25% Of Adif’s Retail Units Are Vacant

21 December 2015 – El Economista

In total, 307 retail units at Adif’s train stations in Spain are vacant. These establishments occupy a total surface area of 38,239 m2, which represents approximately 24.8% of the more than 154,000 m2 covered by all of the areas dedicated to restaurants, retail and leisure in the network of stations owned by the railway manager. In other words, almost a quarter of the retail space at train stations is currently empty.

During 2014, Adif recorded revenues of €569.5 million, of which €134.6 million related to rental income and services. Of that amount, €61.4 million was generated by the lease of buildings, shops and other properties and €71.8 million was generated by the use of fibre optics. Therefore, the contribution of rental income from retail stores, homes and plots represented around one tenth of total revenues. On the basis of the data about the uptake of retail units at Spanish train stations, that amount could increase significantly if the occupancy rates were improved.

The 307 available stores owned by Adif are spread across 75 train stations, according to the data from the body that sits under the Ministry of Development. The station in Albacete Los Llanos has the highest number of empty units, with 29 in total, covering a combined surface area of 3,953 m2. Meanwhile, the station in Córdoba has 12 stores available, with a surface area of 3,255 m2, whilst the station in Cáceres has 13 free units, covering 2,313 m2.

After Albacete, Córdoba and Cáceres, the stations with the most available space are Pontevedra and Madrid Chamartín, with 2,160 m2 (10 stores) and 1,996 m2 (5 stores), respectively. The station in the Spanish capital has various units available, where according to the website of the state-owned company, shops, a restaurant and car rental parking could be opened.

By contrast, in Madrid’s other major train station, Atocha, there is not a single square metre available for rent. At the other main train stations in Spain, Barcelona Sans has just one store available, measuring 48 m2, whilst Sevilla Santa Justa also has just one unit without a tenant, measuring 28 m2.

By contrast, at the high speed train station Valencia Joaquín Sorolla, there are seven units without a tenant, with a total surface area of 346 m2. There are six empty shops at Zaragoza Delicias, with a total surface area of 161 m2. And at María Zambrano in Málaga, one shop is available, along with two sites for ATMs.

Empty for several years

The majority of the retail spaces are available to rent immediately. Nevertheless, some of them have been empty for several years. In certain cases, that is because they need major renovations. Others will be available from early 2016, which is why Adif has now begun to market them.

The supply from the railway manager, which launched a plan two years ago to get rid of many of the homes and land under its ownership, includes units that may be used as shops, restaurants, cafeterias, kiosks, offices, bookshops, ATMs, parking and car rental. At certain train stations, Adif prohibits any new tenants from using properties to undertake activities already in operation at existing stores.

During 2015, the prices of the retail units at Adif’s train stations have ranged between €975/month, for stores measuring up to 8 m2, and €10,500/month, for stores measuring up to 30 m2. (…).

Original story: El Economista (by Javier Mesones)

Translation: Carmel Drake