Azora Acquires HQ of the Former Cortefiel Group for €28.3M

24 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Another operation has been closed in the office market in Madrid. The Socimi GMP, controlled by the Montoro family and the sovereign fund of Singapore, has sold the building located at number 51 Calle Llano Castellano to Azora. The price of the operation amounted to €28.3 million.

The property now controlled by Azora, the real estate manager founded by Concha Osácar and Fernando Gumuzio, is occupied in its entirety by Tendam, previously known as the Cortefiel Group and owner of the fashion chains Cortefiel, Women’secret, Springfield and Pedro del Hierro.

The rental contract for the building, which has a gross leasable area of 23,108 m2 and 145 parking spaces, is due to expire in 2023.

The building was constructed in 1990 and had been controlled 100% by GMP since 2015. Until then, the property was in the hands of the real estate division of General Electric through the company Renta Gestión Fuencarral.

Its new owner, Azora, specialises in the investment and management of real estate assets for third parties and has a portfolio comprising more than €4.5 billion in assets. The company was the promoter of Hispania, the first Socimi to be constituted, which made its debut on the stock market in Spain in 2014.

Azora was considering its own stock market debut, but in the end, it suspended that process last year. Azora and Hispania ended their agreement last year, after Blackstone’s successful takeover of the Socimi.

Since then, the company has focused on the residential rental market through the creation of a joint venture with CBRE Global Investment and Madison to reach a portfolio of 10,000 homes over the coming years.

Azora manages the real estate portfolios of funds and wealthy investors, such as George Soros, CBRE Global Investors, Goldman Sachs, Axa Investment Management and Bank of Montreal, amongst others (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by P. Riaño and I. P. Gestal)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Madrid & Barcelona Enter Top 40 Most Attractive Global Cities for Retail

19 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Madrid and Barcelona are two of the most attractive cities in the world for retail. The two Spanish cities rank amongst the forty most attractive places for commercial activity, according to the Hot Retail Cities report, compiled by Modaes.es, with the support of Tendam and in collaboration with Instituto de Empresa.

The top 3 of the ranking features New York, Los Angeles and Singapore. Madrid and Barcelona are ranked ahead of metropolises such as Milan and Moscow, boosted by factors such as economic openness, the socio-economic environment and the presence of international operators. Moreover, in the fashion category, the two cities are also cradles of some of the world’s retail titans, such as Inditex, Mango and Tendam, and they are home to one of the largest European department store groups, El Corte Inglés.

Barcelona is ranked at number 29 on the list, scoring 425 points out of a possible total of 1,000. Tourism, the presence of fashion operators in the city, the commercial streets and their structure and geographical location are the key factors that place Barcelona within the top thirty hottest cities on the planet. In recent years, the city has become a gateway for major international retailers, such as Uniqlo, which chose the city for its debut in Spain.

Meanwhile, the Spanish capital is positioned at number 36 in the Hot Retail Cities ranking with 410 points. In the case of Madrid, factors that work in its favour include commercial openness, economic stability and recovery, and the multiplicity of prime thoroughfares such as Calle Serrano, Gran Vía, Fuencarral and Calle Preciados.

The criteria for compiling the ranking are grouped together under eight general points that companies assess when it comes to studying the city: demographics, economy, politics, socio-economic environment, tourism, retail, fashion and trendy cities. In addition, analysis criteria are included about the more or less optimal conditions of each city for international retailers.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sfera Leaves Gran Vía & Frees Up 1,000 m2 of Prime Retail Space

23 August 2018 – Eje Prime

Sfera is freeing up 1,000 m2 of space in the centre of Madrid. In September, the fashion chain owned by El Corte Inglés is going to abandon the store it currently occupies on Gran Vía, with a useful commercial surface area of 600 m2. The company has decided not to renew the rent that tied it to the recent purchaser of the building, the US fund Thor Equities.

Located at number 30 on the Spanish capital’s main commercial thoroughfare, surrounded by competitor brands (Inditex, H&M, Tendam and Primark, amongst others), the store is no longer of interest to Sfera, which has justified its departure on the basis of the small size of the store for the exhibition model that it is developing, according to Cinco Días. The chain has occupied this three-story establishment (comprising the first, ground and basement floors) since 2005.

Sfera is immersed in a process to renovate and reorganise its business plan for its commercial activity in the centre of Madrid. The company recently remodelled its store at number 4 Calle Preciados, which has a surface area of 2,500 m2 spread over five storeys.

The objective of the chain is to strengthen the presence of its store on Preciados so that it will become the firm’s flagship store in the centre of Madrid. Similarly, Sfera is going to start work soon on the renovation of its store at number 56 Calle Fuencarral. The company’s portfolio of retail assets in the centre of the Spanish capital is completed by a second establishment at number 118 Calle Fuencarral and the concession stands it has in the El Corte Inglés stores in the area.

In total, Sfera renovated 26 of its stores in Spain in 2017. With a presence in 15 countries besides Spain, where it opened its newest store just a few months ago in Fuengirola (Málaga), the chain is investing considerably in the international real estate market. The clearest example is Mexico, where the firm has 45 stores, all operated as franchises.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake