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

Habitat Buys 2 Plots of Land in Sevilla on which to Build 330 Homes

21 December 2018 – El Mundo

Habitat Inmobiliaria has announced the purchase of two plots of land, spanning almost 10,000 m2 in Sevilla, on which it is going to build more than 330 homes.

The property developer is going to invest more than €50 million in the development of the homes and the plot will have a buildable surface area of around 32,000 m2. The project is located fifteen minutes from the centre of the city and ten minutes from the airport, in the Sevilla Este neighbourhood, near to the Conference and Exhibition Centre. It is considered to be an area with high demand for housing and it is equipped with a full range of services.

With this new project, Habitat is now working on three developments in the Sevillan capital, which forms part of its strategic plan through which it plans to deliver more than 2,000 homes over the coming years. For this, the company’s roadmap is committed to an investment of around €120 million by the end of 2019 and of €500 million by the end of 2021.

Original story: El Mundo 

Translation: Carmel Drake

CPPIB Puts Valencia’s Largest Hall of Residence Up For Sale

25 April 2018 – El Economista

The Canadian pension fund CPPIB is going to take advantage of the investor appetite that currently exists for student halls of residence by placing the “For Sale” sign up over one of its assets in Spain. Galileo Galilei is the largest accommodation block for students in Valencia and one of the largest in the country, according to confirmation from several sources speaking to this newspaper.

With more than 500 beds, the asset will come onto the market during the course of the next month, given that its owner has entrusted the sales process to the international consultancy firm Savills, which declined to comment.

Currently, this hall of residence, which is the only one located on the campus of the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, forms part of the Liberty Living portfolio, one of the largest managers of student halls of residence in the United Kingdom. CPPIB acquired the British group in March 2015 for GBP 1.1 billion (around €1.2 billion) and continued to grow its portfolio.

In December 2016, CPPIB closed an important operation with Blackstone, which divested a portfolio of 13 student halls, located in the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain, which included Galileo Galilei. For that package, comprising 6,484 beds, the pension fund paid around GBP 460 million (€536 million) to the US firm.

Almost a year and a half later and with the sector in Spain in full boom, CPPIB has decided to put this property on the market in an operation that, according to the experts, could amount to €32 million.

Galileo Galilei currently has 520 beds spread across individual, double and triple rooms, which range in price from €515/month to €846/month. That figure includes all consumption, restaurant services, doctors, cleaning and sports activities.

In addition, the hall of residence offers supplementary services such as laundry, sheet and towel changes, a university support academy for all subjects, IT and nutritional advice, amongst others. Moreover, on the ground floor, the property houses a shopping arcade with restaurants and cafeterias offering special prices for students and various local shops such as a beauty salon, a hairdresser, a print shop, a travel agent, a newsagent, a driving school and a language academy.

With these features and its high occupancy rate, Galileo Galilei is expected to arouse significant interest amongst investors looking to gain positions in the alternative asset market in Spain in the main university cities, such as the case of Valencia. “Since 2016, the city has appeared in the Top 100 ranking of the QS Best Student Cities, which highlights the best cities in the world for students. It is also one of the most sought-after locations by European students participating in the Erasmus program,” says Patricio Palomar, Senior Investment Consultant at Aire Partners.

In fact, the expert highlights the growth potential of the supply in this market, which in its metropolitan area “has around 165,000 students matriculated, a mobility rate of approximately 29% and just 4,123 beds in colleges and halls of residence, which results in a supply rate that falls below the Spanish average”, Moreover, Palomar points out that “the process of economic recovery currently being seen in this area is expected to lead to an increase in demand from domestic and international students alike, and this situation of imbalance may be accentuated even further”.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

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

Oion Moves HQ To ‘Cesáreo Alierta’ Building In Zaragoza

20 April 2017 – CBRE Noticias

The reactivation of the economy, experienced over the last few months, has led to an increase in demand for high-quality assets, with certain companies now looking for new locations in order to improve the profile of their headquarters, as well as better facilities that are adapted to suit their current requirements.

Proof of this includes the latest move by the company Oion Servicios Jurídicos y Financieros, which specialises in providing services to companies in the administrative management and statistical computer analysis fields. Oion has decided to relocate its offices to the Cesáreo Alierta Building, 9-11, in Zaragoza (…), where it will occupy a total surface area of 3,040m2, spread over the ground and first floors of the property, which has one of the largest floor surface areas in the Aragonese capital. (…).

Other examples of office moves include Aerolínea Aragonesa Air Horizont’s transfer to the historical El Águila building on Calle Alfonso, number 3, in an operation advised by CBRE, where it will occupy the 5th and 6th floors. The property is situated in one of the most exclusive and representatives locations of Zaragoza and is equipped with some extraordinary facilities. Meanwhile, Grupo BC is going to relocate to the Aida Office Building, whose current occupancy rate exceeds 80%, thanks in part, to the refurbishment of its space and to the provision of more services within its facilities.

“At CBRE, we are observing a better positioning of offices that have recently undergone renovations or refurbishment work, to adapt them to the needs of companies. They are the ones that end up enjoying higher occupancy rates and higher rents. Proof of this is that demand for office space in the New Business Areas now accounts for 30% (of total demand) compared with 10% in 2014, versus the decline in the Centre, which has gone from accounting for 75% to 45%. These recent operations have contributed to reducing the availability rate below 20%, a figure not seen since 2008”, says Alicia Noguera, Head of Offices at CBRE Zaragoza.

The improvement in the market during the first quarter is clear, with around 4,000 m2 of space already leased out, compared with a total of 8,000 m2 during the whole of 2016. This takes the projections for the full year 2017 to more than 10,000 m2, which would represent a historical figure, although still well below other similar domestic markets, by size of stock, such as Valencia. (…).

Original story: CBRE Noticias

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sambil Outlet Opens Largest Shopping Outlet In Spain

27 March 2017 – Observatorio Inmobiliario

The Sambil Outlet Madrid was inaugurated on Thursday (23 March), it is a new shopping centre concept that combines fashion outlets with restaurants, leisure and other services. With a gross leasable area (GLA) of 43,500 m2, it is the largest outlet centre in Spain and the first European project undertaken by the Venezuelan group Sambil.

According to its developers, the total investment in the shopping centre amounted to €59 million and at the time of opening, it has an occupancy rate of 85% of the GLA. It contains 130 retail premises in total and has 2,400 parking spaces. There are plans to open charging points for electrical vehicles. Sambil Outlet Madrid will create almost 2,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Ricardo and Alfredo Cohen, Directors of the Sambil Group, participated in the inauguration ceremony. They stated that “our commitment to this market is serious and we will soon be exploring new avenues for investment in this country”.

Other attendees at the inauguration of the new centre included Javier Ruiz Santiago, Deputy Minister for the Economy and Innovation, María José Pérez-Cejuela, Director General of Trade and Consumer Affairs, both from the government of the Community of Madrid; Santiago Llorente, Mayor of Leganés; and a large number of councillors from the municipal corporation. Ricardo Fontana, Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of Venezuela, also attended, along with representatives of the country’s main retailers.

The fashion space, which accounts for 51% of the total surface area, is home to brands such as Outlet from El Corte Inglés, For & From (Inditex group), Fifty Factory (Cortefiel group) and the Outlet Sport (Intersport group), amongst others.

The food area will house the largest Simply Hypermarket in the Community of Madrid. The leisure space will include a 12-screen Odeon cinema and the largest wind tunnel in Europe, the Hurricane Factory, which will open within the next few weeks. The restaurant section will include a Burger King, Foster’s Hollywood and Grupo Vips restaurants, amongst others. There will also be an area dedicated to services.

Original story: Observatorio Inmobiliario

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lindorff & Aktua Integrate Their Management & Services Teams

25 January 2017 – El Economista

Lindorff España and Aktua have announced that they are going to unify their management and services teams, although both companies will continue to operate as independent legal entities and will retain their respective Boards of Directors, with the aim of consolidating the leadership position of both companies in their sector in Spain.

The current CEO of Lindorff España, Alejandro Zurbano, will be responsible for leading the organisation, together with the management and services of Aktua and Lindorff España, and so will become the CEO of the Lindorff Group’s entire business in Spain.

Meanwhile, Enrique Dancausa will be the group’s new Head of Real Estate Services at the global level. In this way, he will be responsible for developing the Lindorff Group’s strategy at the international level in the area of real state asset management.

The CEO of the Lindorff Group, Klaus-Anders Nysteen, has identified Spain as “an important growth market” for the company and has assured that, thanks to the union between Lindorff España and Aktua, the group will add the management of real estate assets to its global strategy, “a complete and new business area”, which will become “a fundamental part” of its business.

Following the acquisition of Aktua by Lindorff in June 2016, Banco Santander now holds 15% of the company’s shares; no changes in the ownership structure are forecast for the near future.

With the integration of both teams, Lindorff is seeking to: strengthen and consolidate its leadership position in Spain; give coverage to the full credit cycle; and offer comprehensive solutions for the recovery of debt and management of assets.

In terms of the merger between Lindorff and Intrum Justitia announced in November, the company has confirmed that it is planning to close that operation during the second quarter of 2017.

Original story: El Economista

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sareb Sells 14,400m2 Plot Of Land In Madrid To Insur

12 December 2016 – La Opinión De Málaga

Sareb has sold a plot of land in Madrid measuring 14,400 m2 to the Andalucian real estate company Grupo Insur for the construction of a business park. The land is located on Paseo de los Melancólicos, close to the Manzanares River and inside the M-30 ring-road. With a buildable surface area of almost 27,000 m2, the plot has the capacity to house nine above ground floors, plus several underground parking floors, according to Sareb.

The operation, which has been conducted through Solvia, one of Sareb’s property managers, generates value from an asset located in an sought-after area, following the renovation of the Manzanares riverbank thanks to the Madrid Río operation.

“This asset is located next to the plots of land that form part of the Mahou-Calderón operation and is close to the Palacio de Oriente. It is well connected and is surrounded by an established urban network, which offers a wide variety of shops and services. The current sale comes in the context of the reactivation of the office segment, driven by a notable decrease in the availability of such assets, in particular in the primary markets of Madrid and Barcelona”, said the company. During the first six months of 2016, Sareb sold 625 plots of land across Spain, from both its own portfolio as well as from the balance sheets of its debtors. Most of these operations were closed in: Community of Valencia, Cataluña, Murcia and Andalucía.

Overall, during the first six months of the year, Sareb sold 5,590 properties (residential assets, land and tertiary properties) and recorded revenues of almost €1,400 million. 52.4% of those revenues were generated from the management of its loans and the remainder from the sale of both properties (26%) and loans (almost 20%).

Original story: La Opinión De Málaga

Translation: Carmel Drake

Office Rents In Madrid & Barcelona Are Still Very Competitive

19 September 2016 – Expansión

London: €116.25/sqm – and up to €198/sqm in the West End -. Dublín: €64/sqm. Frankfurt: €45/sqm. Madrid: €34.5/sqm. Barcelona: €28.5/sqm.

Spain’s two largest cities still have the lowest office rental costs in Europe. But, how are these costs calculated and why are Madrid and Barcelona still the most attractive cities in this sense?

A study prepared by the real estate consultancy Knight Frank compares average rents for prime offices, along with occupancy costs, which include amongst other items, taxes, services and establishment costs that companies deciding to open offices in these cities must incur.

For Raúl Vicente, Director of the Office Agency at Knight Frank, “if we compare our markets with those of our European counterparts, then the office markets in both Madrid and Barcelona are still more attractive in terms of costs”.

Moreover, the available supply is also greater and we are currently at a low point in terms of the rental cycle”. The Madrilenian market is proving to be particularly active and the sector may still generate lots of good news between now and the end of the year. Madrid leads the ranking of cities with the greatest potential for rental growth, followed by Amsterdam, Barcelona, Budapest, Lisbon, Milán, Paris and Stockholm.

Average rents have increased in some of these cities, including Madrid, but the price level is still a long way below that of other capitals such as London, where costs soar. The occupancy rate has grown in the Spanish capital by just 1% during the first half of the year and it is noteworthy that no major operations have been signed – i.e. those involving leases for more than 10,000 sqm of space – during the first six months of the year.

Despite everything, the real estate consultants are optimistic and they expect the Madrilenian office market to experience a better second half of the year. Madrid’s capacity to attract businesses is one of the variables that will help this improvement.

Original story: Expansión (by E. Viaña)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Unemployment Rose Slightly In August As Tourism Boom Waned

5 August 2016 – Reuters

Spanish unemployment rose for the first time in five months in August, coinciding with the tail-end of a bumper tourism season, however, the underlying pattern suggests that a long but gradual recovery in the labor market remains on track.

A record summer for tourist arrivals has helped the economy shrug off a prolonged period of political uncertainty and, seasonally-adjusted, the number of people registered as jobless fell by 24,462 people in August, according to Labour Ministry data on Friday.

But compared with July, the jobless number rose by 0.39%, or 14,435 people, leaving 3.7 million out of work.

Increases in unemployment are common in Spain in August, as factories reduce activity in what is the peak holiday season and many private sector teachers fall off the social security registers that track job creation in the lull that precedes the start of the new school term.

Hotels and restaurants, meanwhile, continued to create jobs last month though the services sector as a whole laid off staff, the ministry said.

With the bumper summer for tourism drawing to a close, Spain faces a fresh challenge to keep its economic recovery on track as one of the major drivers of growth and employment wanes.

Two inconclusive elections in the past eight months have left the country unable to form a new government amid a stand-off between parties on the right and left, and the impasse may start to weigh more heavily on the turnaround if it drags on, acting Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said this week.

Later on Friday, Conservative acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy faces a second confidence vote in parliament for a second term in office. If he loses, as expected, the countdown would be triggered to a likely third election in December.

A gradual recovery in Spain’s jobs market, which collapsed in 2008 when a real estate bubble burst and the economy sank into a long recession, has so far underpinned a consumer spending rebound.

That in turn has helped economic growth stay robust in the first two quarters of the year, meaning Spain can ill afford any slowdown in job creation.

Compared to August last year, there were just over 519,000 more people in work, up 3%, the ministry said.

But on a month-on-month basis, nearly 145,000 fewer people were registered as working, the biggest drop between July and August since 2008.

Original story: Reuters (by Sarah White)

Edited by: Carmel Drake