Villar Mir Puts ‘Torre Espacio’ On The Market For €700M

30 June 2015 – Expansión

A new mega real estate transaction is taking shape in Spain, involving ‘Torre Espacio’ – the 236 metre tall skyscraper that the Villar Mir Group owns in the Cuatro Torres Business Area, in Madrid.

The Villar Mir Group, owner of the OHL construction company and the Espacio real estate company, has just put one of the most iconic buildings in the capital up for sale. According to sources close to the process, the property, which contains 60,140 m2 of office space, has an asking price of between €650 million and €700 million.

Villar Mir’s decision to sell the building, through a process organised by the consultancy Aguirre Newman, comes barely a month after the company was awarded the plot of land adjoining the Cuatro Torres, where it will construct a new skyscraper.

The sale of Torre Espacio, which opened in 2007, will generate significant capital gains for the company owned by Juan Miguel Villar Mir, which invested €400 million to buy the site and construct the building. That amount includes the €187 million it paid to purchase the land, as well as all of the financial expenses incurred during the construction period.

Torre Espacio, which was the first of the four buildings in the complex to open, has an occupancy ratio of 85%. Its tenants include the Villar Mir Group, some of its subsidiaries (Fertiberia, Ferroatlántica and Espacio), as well as the embassies of the UK, Netherlands, Canada and Australia.

According to initial calculations, when the tower is fully leased, it will generate annual income of €28 million.

Original source: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Villar Mir Will Build A New Skyscraper On La Castellana

30 April 2015 – Expansión

Through his real estate subsidiary Espacio, the businessman Juan Miguel Villar Mir has been awarded the plot of land behind the Cuatro Torres complex in Madrid, where he will build a private hospital and a shopping area.

There will soon been a fifth skyscraper in the complex known, until now, as the Cuatro Torres Business Area, on the Paseo de la Castellana, in Madrid. Yesterday, the Town Hall of Madrid announced that it was awarding the plot of land located behind the complex, to the real estate company Espacio, owned by the businessman Juan Miguel Villar Mir.

Espacio will construct a private hospital with a shopping area on this land. The businessman, who also owns the construction company OHL and who is the primary shareholder of Colonial, has won the award process for this plot of land, where the Town Hall of Madrid was originally going to build the International Convention Centre, before it was forced to suspend its plans in 2010, due to a lack of funding.

At the end of 2014, Ana Botella’s Government decided to seek an alternative plan for this plot of land and it organised a bid in which it asked for participants to offer an annual fee of €1.935 million for the right to use the plot of land. Four bids were submitted but only two were admitted since one did not exceed the (minimum) required fee and the other was ruled out for formal reasons.

One of the two projects that made the cut was led by the property company Hispania, which presented its bid jointly with Ferrovial, and committed itself to paying €2.6 million (per year). Villar Mir, meanwhile, offered to pay €4 million per year for the next 75 years.

The land situated just behind the existing Cuatro Torres has a surface area of 33,325 square metres and a buildable area of 70,000 square metres. In this space, to which a green area measuring 33,647 square metres will be added, the winning bidder will have to allocate 53,500 square metres for public use; the remaining 16,500 square metres may be destined for commercial use.

Villar Mir’s proposal is to construct a skyscraper, which will be similar to the other towers in terms of height and which will house a hospital. “The building will be as tall as the neighbouring towers and will house health services, and the top floors will be occupied by scientific companies linked to the health sector”.

Moreover, next to the skyscrapers, Espacio will create another, low-level building, which will be used to provide recreational and commercial services for the new skyscraper and the four existing ones, which mainly house offices. “Most of the construction will be horizontal, built in a north-south direction, over the entire floor of the structure that has already been constructed and designed based on landscaped terraces, which will descend from the high public square down to the pedestrian access, which is reached from the plot classified as a green area”, said (a representative from) the project.

In addition, the new skyscraper will be connected to the four that have already been constructed – which all have direct access from the Castellana – through a landscaped pedestrian zone.

In total, Villar Mir will invest €500 million in the project, including both the full (canon) payment and the construction work. Of this amount, €134.06 million will be spent on the building and development of the plot.

This project comes in addition to the plan to lengthen the Paseo de la Castellana by 3.7km to the north on land that Renfe and Adif own in the area.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Villar Mir Will Construct A Skyscraper Close To Cuatro Torres

20 April 2015 – Expansión

Project / The owner of OHL and Espacio is going to invest €500 million on the construction of a building behind the Castellana complex in Madrid, which will house a hospital and a shopping centre.

The businessman Juan Miguel Villar Mir (pictured above) is going to promote a new large real estate project in Madrid. The business man, who is in the middle of the construction of a hotel, residential and commercial complex in Canalejas, in the centre of the capital, through his group Villar Mir, has submitted the best offer for the plot of land located just behind the Cuatro Torres Business Area complex.

The land, which has a surface area of 33,325 square metres and a buildable surface area of 70,000 square meters, was originally going house a convention centre. However, in 2010, the Town Hall of Madrid halted the project, despite having already commenced the construction work, due to a lack of funds and, at the end of 2014, it decided to seek an alternative plan. In March, the Government of Ana Botella received several offers – four to be specific.

Other offers

In the end, Grupo Villar Mar has been named as the winner of the tender process, at the expense of the proposal submitted by the Socimi Hispania, which participated with Ferrovial.

Villar Mir made the highest bid, since the group that owns the construction company OHL and the real estate firm Espacio will pay an annual fee of €4 million for the concession, which grants the right to use the plot of land for a period of 75 years. The town hall requested that the winning bidder pay an annual fee of at least €1.935 million. The other bid that was accepted, led by Hispania, offered to pay €2.6 million per year for the plot of land. A third proposal, submitted by Axa, was declared inadmissable due to formal defects and a fourth bid did not meet the minimum fee demanded by the Town Hall, according to sources close to the process.

Villar Mir’s proposal includes a hospital and a shopping centre. The Town Hall of Madrid demanded that around 53,000 square metres of the 70,000 square metres available would be allocated for public use, which will be the hospital area. The remainder, around 17,500 square meters will be turned into a shopping cenetre to provide services for the area.

Villar Mir will place the entire buildable area in a single building, which may have up to 35 floors, similar to Torre Picasso, which is 156 metres tall, compared with the 250 metre high Torre Foster and Torre de Cristal, located next to the future property. “It will be an iconic building”, say sources close to the process.

The company expects to invest €500 million the project, including construction costs, which will amount to around €200 million and the payment of the concession, which will amount to €300 million in total. Villar Mir is negotiating with several hospital groups that already operate in Madrid to become their landlord, although its negotiations with one player in particular are more advanced than with others, explain the same sources.

Currently, the Cuatro Torres complex, located at number 259 Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid, has four skyscrapers: Torre Foster, owned by Bankia and leased to Cepsa; Torre PwC, owned by Testa; Torre de Cristal, owned by Mutua Madrileña; and Torre Espacio, owned by the real estate arm of the Villar Mir group.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Wanda’s Plans For Edificio España Get Green Light

30 January 2015 – Expansión

Yesterday, the Governing Board of the Community of Madrid gave the green light to the refurbishment of the Edificio España, owned by the Chinese group Wanda, controlled by the magnate Wang Jianlin.

The businessman, who also owns 20% of the football club Atlético de Madrid, will invest €114 million in the renovation of the property, located in Madrid’s Plaza de España, which it purchased from the Santander Group for €265 million. Inside the Madrid skyscraper, he will create a luxury hotel, more than 300 homes and a retail space, which he plans to expand to 15,000 sqm.

The permission to refurbish the Edificio España has been granted in parallel to the negotiations that the Wanda Group’s team is conducting with the Madrid and central Governments to create a macro-complex on the site of the old barracks in Campamento, in Madrid.

To this end, the Secretary of State for Defence, Pedro Argüelles, met yesterday with the CEO of the Wanda Group, Laurent Fischler, to discuss the purchase of that land, which covers around 200 hectares, and where Jianlin plans to invest €3,000 million in the development of a residential, housing and leisure complex.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Repsol Courts HQ Sale To Finance Talisman Purchase

20 January 2015 – Expansión

Sale & Leaseback Transaction / The energy company is open to offers as it looks to sell its HQ property and continue as the long term tenant. Thus, begins another divestment plan to obtain financing of more than €800 million.

Repsol is exploring options for the monetisation of its new headquarters, a brand-new cutting edge property in the centre of Madrid, which opened a year ago and which has become the company’s flagship.

The energy company is sounding out the real estate market for offers, as it looks to sell the building and continue as the tenant under a long-term lease contract that would be reversible, i.e. a contract that would allow Repsol to repurchase the building at the end of its term. Such agreements, known as sale and leaseback agreements, have become popular in recent years, especially amongst groups with large property holdings, as they seek to optimise their finances.

The transfer of Repsol’s headquarters could be one of the largest real estate transactions of the year, at a time when the sector is showing clear signs of recovery. In the energy company’s favour, it has a solid position in the market, as an Ibex 35 listed company; something that would offset the location of its offices, which sit outside of Madrid’s financial district.

Repsol’s new headquarters are located on Calle Méndez Álvaro, in the central area of the city, inside the M-30 ring road, but far (6-7km) from the heart of the capital’s main business district, on the Paseo de la Castellana.

Occupying a total area of 123,000 square metres (66,300 above ground and 56,600 underground), the building, christened the Repsol Campus, was officially opened by the now King Felipe VI at the end of January last year.

The property, which stands on the site of old CLH (formerly Campsa) plots, was built by Sacyr. It cost almost €300 million in total, which included the purchase of plots (€155 million) and construction (€127 million).

The energy company, led by Antonio Brufau, is trying to obtain resources to finance the purchase of the Canadian group Talisman, a transaction announced last month that is valued at just over €10,000 million.

One of the key aspects that Repsol now has to focus on are the calculations for financing that purchase. The company announced that it is evaluating the divestment of assets that are “not linked to the price of crude oil” amounting to a billion dollars (more than 800 million euros at current exchange rates).


Repsol has been active in the real estate market in recent years. The energy company was one of four firms, together with Mutua Madrileña and the real estate companies Espacio (from the Villar Mir group) and Testa (Sacyr), that launched the development of the Cuatro Torres complex. Before its inauguration in July 2007, it received an offer from Bankia (then Caja Madrid) to sell its skyscraper, designed by the renowned architect Norman Foster, for €815 million.

With this amount, Repsol financed the development of its new headquarters in Méndez Álvaro. Prior to its opening, the company occupied 32,700 square metres at numbers 278 and 280 Paseo de la Castellana, in buildings owned by the real estate company, Metrovacesa.

Original story: Expansión (by M.Á.Patiño/R.Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barceló To Operate The Torre Madrid Hotel

18 January 2015 – Cinco Días

Metrovacesa and Barceló Hotels & Resorts signed a 20-year lease contract on Friday morning for the operation of the future hotel in the Torre Madrid, built by Metrovacesa in the Plaza de España in 1957.

The companies report that the hotel will provide superior four star accommodation, with 256 rooms, a cafeteria, a restaurant, a spa, meeting rooms and common areas.

“Metrovacesa plans to undertake major investment in the refurbishment of the first 9 floors of the building, covering approximately 22,000 square metres, with the aim of converting the hotel into a destination of choice in Madrid, unique in its design and facilities”, the companies report in a statement. The new Barceló hotel will operate alongside luxury apartments, which occupy the top floors of the building, and will become the chain’s fourth hotel in Madrid.

In 2011, Metrovacesa, a then listed company, informed the CNMV about the sale of homes in Torre Madrid for €28.7 million. The cheapest home in Torre Madrid, covering around 80 square metres, cost €530,000. The most expensive home occupies 240 square metres. The height and orientation determine the final price of homes of a similar size.

In 2005, Metrovacesa put two of Madrid’s most famous skyscrapers, the Edificio España and the Torre Madrid, up for sale. Santander acquired the Edificio España for €389 million in the same year; and last year the entity agreed the sale of the building to the Chinese group, Wanda, for €265 million.

Original article: Cinco Días

Translation: Carmel Drake