11 December 2017 – Expansión
The former Deutsche Bank building in Barcelona, which saw its plans to be turned into a five-star hotel fall by the wayside, has finally obtained the municipal licence it needs to execute its plan B. As such, the former office building is now going to be transformed into a super-luxury residential property.
Its owner, KKH Property Investors, is going to invest around €180 million in total, according to market sources, to carry out the complete renovation of the property and build 34 homes with high-end services. One of the features of the project approved recently is that part of the four-storey commercial building located opposite the tower will be sacrificed and a passage will be built to make the residential building independent, and it will be made lighter.
KKH, led by the former CEO of Renta Corporación, Josep Maria Farré, has set out to build the most exclusive residential property in Barcelona. That distinction is currently held by the former Barcelona headquarters of Winterthur, owned by Squircle Capital, whose homes, measuring 500 m2, are sold (unfinished) for around €6 million, equivalent to more than €12,000/m2.
The 34 homes in the Deutsche Bank building will have a surface area of 200 m2 each and, as well as their privileged location, on the corner of Paseo de Gràcia and Avenida Diagonal, are going to enjoy panoramic views over the city. The common areas will include private parking, a gym, a spa, communal terraces, a swimming pool and meeting rooms. One of the features that will distinguish this residential community from others in the city, and which will make it equivalent to the best buildings in London and New York, will be the team of 20 employees that will be on hand to perform maintenance, cleaning, concierge, security and general support services for residents.
The project’s design has been entrusted to the architect Carlos Ferrater, and the first phase of construction has been subcontracted to Copcisa. The retail building, where Casa Seat will open, is expected to be finished in 2019 and the residential area, which will house another retail store on the ground floor, measuring around 500m2, should be ready by the beginning of 2020.
KKH Property Investors, a vehicle in which KKH Capital Group and the NYC fund Perella Weinberg Real Estate Fund II LP hold stakes, paid €90 million for the property in 2014. It then spent another €20 million to ensure that the Town Hall of Barcelona, led at the time by the convergent Xavier Trias, gave it permission to demolish the property and construct a hotel in its place.
The €20 million was spent buying equipment to lend to the city, to acquire buildability rights, and to pay €10.5 million to the Town Hall. But, when the project had received the municipal green light, Ada Colau arrived in government and, with her, the moratorium and new urban development plan that prevented the construction of the hotel, in which chains such as Four Seasons had expressed an interest and which would have resulted in the creation of 400 jobs.
Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)
Translation: Carmel Drake