Pryconsa, Ibosa & Vía Célere Bid for Sought-After Plot in Madrid

7 November 2018 – El Confidencial

It is the most important land auction of the year in Madrid. Not because of its size or its characteristics, but because of its location: just 500 m from the most iconic park in Madrid, the Retiro, in the heart of the Spanish capital.

The star is the Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre (the National Currency and Stamp Factory), which is the owner of almost 4,500 m2 of buildable land, with a buildability of 9,000 m2, where almost one hundred homes may be built, and whose divestment has been entrusted to the services of the Ministry of Finance.

The minimum price that it expects to obtain for the land is €17 million, nevertheless, given its location, and in light of the huge shortage of buildable land in the centre of the Spanish capital, and therefore, of new build developments, the experts consulted by El Confidencial do not rule out that the final figure could reach twice that.

The plot, which has been in disuse for more than 30 years, has sparked enormous interest from buyers and has generated great excitement in the neighbourhood. According to information gathered by this newspaper, some of the interested parties that have participated in the auction – the deadline for the submission of bids ended on 6 November – include a cooperative managed by Grupo Ibosa, Pryconsa and Vía Célere – all of whom are typical players in this type of auction – although the same sources also talk of at least half a dozen offers. To be able to bid, the interested parties had to submit a bond amounting to €853,000 – equivalent to 5% of the asset value.

For the time being, Grupo Ibosa’s plans for the plot include the construction, on a cooperative basis, of 94 homes with between one and four bedrooms with a swimming pool, padel court, spa, and jacuzzi, as well as a multi-use sports pitch, gym, minibox or crossfit room and a Finnish sauna; all those facilities are lacking in the vast majority of developments in the neighbourhood.

In fact, the project that is constructed on this site will be the only new-build development in the area. Ibosa’s plans include prices of almost €5,500/m2 per home, above the prices that are currently being paid in the area in the second-hand market, which stand at around €4,500/m2. Thus, for example, a new-build home measuring 160 m2 would cost around €828,000.

Both Grupo Ibosa and Pryconsa have starred in some of the most high-profile operations in the capital over the last five years. The most recent, for example, was signed by Pryconsa. The property developer chaired by Marco Colomer, one of the survivors of the crisis with more than five decades of history under his belt, submitted the only bid – amounting to €19.7 million – for the former bus depots of the Municipal Transport Company (Empresa Municipal de Transportes or EMT) of Madrid in the Buenvista neighbourhood (Carabanchel). Moreover, just a year ago, Pryconsa and Realia Business were awarded two plots of land in Madrid by the Ministry of Defence.

Meanwhile, Vía Célere, just two years ago, was awarded a plot by the Ministry of Finance on Avenida Santo Ándel de la Guarda (…).

In this case, the bid envelopes will be opened within the next few days at the Madrid office of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Grosvenor Injects Another €15M into its Luxury Home JV with Amprop

29 January 2018 – Eje Prime

Grosvenor is still interested in growing in the Spanish market, hand in hand with its local partner. The British company has injected another €15 million into its Spanish joint venture with the Malayan firm Amcorp Properties Berhad (Amprop), created last year to build luxury apartments in Madrid. Both groups have financial muscle amounting to more than €200 million, which they plan to invest in the construction of new developments in the country.

In this way, Grosvenor and Amprop are continuing with the plans they started last year when they completed the purchase of an 820 m2 plot on Madrid’s golden mile on which to build a luxury residential development. That plot is located on Calle Jorge Juan, one of the most expensive areas to live in the Spanish capital.

The British fund, owner of more than 1,500 properties spread all over the world, transformed its fund Grosvenor Fund Management into Grosvenor Europe, with the aim of undertaking joint investments in key markets in Europe, including Paris, Madrid, Milan and Stockholm.

The alliance signed with Amcorp set itself the objective of backing value-added investments, where it assumes more risk but also receives greater returns. For these types of projects, the two groups have allocated a budget of €70 million.

Seven months after creating this alliance, the partners have closed their first investment, for an undisclosed sum. In this plot, Grosvenor and its partner will construct an exclusive development comprising six apartments and a penthouse with views over the Retiro park.

Grosvenor has not yet determined the price at which it will place these properties on the market although the average price per square metre for prime real estate in the Salamanca neighbourhood amounts to around €8,500. Although, according to the most recent residential reports, some developments are going for more than €9,000.

The purchase of these plots followed the acquisition of two buildings in Madrid in July, which it will transform into new residential and retail spaces (…).

Grosvenor in Spain

In the Spanish market, the fund has been led by Fátima Sáez del Cano since 2007, although it started to operate in the country in 1996. The director manages the fund that specialises in the office business and retail sector, which is also responsible for the management of funds and assets. Some of the properties under Grosvenor’s management in Spain include the Islazul shopping centre in Madrid and the Anecblau complex in Barcelona (…).

Moreover, in recent months, Grosvenor has decided to add new lifeblood into its leadership team with the hiring of new directors. Last September, the group recruited Javier García as the new Technical Director for the Spanish market (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

KCRE Acquires 5,600 m2 Office Building in Madrid

18 December 2017 – KCRE Press Release

Kefren Capital Real Estate (KCRE) has closed the acquisition of an office building located on Calle Juan de Mariana, 15 (Madrid). The property was Grupo Segur Iberica’s headquarters until the company filed for insolvency during the summer. PwC, the receiver administering the liquidation proceedings, awarded the asset to Kefren Capital, as the winner of a competitive bid process.

The building was completed in 1994 and comprises c. 3,600 m2 above ground, spread over 5 floors, and more than 2,000 m2 below ground, including 39 parking spaces. “The building is very flexible – it would be ideal as the headquarters for: a company wanting a central location at a competitive rent; a co-working office in the south of Madrid, very close to the high-speed train; or as a mixed-use building offering the possibility of servicing last-mile logistics thanks to a loading dock at street level” states Pelayo Primo de Rivera, CEO of KCRE.

It is located in the Méndez Álvaro-Delicias district, a consolidated business area home to large companies such as Repsol, Amazon, Gas Natural, Ericsson, CLH and Mahou, with excellent public transport and road connections. The building is just a 15-minute walk from Atocha train station and Parque del Retiro (to the north), and a 5-minute drive to the M-30 ring road (to the south).

Over the last 10-15 years, Méndez Álvaro has benefited greatly from the general gentrification of Madrid’s southern neighbourhoods and the comprehensive supply of services that new office and residential developments have brought with them.

KCRE has been advised by Araoz y Rueda on legal matters and Mace on the technical side. The c/Juan de Mariana 15 office building is the 4th successful value-added transaction that Kefren Capital Real Estate has completed in 2017.

Kefren Capital Real Estate

KCRE is a real estate asset management company created in 2012 by the investment firm Kefren Capital. KCRE offers investors the full range of services required for real estate transactions: sourcing, analysis, financing structuring, deal negotiation and asset management. What differentiates KCRE from other platforms is its ability to co-invest and its investment philosophy – assets are managed from the perspective of the owner and not simply as a third-party manager.

Original story: KCRE Press Release (by Pelayo Primo de Rivera)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Aina Purchases 50% Of Gran Hotel Velázquez From Didra Group

25 July 2017 – Expansión

Aina Hospitality – the fund promoted by Edmond de Rothschild and Jaume Tàpies – has purchased 50% of the iconic Gran Hotel Velázquez from the Didra Group. The property is located at number 62 of the Madrilenian street whose name it bears.

This asset, located in the neighbourhood of Salamanca, just a stone’s throw from the Retiro park and in the heart of Madrid’s golden mile, has been owned by the Didra Group for just a few months. It is currently undergoing a comprehensive renovation with the aim of ascending its category.

Together with the Didra Group, owned by the Ardid Villoslada family, Aina Hospitality will reposition the property, transforming it into a five-star hotel. Last year, the family office owned by the Ardid family reached an agreement with the Salazar family – the former owners of SOS Cuétara – to purchase this hotel for €63 million and now, almost a year later, it has decided to open up the share capital to Aina Hospitality.

At the moment, the four-star Gran Hotel Velázquez, has 143 rooms but it recently closed its doors to undergo a complete refurbishment.

Repositioning

Following its renovation, the hotel will have 111 rooms and suites, a restaurant, a rooftop terrace, cinema, bowling alley, luxury spa and fitness centre.

Tàpies, the CEO of Aina Hospitality, highlighted the excellent location of the hotel: “Madrid is a cultural, historical and leisure destination and it is a tourist and financial centre. This hotel is located in the centre of the city, close to some of the most important tourist attractions and the historical centre”.

The operation represents Aina Hospitality’s seventh investment in Europe and is in line with the investment strategy carried out by the manager to date. Aina Hospitality purchases high-end properties – with four- and five-stars ratings. In addition to Madrid, the fund has recently made acquisitions in Paris, Eindhoven, Vienna, Brussels and Berlin.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

British Groups Invest Heavily In Spain’s RE Sector

9 May 2017 – Expansión

The Grosvenor group is embarking on its first residential project in Spain, developing luxury homes in Madrid. It is following in the footsteps of other compatriot companies such as Intu, Taylor Wimpey and Benson Elliot.

One of the latest real estate companies to show its commitment to Spain has a history that spans 340 years. The firm in question is Grosvenor, the centuries-old British firm, which closed its first investment in the Spanish residential sector about two months ago.

The project chosen by Grosvenor for its arrival in Spain is a luxury residential development on the Golden Mile of Madrid. To this end, Grosvenor, through its subsidiary Grosvenor Europe, completed the purchase of a plot of land measuring around 820 m2, located at number 53 on Calle Jorge Juan, for the development of six exclusive apartments and one penthouse with views over the Retiro Park. (…).

Grosvenor’s operation on Jorge Juan forms part of a joint venture signed by the Asian firm Amcorp in July 2016, whereby it undertook to invest €70 million during the first phase. “We hope to build a significant real estate portfolio in Spain during 2017”, said sources at the British group, which was founded in 1677 by Sir Thomas Grosvenor, and which is nowadays one of the largest landowners in the United Kingdom.

In light of this commitment to Spain, Grosvenor, which has four divisions through which it operates in Europe, Asia, America and the United Kingdom, has strengthened its office in Madrid, led by Fátima Sáez del Cano, by hiring Miguel Silmi, who formerly served in interim roles at firms such as Altamira, owned by Banco Santander. (…).

Investment

Grosvenor’s commitment to Spain is not a unique case amongst the large British groups. “Investors from the United Kingdom have always liked the Spanish real estate market and they have invested throughout the economic cycle. For example, Heron International, which is known today for the shopping centres that it built in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, used to hold a significant portfolio of office buildings in Madrid, in the 1990s”, said Javier García-Mateo, Partner in Financial Advisory at Deloitte. (…).

Meanwhile, Benson Elliot has been present since 2011. That fund has just closed the purchase of the Hotel Silken Diagonal, together with the joint venture between Walton Street and Highgate. Previously, BE had purchased two other assets in Barcelona, which it has now sold. “Another British firm, London Regional, has purchased hotels and offices in Spain and has also taken advantage of the cycle to sell them at a profit”, said Rafael Bou, Partner in Real Estate at PwC.

“Having invested more than €2,147 million since 2011, British funds are the second most significant international investor in the Spanish real estate market, after the United States (…)”, according to Savills. During the first quarter of 2017, British firms have already made real estate purchases amounting to €550 million, according to Deloitte.

One example of this commitment is the return of British Land to Spain, which last year purchased the Nueva Condomina shopping centre in Murcia, and the more than €120 million that has been invested by the UK & European Investment group in operations in Madrid, Barcelona and Marbella. (…).

In addition to real estate companies and investment funds, some of the large British insurance companies are also placing their focus on the Spanish real estate sector, such as the case of Prudential and Aviva, which just closed the purchase of the Tormes shopping centre in Salamanca.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Grosvenor & Amprop To Sell Luxury Homes In Madrid

20 February 2017 – Expansión

The company Grosvenor Europe, owned by the British real estate conglomerate Grosvenor, has agreed to acquire a plot of land, measuring 820 m2, on Calle Jorge Juan in Madrid, in one of the most exclusive and expensive residential areas of the city.

The operation forms part of the investment plan that Grosvenor signed last summer with the company Amprop, which is listed on the Malaysian stock exchange and which operates in the real estate, renewable energy and public construction sectors.

At that time, the real estate group, which owns more than 1,500 properties all over the world, transformed its fund Grosvenor Fund Management into Grosvenor Europe, with the aim of undertaking co-investment projects in high profile markets in Europe, such as Paris, Madrid, Milan and Stockholm.

Seven months after creating this alliance, the partners have completed their first investment, for an undisclosed sum. Grosvenor and its partner will promote an exclusive development on this plot, comprising six apartments measuring 180 m2 each, and a penthouse with views of the Retiro park. The average price per m2 of prime products in the neighbourhood of Salamanca amounts to around €8,500/m2, but some developments average more than €9,000/m2, according to the latest residential reports.

The aim is to close another two operations within the next few months. “We are studying several opportunities for residential development and value added products in the centre of Madrid. We hope to build our portfolio in a very strong way in 2017”, say sources at the group.

Original story: Expansión (by R.Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Mapfre Buys Historic Building In Puerta de Alcalá For €80M

11 June 2015 – Cinco Días

Mapfre has acquired a beautiful trophy. It has taken ownership of a historic building next to the Retiro Park, in the Puerta de Alcalá, which has one of the best views in Madrid and of the historic park.

The insurance company has acquired the building located at number 6, Plaza de la Independencia for €80 million. It was auctioned by the Mutualidad de Notarios.

The building contains approximately 12,000 m2 of office space, spread across eight floors, and also houses retail premises.

The Mutualidad Notarial acquired the building more than 20 years ago.

Original story: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake

Spain property: Madrid waits for the signal to ‘go’

27 April 2015 – Financial Times

Is the influx of Latin American buyers a sign the capital has turned a corner?

Over the past decade and a half, making even a modest investment in Madrid’s housing market has been a bit like taking a rollercoaster ride. Since the market reached its peak in early 2008, average house prices in Spain have dropped by 35 to 40 per cent, according to a report issued in March by the Spanish Savings Banks Foundation, known by its acronym Funcas. New developments on the outskirts of Madrid have been some of the hardest hit.

Other figures suggest an even greater drop in values: also in March, the Spanish property portal Fotocasa.es calculated that the average home in Spain has lost 45 per cent of its value since the peak of the Spanish housing boom, with values in Madrid (a 44.6 per cent drop) representative, more or less, of Spain as a whole.

But both Funcas and Fotocasa.es report glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel: Fotocasa.es recorded a 1 per cent increase in home prices in Madrid in February, while Funcas says that the Spanish housing market is now in an “incipient, gradual recovery”.

As in Barcelona and the Balearic Islands, where small price rises have also been recorded in recent months, overseas buyers are helping to create a mild sense of optimism.

In Madrid, the most enthusiastic foreign homebuyers are heading from across the Atlantic, rather than Europe, according to Alberto Costillo, prime residential director at Knight Frank Spain. A “perfect storm” is bringing a new wave of wealthy Latin American house-hunters to Madrid, particularly from Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela.

“Madrid has advantages of culture and language, and Latin American buyers have long thought of Madrid as a safe haven. But with an improving Spanish economy, and the recent fall in the value of the euro [Latin Americans are more likely to have savings in dollars than euros], they see now see a real opportunity here,” says Costillo.

With its pretty boating lake and rows of statues, many wealthy foreign buyers look to purchase property near the city’s celebrated Retiro Park.

In the grid-like Salamanca district adjacent to Retiro Park, Knight Frank is selling a three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with 187 sq metres of living space, parquet floors and air conditioning in a building dating from the early 20th century for €1.47m.

In the well-heeled neighbourhood of El Viso, part of the Chamartín district north of the city centre, a 402 sq metre duplex apartment with four en suite bedrooms and a txoko — a combined cooking and dining space more commonly found in homes in the Basque Country — has an asking price of €4m. On sale through the agency Rimontgó, the unit has three parking spaces and the building has a pool and a gym for residents’ use.

“[El Viso is] quiet and exclusive, but also well-connected with the rest of the city and within easy reach of the downtown,” says José Ribes, director-general of the agency handling the sale. “This is a part of town most associated with aristocrats and intellectuals, but in recent years it has attracted people working in the financial sector, politicians and sportsmen.”

Salamanca and Chamartín are home to many of Madrid’s best restaurants. The capital has 12 Michelin-starred restaurants, compared with 23 in Barcelona. But Madrid is the only one of the two cities with a three-star restaurant — David Muñoz’s DiverXO, where dishes are called “canvases” and diners are asked to arrive “with an open mind”.

Central districts of Madrid are densely populated, but some of the city’s satellite communities, particularly to the northwest, offer more leg room for buyers. In Pozuelo de Alarcón, nestling among pine trees and benefiting from cool breezes from the nearby Sierra de Guadarrama mountains, a gated housing estate called La Finca is home to some of the capital’s wealthiest residents, including footballers from Real Madrid such as Cristiano Ronaldo.

Typical of the sprawling, cubist-style homes at La Finca is a five-bedroom, seven-bathroom house with almost 2,000 sq metres of living space. The property has a two-bedroom housekeeper’s apartment, a lift, indoor and outdoor pools, a gym, a sauna, a cinema, a wine cellar and a carport for six vehicles. On sale through La Finca Real Estate for €11m, the house stands on a plot of just over a hectare. However, according to one estate agent who prefers to remain anonymous, potential buyers are sometimes put off La Finca “because of its reputation as a playground for soccer stars”.

On Calle de Serrano, a broad, tree-lined avenue in the Salamanca district which is sometimes referred to as Madrid’s golden mile for its high-end shopping, there are few signs of the economic downturn, dubbed la crisis in Spain. However, the recession has hit some of the city’s public infrastructure.

Guillermo Bernardo, a former banker with two young daughters who now runs his own cabinet-making business, points to cutbacks in the maintenance of neighbourhood parks and gardens. “The Retiro is Madrid’s calling card, and it’s immaculate, but there is less money these days to clean and repair local playgrounds,” he says. “The perception that most people have is that the state of the economy hasn’t changed a lot but we may be about to turn a corner. Nothing is forever, not even la crisis”.

Buying guide

● Buyers should budget 6 per cent of the sale price to cover land registry taxes

● Estate agents typically charge vendors a commission of 3 to 5 per cent

● Madrid has the third largest metropolitan area in the EU by population size

● Units in a building without a lift are unpopular and may be difficult to resell

● Madrid has hot, dry summers and cool, usually sunny, winters

● Violent crime is rare but pickpocketing and bag snatching can be a problem

What you can buy for . . .

€500,000 A modern, 90 sq metre flat with two bedrooms in the Chamartín district of Madrid

€1m A 140 sq metre, three-bedroom apartment in the Salamanca district, within walking distance of Retiro Park

€5m A seven-bedroom house in El Viso with an outdoor pool on a plot measuring 1,000 sq metres

Original story: Financial Times (by Nick Foster)

Edited by: Carmel Drake