C&W: 86 Office Spaces Spanning 101,000 m2 were Leased in 22@ in 2017

2 July 2018 – Mis Oficinas

According to the Marketshot report issued by the real estate consultancy Cushman & Wakefield, Barcelona’s 22@ district closed 2017 with 86 rental operations, spanning a total surface area of 101,000 m2, which represents the highest figure in the last ten years.

The 22@ district is continuing at record levels for another year. According to the Marketshot report from the real estate consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield, the district closed 2017 with a total of 86 rental operations, spanning a surface area of 101,000 m2, which represents the highest figure in the last ten years and 34% more than in the previous two years. This leasing figure accounted for 30% of the total office space leased in Barcelona and was led by pre-lease operations, such as the case of Amazon in the Luxa Silver building (10,241 m2), Activision (King) in Ciutat de Granada 150 (8,837 m2), Hewlett-Packard in the building located on c/Tanger 62 (8,132 m2) and WeWork in the Luxa Gold building (6,572 m2).

Potential tenants in the district are mainly looking for sustainable, high-quality spaces. In this sense, 78% of the surface area leased belongs to buildings with A or B+ ratings. The district had only 60,000 m2 of space available at the end of the first quarter of 2018, which represented a 15% decrease in the available surface area in one year and an availability rate of 7%. If we take into account high-quality buildings only (those with A and B+ ratings), the percentage of available space in the 22@ district decreases to 5.7%. Leasing levels recorded at the moment and forecast for the next few months support the development of new properties.

The 22@ district currently has 129,000 m2 of space under construction, scheduled to be handed over between the second half of 2018 and 2019. The potential space for offices in the district amounts to more than 800,000 m2, of which 350,000 m2 is located on finalist land.

Investor interest in the district broke all records in 2017. In terms of investment volumes, the 22@ district received total investment of €161 million, which tripled the €51 million recorded in 2016. In square metres, the investment volume amounted to 173,000 m2, well above the figure at the end of 2016, which amounted to 33,000 m2.

New construction in the area has reactivated in recent months, due to the type of demand and, to a large extent, the growth in rents. On the basis that this trend is going to continue, there will be an impact on capital markets, where we will start seeing operations again soon.

Flexible and coworking spaces are enjoying an unprecedented boom in Barcelona at the moment. The rise in coworking spaces in the city is clear and during the first six months of 2018, 52% more space was leased in this segment than during the whole of 2017.

In Barcelona, the 22@ district is still the main hub of innovation in the city, attracting technological companies, startups and the digital eco-system. The main coworking operation this year, amounting to 4,500 m2, was completed in 22@ and these types of spaces already account for 3.5% of the constructed stock in the district (…).

Original story: Mis Oficinas 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barcelona’s Town Hall to Review 22@’s Urban Transformation Plan to Include More Public Housing

25 June 2018 – Eje Prime

The 22@ district is getting ready to make slight modifications to its construction plan. The techie zone of Barcelona may have more public housing than planned if the interests of the current municipal government get the go ahead. It wants to alleviate part of the crisis that there is in the city with respect to accommodation by providing more public housing. In total, seventy hectares are being built in this sought-after hub of the Catalan capital, which has urbanised fifteen kilometres of streets space and has gone from having 33,800 workers to 93,000.

Much of the reconstruction of the former industrial area of El Poblenou has been directed at the office market and public services. Corporate and government towers, modern spaces for startups and the giant Amazon and Catalan Universities all now live alongside each other in harmony in this enclave, whose reconversion plan began 18 years ago.

Now (…), Mayor Colau is planning to build more housing in 22@. Of the 4,000 flats that were projected to be built in this district, not even half have been actually constructed, according to El País.

Promoting more public homes is a point on which both the social and residents associations that are participating in the process, the Repensem el 22@ platform promoted by the Town Hall and the Wider Committee of experts all agree on. From the conclusions drawn from the two documents, the modifications that Colau will undertake in the urban plan just need to be defined.

Currently, the urban development plan for 22@ contemplates that 90% of the land that was being developed in the area would be allocated for economic activity and that the remaining 10% would be used for the construction of Officially Protected Housing (VPO). The parties involved in the process are clear that this percentage must increase.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Amazon Opens its Support Centre for SMEs in 22@ (Barcelona)

23 April 2018 – Eje Prime

Amazon’s support centre for SMEs has opened its doors in the 22@ district of Barcelona. From its Sell Support Hub facilities, the US company is going to offer support services to small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in Spain, Italy and France that sell their products through Amazon Marketplace.

The facilities, which house more than 200 employees, are also going to be home to Amazon’s Research and Development Centre, specialising in machine learning. The date for the opening of that centre has not been released yet, but its doors are expected to open within the next few months.

From its new centre, Amazon is going to help companies understand how to use its tools to sell globally through its different web platforms. According to François Saugier, Vice-President of Amazon Marketplace in Europe, it is laying the foundations for companies to make the leap into the digital economy.

Seller Support Hub is going to facilitate the creation of 500 jobs over the next three years. Regarding the choice of Barcelona as the location for this centre, François Nuyts, Vice-President and Director General of Amazon.es and Amazon.it, said that “it is a city that combines international talent with a dynamic and innovative network of SMEs, entrepreneurs and startups”.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

CaixaBank Wants to Grow Its Tourism Business by 20%

11 December 2017 – Expansión

CaixaBank is stepping down on the accelerator in the tourism sector. The bank chaired by Jordi Gual has launched CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism, a specialist business line that is seeking to increase both the number of clients and the financing granted to the tourism sector, which has a global impact of 16% on Spain’s GDP. According to the entity, two out of every three hotels are already clients of CaixaBank, which has a market share of 63%.

The objective that the team of 30 professionals in the Hotels & Tourism team has set itself is to increase turnover by 20% during the first year of activity, accelerating both the number of new clients and the loan book.

CaixaBank Hotels & Tourism started to take shape in 2008 when a specialist team was established in the Balearic Islands. Now, that division has its own brand and a portfolio of more than 14,000 clients, from which it generates a turnover of €5 billion.

In 2016, the bank led by Gonzalo Gortázar granted loans worth €1.3 billion to the tourism sector. It plans to multiply that figure over the coming years with the launch of this specialist unit.

According to the Director-General of CaixaBank’s business, Juan Antonio Alcaraz, the challenge is to promote the modernisation of the existing hotel stock and to facilitate financing to business-people in the sector to enable them to buy hotel assets and undertake new build projects.

CaixaBank is not the only entity to launch a specific division for this sector. In 2014, Banco Sabadell launched Sabadell Negocio Turístico, a unit that has allowed it to increase its net investment balance at an annual rate of more than 10%.

According to Alcaraz, the 30 specialists working for CaixaBank’s new line of business, are located in those areas of the country that have the most tourist weighting to ensure proximity to clients and the provision of a personalised service. “We want to help businessmen in the sector maintain their position of global leadership”, said the executive, who emphasised that tourism “is one of the most strategic and important areas of the Spanish economy”.

According to CaixaBank’s research service, the direct and indirect contribution from tourism to GDP amounts to €119 billion, equivalent to 11.1% of the total. Nevertheless, if we add the spending that all of the players involved in the tourism sector make in other economic sectors, then the global impact reaches 16% of GDP, well above the European average, of 9.6%. More than 2.5 million people are employed in the sector.

Specialisation

CaixaBank Hotel & Tourism forms part of the bank’s corporate banking area, which has opted to launch several specialist lines of business to cater for economic sectors. For example, the entity has units dedicated to the real estate sector – fourteen centres – and the agrarian sector, with more than 900 AgroBank branches. It also has fourteen large business centres – one in each territory – business centres dedicated to dealing with businesses, self-employed people and professionals, and 106 company branches for other firms. It has also just launched CaixaBank Day One to deal with the specific needs of startups.

Spain is just a step away from overtaking France as the most popular destination in the world for tourist visits. Provided that the Catalan political situation does not intervene, forecasts suggest that this year could close with more than 84 million tourist visits.

Original story: Expansión (by S. Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake