4 October 2018 – Eje Prime
The US group, WeWork, is continuing its conquest of Spain and is getting ready to make its mark in the centre of Barcelona. The company, which specialises in flexible office spaces, will add a new complex to its portfolio in the Catalan capital after signing the lease on a building. The Corner, located at number 444 Avenida Diagonal, owned by Emesa. In parallel, the group is finalising the lease of the former headquarters of Banco Popular on Paseo de Gracia, in a property controlled Hines.
The building on La Diagonal is owned by Emesa, the investor group owned by Emilio Cuatrecasas, and used to house the headquarters of the law firm Cuatrecasas. The Corner, located at the intersection of La Diagonal and Paseo de Gracia has a surface area of 3,400 m2 distributed over seven floors (plus a basement), with an average surface area of 400 m2 each.
Emesa has owned the property on La Diagonal since 2017, when it paid €35 million to acquire it. The asset had been on the market since the beginning of the year after Cuatrecasas abandoned its traditional location to move to the 22@ district. Emesa had considered the possibility of leasing the building to several tenants, but in the end, it will be occupied in its entirety by WeWork.
In the meantime, the coworking giant is finalising another major operation. The company is close to signing the lease on the former headquarters of Banco Popular on Paseo de Gracia, a building that has been owned by Hines since March 2017, which paid €90 million for it.
Spaces, one of WeWork’s main rivals, expressed interest in that building in July. Nevertheless, sources at the company indicate that its operation never materialised. The building, located at number 17 Paseo de Gracia, has a surface area for offices and a retail premise, and has just been renovated by its owner.
With these moves, the US giant is taking positions in the centre of Barcelona; until now it had focused its presence on the 22@ district. In May, WeWork leased 4,500 m2 of space in the WIP building, owned by the Swiss fund Stoneweg.
That building is located next to the first complex that the group opened in Spain, in the Luxa building on Calle Tánger of the technological district. In Madrid, WeWork operates a space at number 43 Paseo de la Castellana, another at 77 on the same street, and a third at number 27 Calle Eloy Gonzalo.
Companies specialising in the management of these types of work spaces are revolutionising the office market all over the world. WeWork and Spaces are just two of the largest players on the global stage and both arrived in Spain in 2017.
Original story: Eje Prime (by Pilar Riaño & Jabier Izquierdo)
Translation: Carmel Drake