Arrasate & Ibosa: Favourites in the Bid to Build Bilbao’s Star Residential Project

28 May 2018 – Eje Prime

Up to eight property developers are willing to pay between €30 million and €50 million to build residential properties in Bilbao. The two favourites in the battle are Arrasate and Grupo Ibosa, which have submitted two of the highest offers for this housing plan, which forms part of Project Garellano and which is being managed by Bilbao Ría 2000.

One of the key factors behind Arrasate and Ibosa’s strong chances of winning the tender is that both have the architect Richard Rogers in their project, which gives them an extra 5% in their scores. The vast majority of the score (75%) in the auction corresponds to the economic offer, and the remaining 20% relates to the assessment of the business plan and the construction, according to El Confidencial.

The future tower will be 119 m tall and will comprise 36 storeys in which 200 homes will be constructed. The location of the residential property will be prime, given that it is being built right in the heart of the city.

The plot that the public company Bilbao Ría 2000 has put up for sale has a surface area of 2,247 m2 and a buildability of more than 25,000 m2. The building will also have five underground floors with 235 parking spaces and storerooms for its future inhabitants.

In addition to Arrasate, a Basque cooperative manager (…) and Ibosa, the company led by Juan José Perucho, other companies participating in the auction for this development include the listed company Neinor Homes, ACR and a JV between the Madrid-based property developer Pryconsa and the local firm Amenabar.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Urbania & MiCasaInn To Create Student Hall Giant

13 September 2017 – El Economista

Urbania will work together with the manager MiCasaInn to create a new giant in the student halls of residence sector in Spain. The two companies have signed a partnership that will see the construction of 2,500 beds over the next two years, which will be added to the more than 500 beds already underway.

With this plan, the partners expect to have a final portfolio of 3,000 beds, which will position them as one of the largest owners and operators of student halls of residence in the country. For the time being, they are working on the construction of properties that will contain around 700 beds and their forecasts include completing the remaining 1,800 beds during 2018.

“As part of our search for alternative investments at Urbania, we have spent two years studying the international student halls of residence markets in the US and Europe”, explains Tomas Gasset, CEO of the property developer and founding partner of the firm, together with Alberto López and Mark Farber.

The three directors, veterans in the sector, first joined forces to focus on residential development on the Costa del Sol between 2000 and 2008. Subsequently, the forced exile during the years of the property crisis in Spain led them to make the leap to Brazil, where they successfully developed two neighbourhoods and sold 2,200 units. Upon their return, in 2013, they adapted to the new property developer business model in their home country and signed alliances with three international funds to develop several residential projects.

But the firm wanted to diversify its business and for that reason it has decided to back student halls of residence, as it considers that they represent “very robust assets, which complement our residential projects”, says Gasset, who highlights that the business “is relatively undeveloped in Spain, where there are just two or three traditional operators and lots of fragmentation”.

Projects underway

So far this year, and as part of its partnership with MiCasaInn, the company created by the Fernández Luengo family, the firm has already invested around €30 million in the purchase of three assets, which are going to be converted into new halls of residence with around 550 beds. Moreover, it has a total estimated investment of €100 million more in the pipeline.

For the new academic year 2018, the plan is to open two new halls of residence in Madrid, the first in Ciudad Universitaria with 240 beds and the second, known as Madrid-Río, in the Arganzuela area, with 103 beds. The latter, whose construction is already underway, is going to be built in the former Hotel Abba Atocha. Moreover, its other projects underway include the conversion of a hospital located on Calle General Rodrigo, number 13. In that case, the construction work will start at the beginning of 2018 and will give rise to a property with 220 beds. In parallel, the firm will also start a project in Málaga, on Calle Cerrojo, where it will construct a 140-bed hall of residence.

The MiCasaInn group already owns operational halls of residence on some of Madrid’s most central streets, such as Gran Vía, Calle Fuencarral, Plaza de España, as well as in the neighbourhood of Salamanca. According to its website, it also plans to open a student hall soon in the heart of Puerta de Sol.

With these and its new projects, the objective of the new joint venture is to become the largest owner and operator of urban student halls of residence in Spain, given that the other main traditional operators work with residences on university campuses and many of them are concessions.

To achieve its objectives, the group will focus on the main university cities in Spain, which have agreements with overseas universities, such as those in Barcelona, Pamplona, Granada, Valencia and Sevilla, amongst others.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

GreenOak Puts Luxury Homes On C/Fuencarral Up For Sale

7 February 2017 – El Confidencial

Between €350,000 and €1 million. That is the price bracket at which the high-end homes at number 77 on Madrid’s alternative shopping street Calle Fuencarral are going on the market for. The homes are going on sale in the building that GreenOak purchased, together with ASG Iberia Advisors (previously Activum), from the General Treasury for Social Security, for €21 million in a public auction – it was the only offer that the State received for this centrally-located property, whose renovation will combine luxury residential properties with retail space.

The operation, closed at the end of 2015, was led by John Carrafiell (GreenOak), hand in hand with the German real estate fund manager (ASG Iberia Advisors), which is led in Spain by Brian Bettel, the man who used to hold the reins at Cerberus in Spain.

According to sources close to the project, the plans, which have been developed with the utmost discretion since the acquisition, comprise the construction of 40 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom homes (measuring between 50m2 and 150m2), which will be sold for between €350,000 and €1 million, i.e. around €6,000/m2. In addition, the building will continue to house a sizeable retail space, as three of its six floors will be used for that purpose. The common areas will have a swimming pool, solarium and gym, however, it will not have any parking spaces, a major drawback for a project of this standing. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

Sources consulted say that there is a long waiting list of people wanting to acquire these units, given that there are no other luxury new homes up for sale in the area to compete with this project. In fact, one of the developments that could compete in this market is located on Calle Fernando VI (in the Lamarca Building, just 500m away), which is owned by the Venezuelan Capriles family, has been completely sold already. GreenOak and ASG Iberia have engaged the luxury real estate company Gilmar and CBRE España to market the properties. (…).

The building, which is located just a short distance from Tribunal metro stop, has been completely derelict for several years. It has a total constructed surface area of almost 8,000 m2 spread over six floors and was constructed on a plot of land measuring 1,875 m2. (…).

This is GreenOak’s first major residential project in Spain, where it has previously focused more on the logistics, office and retail sectors; meanwhile, ASG Iberia has expressed much more interest in housing, along with the retail sector. In fact, that company has separate plans to construct more than a thousand homes in Madrid.

Last year, the fund manager purchased six plots of land from Altamira in Alcalá de Henares with a buildable surface area of 50,000 m2, on which it will build up to 650 homes. (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar Assesses 10 New Deals In Spain Worth €1,000M

22 April 2016 – Expansión

The Socimi Lar España wants to maintain its pace of growth and to that end, it has set its sights on ten real estate operations worth €1,000 million. All of the assets are located in Spain, primarily in the shopping centre segment and, to a lesser extent, in the office and logistics segments, according to comments made yesterday by the Chairman of the Group, José Luis del Valle. He was speaking after the general shareholders’ meeting, at which a six-fold increase in the dividend for 2015 was approved, at €0.201 per share. In total, Lar will disburse €12 million.

Del Valle explained that the company has €200 million to invest, with not need to resort to the bond market or to carry out a capital increase. Currently, Lar España owns 24 real estate assets in ten autonomous regions worth €961 million. Of that figure, €686 million has been allocated to the acquisition of twelve retail spaces; €150 million to the purchase of four office buildings; €70 million to four logistics assets; and €55 million to its residential project on Calle Lagasca 99. Lar’s asset value increased by 5.4% between the Socimi’s launch in March 2014 and the end of 2015.

Miguel Pereda, CEO of Lar España, pointed out that, for the time being, the Socimi is not interested in the hotel segment and clarified that it will be analysing the real estate assets being sold off by El Corte Inglés when that process opens. The retail giant plans to sell up to 200 properties worth €1,000 million.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aquila Capital Acquires Residential Project In Sant Cugat

7 January 2016 – Expansión

The German alternative asset manager Aquila Capital has acquired a residential project under construction in Sant Cugat (Barcelona). It is a high-end project involving the development of 40 homes measuring 250m2 each.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake