AXA Negotiates with ACS to Build 2 Office Blocks on Paseo de la Dirección in Madrid

29 May 2019 – Eje Prime

The insurance company AXA is holding negotiations with the construction company ACS to build two office buildings on plots that it owns on Paseo de la Dirección in Madrid.

The towers would be similar in height to the residential skyscrapers that Stoneweg is planning to build on the same street. They would include restaurants and shops, which would serve to regenerate activity in the Tetuán neighbourhood.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Project Caleido will Revolutionise the Commercial Offer on Paseo de la Castellana

9 May 2019 – Expansión

From the end of 2020 onwards, Project Caleido, which is being promoted by the property developer Inmobiliaria Espacio and the Philippine company Megaworld Corporation, is going to launch 14,000 m2 of commercial space at the northern end of Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid, whereby providing a much-needed leisure area for workers in the Cuatro Torres business district.

The commercial space will seek to imitate a typical high street with between 70 and 80 premises distributed over two floors. The premises will house restaurants (35%), services (11%) and retail, technology, accessories and cosmetics brands.

Caleido’s offering will also include a boutique cinema, a supermarket, a gym, an exhibition and events centre and an eSports space. The developers have already marketed 30% of the space and expect to fill another 20%  of the premises before the summer.

According to a study performed by GfK, Caleido will receive more than 3 million visitors per year and will serve not only the employees that already work in the area, but also the more than 6,000 students who will be studying at IE’s new high-rise campus in the fifth tower as well as employees and patients of the Quirónsalud Group’s new advanced medicine centre.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

CBRE: Shopping Centre Construction Soars with 30 New Sites Planned By 2020

5 July 2018 – Voz Pópuli

The market for the construction of shopping centres is soaring again. In Spain, there are currently 18 projects under construction with a combined gross leasable area (GLA) of 650,000 m2 and another 12 assets in the pipeline, spanning another 648,000 m2. That brings the total surface area to 1.3 million m2 across 30 projects between now and 2020, according to data from CBRE.

Although it is still too soon to talk about pre-crisis figures (when 800,000 m2 of retail space was constructed per year), the reality is that the sector is growing at rates that have not been seen since 2009.

Last year, five new shopping centres were inaugurated with a combined gross leasable area of 211,000 m2 and a surface area of more than 30,000 m2 each. Highlights included shopping centres in Madrid (Plaza Río 2), Gran Canaria (Alisios) and Melilla (Parque Melilla), the first ever shopping centre in the autonomous city.

In Spain, although there is a high density in general terms, there are still cities with a shortage of retail space. For example, Lleida lacks any offer and so there, Carrefour Property is promoting a new 55,000 m2 complex, which has secured demand from many retailers that do not currently supply that market. Nevertheless, the majority of the developments currently underway are located in Madrid, Sevilla and Barcelona.

Renovations

Another trend is for the renovation of existing complexes. During the crisis, the people responsible for retail premises were more concerned with surviving than with renovating their spaces. Now, refurbishments are being carried out in several shopping centres, led by huge firms such as Carrefour Property, Carmila and Merlin.

With the arrival of the internet, shopping centres have had to adapt and they are now looking to offer differentiating experiences to become meeting places and social spaces for communities.

The restaurant sector is the horse pulling the cart, given that the sales of traditional fashion is stagnating. Previously, the sector sought out fast-food operators but now restaurants are becoming attractions in their own right.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by David Cabrera)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Uniqlo Opens Its Second Store In Spain

8 November 2017 – Expansión

The textile firm Uniqlo, owned by the Japanese group Fast Retailing, is pushing ahead with its expansion plans in Spain. After years searching for a suitable location, the Japanese company is going to open two stores in the country in just a month in a half.

On 20 September, Uniqlo opened its first store in Spain. The chosen location on that occasion was the building at number 18, Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona, opposite one of the country’s largest Zara stores, the main brand of the Inditex group. Measuring 1,730 m2, over three floors, the Japanese brand’s first store in Spain is enjoying considerable success that exceeds expectations, which has strengthened the firm’s commitment to the country.

“We are committed to this new market and we hope to open stores in several of the country’s main cities to bring Uniqlo’s LifeWear to the greatest number of consumers possible”, explain sources at the company.

Proof of this commitment is the opening of its second establishment. Uniqlo has also leased a store in the Gloriès shopping centre in Barcelona, where it will open its second store in Spain on Thursday 9 November. Specifically, the Japanese brand has leased 1,317 m2 in the centre, which is owned by the French-Dutch group Unibail Rodamco.

Uniqlo’s opening will coincide with the inauguration of the expansion of the shopping centre. With an investment of more than €100 million, the expansion works began in 2014. The ground floor was inaugurated in December 2016. Besides Uniqlo, H&M is also going to move into this space; it is going to open its largest shopping centre store in Spain in Gloriès, measuring 3,600 m2. The Swedish brand will also debut its H&M Home brand in Barcelona in this store.

Moreover, the new space will be home to the Mercat de Gloriès – a space with 20 local and international food products -, Fresh! – an area for fresh products that can be cooked on the spot – and La Cuina – an area focused on gastronomic encounters.

Unibail, one of the largest owners of shopping centres in Spain, plans to invest more than €677 million between now and 2024 developing large projects in Spain.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Centro Canalejas’ Luxury Apartments Will Be Sold For c. €13,000/m2

4 November 2017 – Expansión

Centro Canalejas, located just a stone’s throw from Puerta del Sol, in the heart of Madrid, will open its doors at the beginning of 2019. It will house the first hotel to be operated by the Canadian luxury chain Four Seasons in Spain, as well as high-end homes, which will be sold for an average price of €13,000/m2. Moreover, it will include a shopping arcade on the lower floors and a 400-space parking lot.

The complex, promoted by OHL Desarrollos, Grupo Villar Mir and Mohari Limited – a company controlled by the Israeli businessman Mark Scheinberg– will unify seven historical buildings, some of which were constructed at the beginning of the nineteenth century, into a single unit, involving an investment of €525 million.

A luxury hotel operated by Four Seasons will occupy the majority of the space in the centre. Specifically, the hotel will have 200 rooms, whose surface areas will range from 45 m2 to 400 m2. They will occupy the entirety of the second, third, fourth and fifth floors, although the hotel will have a presence throughout the whole building. It will have 4,200 m2 of common areas as well as a spa, banquet halls and meeting rooms, one of which will have capacity for 600 people. Moreover, it will have two restaurants, one on the first floor, measuring 400 m2, and another on the seventh floor, measuring 425 m2.

Exclusive homes

The complex will also contain 22 exclusive homes with surface areas of between 150 m2 and 700 m2 for one of the penthouses, which will include a 350 m2 terrace. The homes, which will be located on the upper floors of the building, will be sold for an average price of €13,000 /m2.

“We have not started to market them yet. We obtained the definitive licence in July and we expect to start work in November, but several interested parties have already approached us”, explained Francisco J. Meliá, CEO of Centro Canalejas Madrid and Director General at OHL Desarrollos, the company responsible for developing the project.

Flagship development

Moreover, the centre will have a shopping arcade, measuring 15,000 m2, spread over three floors. The retail space will house luxury fashion and accessories brands, as well as gastronomic offerings.

The property developers and those responsible for the development have highlighted the architectural challenges involved in adapting the buildings to their new uses whilst respecting their heritage value and they underlined that more than €7 million has been invested in the conservation of 16,700 pieces.

“Centro Canalejas is going to be a flagship development in Madrid and not only because of its ocean liner shape”, explained the architect Carlos Lamela, Director of Estudio Lamela and author of this architectural project.

Original story: Expansión (by Artur Zanón and Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Terrassa Plaça Retail Park Will Open On 3 November

27 October 2017 – Press Release

Terrassa has a new retail park, in the form of Terrassa Plaça. With a gross leasable area (GLA) of 30,535 m2, the new complex will be officially inaugurated next Friday 3 November. The event will be attended by authorities from the Generalitat de Cataluña, the Town Hall of Terrassa and representatives of the centre’s operators and Citygrove, the property developer.

The new centre is backed by an investment amounting to €30 million, the creation of more than 500 jobs and will house an extensive and varied retail offer: from the distribution of consumer goods and construction materials to fashion and restaurants. Citygrove’s aim with Terrassa Plaça is to cover the growing demand from the local population for these types of services. An entire commercial offer centralised in a single space.

Famous brands

This new project will open its doors with the following brands in situ: Bricomart, Mercadona, Globomoda, Altafit Gym Club, Gifi, Kiwoko, Barimueble, Sprinter, La Tagliatella, Pause&Play, Maxcolchón, Drim and Petrocat. All of them are looking to take an important step in their expansion here and to establish themselves as iconic labels in the minds of consumers. That is especially true in the case of the Italian company Globomoda, which has chosen to open its first store in Cataluña in Terrassa Plaça.

The complex is located on a plot measuring 56,000 m2 delimited by Avenida del Vallès, Calle Navarra, Avenida de las Naciones and Calle Cantabria. Its construction has allowed for improvements to the transport network in the area, with the creation of a pedestrian crossing on Calle Cantabria (…). In addition, the retail park will have an electric vehicle charging station, plus 1,000 parking spaces for cars and 70 for bikes, as well as a new bus route. Within the next few days, a new bike path will be opened between the city centre and the retail park.

Terrassa Plaça is the city’s new commercial offer and represents one of the most ambitious projects from Citygrove, the Anglo-Saxon property developer who has shaped this project. A key player in the real estate sector in Europe, with offices in the UK and Germany, Citygrove backed Terrassa from day one with the aim of turning it into a commercial benchmark project for the city, which was demanding this type of facility.

Original story: Press Release

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spain’s Shopping Centres Reinvent Themselves As Leisure Mega-Resorts

23 October 2017 – Expansión

Star asset / The boom in e-commerce and change in consumer habits are revolutionising the traditional concept of retail. Offering new experiences and turning their properties into iconic spaces are some of the maxims of the owners of shopping centres.

Much more than retail spaces. The new generation of shopping centres is evolving to incorporate a leisure concept for the whole family and to adapt to the demands of the millennials. Aquariums, artificial lakes, ski resorts, diving pools; everything fits into these new megaresorts designed for leisure, experiences and shopping.

“We have to implement new concepts, but without taking our eye off the ball in terms of the retail mix”, explain sources at Unibail-Rodamco, the largest listed commercial real estate company in Europe, which owns 13 centres in Spain, worth more than €3,500 million, and which plans to invest an additional €650 million in the country between now and 2024.

“We have introduced the DEX (Dining Experience), which aims to revolutionise restaurant spaces in shopping centres through a combination of architecture, design and leisure to offer a multi-sensorial experience”, explain the sources. They are adamant that “physical stores are not incompatible with e-commerce. In fact, we are seeing lots of the companies that originated in the digital environment now looking for physical points of sale. Amazon has opted to sell through physical stores with its acquisition of Whole Foods in the USA. We have also seen the same thing with Hawkers, the sunglasses brand, which recently opened its first physical store in Madrid”.

“Shopping centres are having to evolve to adapt themselves to the new needs and wants of customers, combining technology, multi-channels and experiences to reach more demanding end consumers”, explains Luis Lázaro, Head of the Shopping Centre division at Merlin Properties, which plans to invest €100 million over the next few years in both modernising the image of its centres as well as in updating its commercial offer.

José Manuel Llovet, Director of Retail at Lar – which owns 14 shopping centres in Spain – explains that the Socimi is working on improving the customer experience. “We are investing more than €60 million in Capex to adapt and modernise our centres, improve services and experiences, as well as implement the omnichannel strategy”.

Sources at Intu, owner of Puerto Venecia (Zaragoza), Intu Asturias (Asturias) and Xanadú (Madrid), which also has several important projects underway, say they use the shopping resort concept as the formula for attracting consumers, turning shopping centres into “tourist and leisure attractions”, and adopting a strategy of fewer operators with larger surface areas.

Meanwhile, Sociedad General Inmobiliaria de España (Lsgie) inaugurated Plaza Río 2 on Friday. One of the main features of that centre, located on the banks of the Manzanares River (Madrid) is its Mirador (lookout), which they define as “the best restaurant terrace in the capital” (…).

Carolina Ramos Alcobía, Director of the Shopping Centre Leasing department at Aguirre Newman, points out that Spain is promoting a model that moves away from the traditional shopping centre. “The trend is moving towards an aesthetics of open shopping centres, which are more like small towns or urban shopping centres; moreover, that concept is very highly favoured by the Spanish climate. The key is to get away from the stress associated with hectic, uncomfortable shopping centres” (…).

According to Ramos, “we are undoubtedly witnessing the largest transformation of shopping centres since they first opened in Spain, almost forty years ago. If they don’t spruce themselves up, they won’t survive” (…).

Investor appetite

In terms of investment (…), according to Javier García-Mateo, Real Estate Partner in Financial Advisory at Deloitte, “a voracious appetite exists for medium-sized shopping centres, which we have not seen for more than ten years”. According to data from Deloitte, so far this year, investment in shopping centres amounts to €2,300 million. In 2016, investors spent €3,769 million buying shopping centres in Spain, almost doubling the figure recorded in 2015 (…).

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo and M. Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Fergus Incorporates Hotel Club Bahamas (Ibiza) Into Its Portfolio

17 October 2017 – Hosteltur

Fergus Hotels has incorporated the 3-star Hotel Club Bahamas into its portfolio, which will operate from 2019 as a 4-star property under the name: Fergus Style Bahamas. With this agreement, the Mallorca-based chain has made its debut in Playa d’en Bossa, Ibiza, with a project to reposition and increase the star rating of the hotel.

The hotel chain is committed to expansion in the Balearic Islands and will start to manage the latest hotel from November 2018 onwards. The establishment has 528 rooms, an extensive range of restaurants, several swimming pools, a gym, spa and garden areas. It represents the first hotel to be operated by Fergus in Ibiza under its Style brand. The establishment had been managed by Nordotel until now.

The repositioning of the property as the Fergus Style Bahamas will involve the renovation of a large number of the features offered at the hotel. Its location, on the beachfront of Playa d’en Bossa and its proximity to the island’s main leisure, shopping and restaurant areas will allow the hotel’s clients to enjoy a wide variety of activities during their holidays on Ibiza.

Fergus is currently undergoing an expansion phase, incorporating new hotels to join those already in its portfolio. The firm is committed to offering better services and facilities through the repositioning of its hotels and the creation of tailor-made products for its clients. Its short- and medium-term plans include incorporating its first assets outside of the Balearic Islands, within Spain, as well as undertaking its first transactions on the international stage. The chain has focused on the Balearic Islands, in particular, said Bernat Vicens, Director General of the chain, speaking to Hosteltur recently, but Fergus Hotels wants to establish a solid and stable presence beyond the Balearic Islands, he added.

Original story: Hosteltur

Translation: Carmel Drake

Four Seasons Arrives In Madrid With Suites Costing €12,000/Night

21 July 2017 – Expansión

At the beginning of 2019, when the 22 luxury homes are completed in the Canalejas Complex, the Four Seasons hotel will also open its doors. It will be the famous Canadian chain’s first establishment in Spain.

The hotel will contain 200 rooms, the smallest of which will have a minimum surface area of 45 m2 (a standard room) and the largest of which will span 400 m2 (the Presidential and Royal suites). “From the start, we were clear that the ideal brand for Madrid was Four Seasons. The city does not have any major luxury hotel operators, whereas Paris and London have 15 or 20”, explained Francisco Meliá, CEO at OHL Desarrollos.

The hotel is being designed by the team at Lamela Arquitectos (which is taking care of the entire project to restore the complex) and the US interior design studio Bamo. “Four Seasons estimate that around 65,000 people per year will visit the hotel”, said Meliá. “The brand did not have any hotels in Spain and so this is a very important milestone for it. In fact, the firm is now looking at other locations in Madrid and Marbella”, he added.

The objective of Four Seasons Canalejas will be to take advantage of the tourism that already comes to Spain, but also to attract a new luxury audience, says Meliá. “Four Seasons has a unique service culture. For example, there will be a ratio of two employees per room. Moreover, the staff receive unique training so that they never have to say no to a client”.

The rooms at the Four Seasons will be the most expensive in Madrid (currently, that record is held by the Villa Magna). “The hotel prices will range from €500 for a single room to €12,000 for a suite, per night.

In addition to the 200 rooms, the hotel will house two restaurants, an indoor swimming pool and a spa. “In the case of the restaurants, the staff serving will be employed by Four Seasons but we are talking with high-profile operators both from Spain and overseas regarding the management of the restaurant, given that the intention is for these restaurants to be set a new benchmark in the city, both for tourists and Madrilenians”, said Meliá.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hotel Chain Riu Ends Up Acquiring Edificio España

2 June 2017 – El Mundo

The soap opera surrounding the sale of Edificio España in Madrid reached its finale yesterday morning, with the completion of a three-way operation, which saw the Chinese Group Wanda official sell the building’s deeds to the hotel chain Riu. The hotel group reached an agreement with Grupo Baraka to acquire 100% of the property and to subsequently undertake the necessary renovation to convert it into the first hotel in Spain to operate under its Riu Plaza brand.

All of the parties met at the notary’s office yesterday morning in Madrid, and once the purchase of the property from Wanda by Grupo Baraka (which held the initial purchase rights) had been formalised, the latter sold the property to Riu Hotels & Resorts. The consideration paid amounted to €272 million, according to the consultancy firm JLL, which has advised the sale.

“Our strategic plans include opening a Riu Plaza hotel in Spain and this opportunity in Madrid, in an unbeatable location and in an iconic building, completely fulfil all of our requirements,” said Carmen and Luis Riu, CEOs of Riu Hoteles. “The operation had been on the cards for several months before the option opened up of Riu acquiring 100% of the building. After analysing that opportunity in detail, we decided that we didn’t want to waste it”, explained the directors.

Trinitario Casanova, President of Grupo Baraka, will take responsibility for leasing the retail space, measuring 15,000 m2, where several department stores will be opened.

The building work could start today

After hearing of the sale, the Councillor for Sustainable Urban Development at the Town Hall of Madrid, José Manuel Calvo, said that the new owner of Edificio España could start the building work to consolidate Edificio España right away. The licence to undertake the structural work was granted on 31 March and its terms are “not affected” by the identity of the building’s owner.

The processing of the permit to open a hotel in the skyscraper will take a bit longer. Sources at the Palacio de Cibeles (the Town Hall) predict that the green light will be given for the construction of the establishment in “the autumn”, given that the municipal technicians and Baraka’s architects have been working together on this project for several months now.

In terms of the retail surface area, which will be housed on the lower floors of the property, in Plaza de España, the presentation of an affidavit is all that is required to start the refurbishment work.

The hotel

The future Hotel Riu Plaza will occupy 24 of the 27 floors in Edificio España, whilst the remainder will be used as retail space. The establishment will have approximately 650 rooms and will be a 4-star property.

The hotel will also have a space measuring more than 1,800 m2 for events, which will include an open plan room measuring 1,500 m2, with 6 m high ceilings, which will become a unique space in the centre of Madrid.

The establishment will also have two restaurants, a rooftop swimming pool, where there will also be a Sky Bar and an additional space for events, spanning more than 900 m2.

Original story: El Mundo (by Luis M. Ciria, Marta Belver and Roberto Bécares)

Translation: Carmel Drake