Banco Sabadell Puts Edificio Planeta Up for Sale for €200m

11 June 2018 – Eje Prime

Banco Sabadell does not want Edificio Planeta on its balance sheet. The Spanish bank has placed the asset located in the centre of Barcelona up for sale for a minimum asking price of €200 million. The entity wants to divest the property before the summer.

At a time of immense interest in the office market from international funds, and given the area in which the property is located, a financial centre with very little available stock, Sabadell is not expected to have much trouble finding investors interested in its asset.

The building, located at 662-664 Avenida Diagonal, has an overground surface area of 26,500 m2 spread over nine floors. Moreover, the tenants have access to 350 parking spaces, according to El Confidencial.

Sabadell took over the ownership of the building in May after the Lara family, owner of the editorial group of the same name, handed it over to the financial institution through its family office, Inversiones Hemisferio, which liquidated a loan from the bank through this operation with which it purchased shares in the bank.

Constructed in 1979, at a cost of €100 million for Banco Industrial de Catalunya, the modernist building, designed by the architects Tous and Fargas, used to be owned by Planeta until 2001.

Prior to its transfer to Sabadell, on 31 May, the property lost the multinational publicity company McCann as its tenant; that firm moved to a renovated building in the most sought-after business centre of the Catalan capital, the 22@ district, as revealed by Eje Prime.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Gran Vía: The New Showcase For Flagship Fashion Stores

5 September 2016 – Expansión

Along the one-hundred year old Gran Vía, fashion houses and hotels are now competing with restaurants, cafes, theatres and cinemas to occupy space on the sought-after street in Madrid. The thoroughfare was known as the Madrilenian Broadway in its heyday, thanks to the profusion of cinemas and theatres that it housed and which, to a lesser extent, still remain today.

In the race to set up shop on the busiest thoroughfare in Madrid, the largest brands and more contemporary designer hotels now occupy buildings that were formerly inhabited by banks, insurance companies and large cinemas.

In this sense, the size of the buildings on Gran Vía, makes them more attractive assets for fashion chains to house their large flagship stores than, for example, the properties on Calle Preciados. According to a calculation by the consultancy firm CBRE, in 2014 and 2015, real estate investment on the street amounted to €1,100 million.

Undoubtedly, the most significant operation in recent years was Pontegadea’s purchase of the property at Gran Vía, 32 in January 2015. The investment arm of Amancio Ortega, the founder and majority shareholder of the retail giant Inditex, paid €400 million for the asset. And that is the building that Primark chose to locate its flagship store, which occupies five storeys over 12,400 sqm. The megastore has become a tourist attraction in itself and there were traffic jams and queues at its doors during the first few months after its opening.

Following this example, other brands have opened stores on Gran Vía in the last year. For example, the fashion accessory chain Parfois and the Spanish jewellery firm Tous, have taken up residence at numbers 42 and 38, respectively. In addition, the cosmetics firm Nyx and the sports brand Adidas both opened new stores at numbers 21 and 36 of the Madrilenian street in the spring of 2016.

Moreover, the stretch of Gran Vía that runs from Plaza de Callao to Plaza de España has been revitalised in recent months, with the arrival of the gift and accessories chain Ale-hop at number 74, the perfume store Druni, at number 61 and Axa’s purchase of the Rex cinema building.

The future renovation of that building, alongside the refurbishment of the controversial Edificio España, which has changed hands several times in the last two years, will also help to reactivate this final stretch of the street.

Other important transactions on Gran Vía have involved the premises at number 44, measuring 500 sqm. That property, which used to house a branch of Bankia, was acquired by Hines at the beginning of the year from the Baraka group – the current owner of Edificio España – for almost €40 million. Meanwhile, the Socimi Saint Croix acquired another property on Gran Vía – specifically the building located at number 55 – for €13 million in March this year.

The size of the buildings on Gran Vía makes them ideal properties for flagship stores.

Original story: Expansión (by R.Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake