KKH Capital Buys ‘Art Montfalcó’ Building In Barcelona For €24M

13 November 2017 – Eje Prime

New investment operation in the heart of Barcelona. In the midst of the political uncertainty, the real estate market is remaining active. The group KKH Capital has just acquired the Art Montfalcó building, located in the heart of the historical centre of Barcelona, for almost €24 million, according to market sources. The investment fund Medcap Real Estate and the real estate group Castmor had also submitted bids for the property.

The KKH Group has acquired the property through its parent company. Moreover, the company also operates in the real estate sector through KKH Property, a joint venture formed by KKH Capital, the investment group controlled by the former CEO of Renta Corporación, Josep María Farré, and Perella Weinberg, which participates in the partnership through one of its opportunistic funds.

The building, baptised as Palau Castañer in 1906, has been sold by the Güell family; it is currently leased to the Art Montfalcó souvenir shop. The surface area of the property is 2,000 m2. According to the same sources, the objective of KKH Capital is to renovate the retail premises and negotiate with a new operator (…).

KKH Capital, which specialises above all in residential assets, will add this property to its portfolio. The group, through KKH Property, has been acquiring assets over the last few years, including some as iconic as the Deutsche Bank tower in Barcelona, located at number 111 Paseo de Gràcia, which it bought from three Andorran families (the Reigs, the Ribas and the Cerquedas) for €90 million.

After negotiating with the hotel chain Four Seasons, the group has leased that building (the Deutsche Bank tower) to Seat. In total, it will comprise 2,600 m2 spread over four floors: a basement, ground floor and two upper floors. The store will not be a typical concession, but rather is looking to become a point of reference for the city. It will include a gastronomic space and a coworking area, whose features have not yet been defined.

The establishment will open at the end of 2018. KKR will undertake a major renovation of the building, for which it will engage the architecture firm OAB, led by Carlos Ferrater, author of the Olympic Village in Barcelona and the Catalunyan Palau de Congressos, amongst others.

One of its other most recent acquisitions is the Monte de Piedad building, located in Madrid. In that case, the group reached an agreement with the Fundación Montemadrid at the end of last year to buy the property for around €80 million. KKH’s plans for that property involve converting the asset into a luxury hotel.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Custodio Pareja)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Fedex Opens Large Warehouse In ZAL Port de Barcelona

13 October 2017 – Mis Naves

Fedex is an express parcel delivery service that is most certainly backing the Spanish market. The company has just announced the opening of a large warehouse inside the ZAL Port de Barcelona.

The new facilities span a surface area of almost 17,000 m2 and used to house the Seat vehicle factory. Specifically, the site has a surface area of 16,905 m2, of which 14,505 m2 is used as a warehouse and 2,400 m2 is office space.

These facilities are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, including integrated weight and volume recording systems that provide 360º images of all of the faces of the shipped goods, whereby increasing their traceability; they also have a state-of-the-art automated cross belt sorting system (sorter) with the capacity to process up to 10,000 packages per hour, which makes this Fedex’s most technologically advanced centre in Spain.

Fedex’s turnover in Spain now exceeds €90 million, with a workforce of almost 200 workers.

Original story: Mis Naves

Translation: Carmel Drake

Global Brands Colonise The Centre Of Barcelona

13 September 2017 – El País

(…). Demand from major operators, such as Zara, Uniqlo, H&M and even Seat, for flagship stores in city centres is boosting investment in these types of high-street establishments. According to a study by the real estate consultancy JLL, such investment amounted to €402 million across Spain during the first quarter of 2017

Examples of flagship stores (…) are found in the centre of Spain’s major cities. One of the most paradigmatic is Primark’s store, which occupies more than 7,000 m2 on La Gran Vía in Madrid (..). Flagship stores are essentially an image, a tourist attraction, where the entire collection of a company is presented and where consumers can also do online shopping and collect orders. It is also very typical for brands to make presentations and hold events at their stores.

In Barcelona, the H&M, Zara and Massimo Dutti stores on Paseo de Gracia, and the large store in the Born neighbourhood where the sunglasses brand Etnia took up residence this year, are examples of the presence of flagship stores in the Catalan capital. On 20 September, Uniqlo, the Japanese competitor of Inditex, will open a large store, also on Paseo de Gracia. But the interest in these types of establishments is not limited to the world of fashion. Companies such as Seat, Ikea and Leroy Merlin, and even large banking institutions, have all expressed their interest in raising their profiles on the main commercial thoroughfares.

“It is the way the brands have of positioning themselves in the market”, explains Daniel Jiménez, Director of Retail at the real estate consultancy Aguirre Newman. Jiménez says that there is a great deal of demand for these types of premises, and that the brands do not settle for any old shop: they want open-plan spaces, in good locations with attractive architectural features.

The effect on local trade

The main streets where the demand is being concentrated in Barcelona are Paseo de Gracia and Portal del Ángel, the most expensive high street in Spain, where prices amount to €3,360/m2, according to a report from Acotex. “The brands fight for premises, whilst the buyers, normally international investment funds, obtain a return of between 3.5% and 3.75% in Barcelona”, says Jiménez.

The emergence of large stores, through which the major international brands demonstrate their power, certainly has an effect on local businesses. The first and most obvious impact is the rise in rental prices. Joan Carles Calbet, President of Comertia and RetailCat, the new association of Catalan traders, celebrates the fact that increasingly more people want to invest in Barcelona. “But these types of stores distort the equilibrium of the city, because they (the large players) can afford to pay a lot more than local businesses, which leads to very high inflation”, says Calbet.

“We risk losing local businesses, which define the character of the city”, adds the President of RetailCat, an association that represents almost 30,000 local businesses (…).

Original story: El País (by Josep Catà)

Translation: Carmel Drake