlon store on Calle Canuda, as part of a portfolio containing more than twenty assets.

During the 1990s, the ground floor premises of number 25 housed shopping arcades, Gralla Hall, but that closed at the beginning of the 2000s, when the model showed its first signs of weakness.

Pepe Jeans then took over the lease of the premises and sub-leased part of the space to Quiksilver, which remained for years. Nevertheless, that company did not invest in creating a retail store, other than eliminating the separation of the former arcade.

The Casacuberta family has now begun to renovate the property to merge the two spaces, which will span 1,900 m2 after the renovation. The most recent significant negotiations (held with a view to finding a tenant) were with Adidas, with which a pre-agreement was reached, although the operation did not end up going ahead.

Now, the property is facing its third year on the market, although its prices, which are well above market rates, may still be a barrier.

Another one of the premises on the market on Portaferrissa is Palau Castanyer, which currently houses the Art Montfalcó souvenir shop. That property was sold to KKH Capital group in November for €24 million.

Falling prices 

Portaferrissa begins at La Rambla dels Estudis and ends at La Plaça de la Cucurulla, just stone’s throw from the very busy Portal de l’Àngel. Prices on the street reached their peaks before the crisis, with an average of €1,808/m2 per year in 2005, although the prices of stores measuring less than 100 m2 ended up exceeding €2,500/m2.

However, since then, prices have plummeted, by around 30%, according to sources in the sector. “In 2007, River Island rented the store at number 13 for €970,000, and a few years later, it was leased for €600,000”, say the same sources.

According to the recent report Main Streets Across the World, compiled by the consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield, the average rental price per square metre per year on Portaferrissa amounted to €1,980 in 2016, in line with the previous year.

Original story: Eje Prime (by I. P. Gestal)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Merlin To Invest €460M On Improving Its RE Portfolio

24 October 2017 – El Español

Merlin Properties plans to invest around €459 million in the renovation and improvement of several office buildings, shopping centres and logistics facilities that comprise its real estate portfolio. The entity plans to undertake this work between 2018 and 2021, according to reports from the Socimi in which Santander and BBVA hold a stake.

The company led by Ismael Clemente (pictured above) calculates that these improvements will generate additional revenues from rental income amounting to €60.9 million per annum.

Merlin estimates that these improvements, together with its management and the natural growth of the assets, will allow it to raise its current revenue from rental income by 22% and whereby exceed the €500 million threshold, without the need to purchase any new properties.

That is according to the company, which is currently the largest listed real estate firm by asset value. It is holding its “Investor Day” in Barcelona this week, despite the uncertainty currently hanging over Cataluña.

During the event, the firm unveiled a presentation, which has been submitted to Spain’s National Securities Exchange Commission (CNMV), detailing the assets that Merlin plans to renovate.

The list includes the building that houses Sacyr’s headquarters in the centre of Madrid, at numbers 83 and 85 on Paseo de la Castellana, the heart of the capital’s business district.

The Socimi will spend €20 million on a comprehensive renovation of that property, which it expects to complete by 2020 and which will involve a radical change to its external appearance, which will be completely glazed.

Merlin’s list of renovations also includes investments and construction work in Barcelona, in properties as iconic as Torre Glories, the building formerly known as Torre Agbar.

There, the firm will spend €15 million to convert the tower into a “multi-tenant” office building. Moreover, it will install an observatory at the top of the tower, on the 30th floor (…).

Original story: El Español

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispavima Buys The Puma Store On c/Fuencarral For €13M

27 September 2017 – Eje Prime

Retail premises are continuing to attract the attention of both international and local investment funds. That is the case of the Murcian firm Hispavima, which has recently acquired the premises at number 33 on Calle Fuencarral, occupied by the sports fashion distribution group Puma, for approximately €13 million. Over the last few years, the company has expanded its portfolio of commercial assets in the capital, with the purchase of stores on coveted streets such as Preciados, Callao and Claudio Coello, amongst others.

The premises that Hispavima has acquired have a retail surface area of 196 m2. According to market sources, Puma pays a monthly rent of €40,000, and the return on the asset is 3.5%. The operation was closed in July, and was brokered by the real estate consultancy CBRE.

Hispavima is led by Jorge Tuchado, who is responsible for the expansion department at the group. Hispavima is the real estate division of Tefim Grupo Financiero, a holding company founded in 2001, which comprises several business lines (…).

The group currently owns 15 million m2 of land in total for tertiary, residential and logistics activity. “Of that, we have more than 1 million m2 of buildable land ready to develop”, says the director (…).

Although the company did not want to provide details about the value of its portfolio of retail premises, it did explain that it now owns more than a dozen assets. Its portfolio includes the Swatch store on c/Preciados; the Banco Santander branch on Callao, 1; and the Cos and Mango stores on c/Claudio Coello and c/Princesa, respectively.

“Over the last few years, we have not been able to purchase everything we have wanted to, given that the competition is much greater and the Spanish market is gaining a lot of interest”, says the director, indicating that the Socimis and international funds are direct competitors when it comes to buying a retail premise (…).

The hype of Fuencarral

The fact that the sports equipment distribution group Decathlon recently announced that it is going to open a macro-store measuring 2,400 m2 in the former Mercado de Fuencarral, on Calle Fuencarral, has served to put the Madrilenian retail thoroughfare on everyone’s radar in the real estate sector.

Fuencarral is one of the main shopping streets in Madrid. A large number of high-medium end fashion brands have stores on the street: from familiar brands such as El Ganso, Scalpers, Superdry, Pepe Jeans, Guess and Tommy Hilfiger to other, more high-end names such as Michael Kors, Maje, G-Star and Diesel.

On its busiest stretch, tenants pay an average rent of €151 per month per square metre. And although that figure has fluctuated somewhat over the last ten years, it is now at its peak, having grown by almost 32% since 2008. This makes Fuencarral a target location for many investment funds who see the retail premises as good assets for investment.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Uniqlo Signs Lease To Open Mega-Store In El Jardín de Serrano (Madrid)

22 September 2017 – Eje Prime

The Revilla brothers are making their investments profitable. The company Hermanos Revilla, which specialises in the acquisition of real estate assets in Madrid, has signed a pre-lease contract with the Japanese fashion chain Uniqlo to open a mega-store in El Jardín de Serrano, a shopping arcade in the heart of the Salamanca neighbourhood. According to sources close to the operation, the store will be opened by 2020 and will see the conversion of the arcade into a single store.

El Jardín de Serrano is located at number 6 on Calle Goya, in the heart of the Salamanca neighbourhood of Madrid. Uniqlo will occupy two floors of the property, specifically the first and basement floors, which together span approximately 1,300 m2. The property, which will be subject to a comprehensive renovation, has been on the market for a long time and had also received interest from groups such as Primark and H&M.

According to the same sources, the rental contracts of all the retail establishments that currently occupy the arcade expire in 2019. In this way, Uniqlo and Hermanos Revilla will have a period of one year to carry out the necessary construction work to transform the property into a large format store. Professionals in the sector consulted by Eje Prime say that Uniqlo will pay rent of approximately €2.5 million per year.

El Jardín de Serrano underwent a remodelling project in 2011. It has a total surface area of 3,700 m2, spread over four floors. If Uniqlo does end up moving into the property (it has included a cancellation clause in the pre-lease contract, to be invoked in the event that “a better opportunity arises”), then the two upper floors will continue to be used as offices. This will represent the fashion chain’s first store in Madrid.

Sources at Hermanos Revilla declined to comment about the deal, whilst some of the establishments that currently operate in the shopping arcade confirmed that they are aware that negotiations are underway for a fashion brand to open a large store in the building.

Hermanos Revilla is one of the main investment families in the real estate sector in Madrid. The company owns a portfolio of properties comprising office buildings and shopping centres, such as the case of El Jardín de Serrano.

Currently, Hermanos Revilla own a dozen office buildings located in the financial district of Madrid, including iconic assets on Paseo de la Castellana, where it owns number 41, the buildings at numbers 29 and 8 on Calle Goya (which together span a surface area of more than 10,000 m2 for offices and retail use) and number 35 on Calle Jorge Juan.

Hermanos Revilla also owns other properties in the Chamberí area, with a building at number 2 on c/José Abascal; in Chamartín, with an asset at number 132 on Principe de Vergara; the Musgo 1 and Musgo 3 buildings in the Moncloa area and four buildings on the outskirts of Madrid, in the M-30 and A-2 districts.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake