Aquila to Invest €200M in 2 Developments in Barcelona

14 January 2019 – Eje Prime

Aquila Capital is stepping up a gear in Spain. The German fund manager, through its property developer AQ Acentor, is going to invest €200 million in two residential developments in the province of Barcelona. The company has closed two land purchases, one in Viladecans and the other in Zona Franca, where it is going to construct 1,100 homes, according to Sven Schoel, manager of the company, speaking to Eje Prime.

In Viladecans, the property developer has acquired a plot of land spanning 500,000 m2 of free and protected land on which it is going to build 500 homes. On the other hand, in the Zona Franca, right next to Barcelona Fira District, the company has acquired a plot measuring 70,000 m2 of free and protected land for the construction of 600 homes.

“For us, Spain is a fundamental market at the moment and for that reason, we are looking for more land, above all in Barcelona, Madrid, Sevilla and Bilbao”, explained the executive, who added that during the course of 2019, the company expects to close more than one operation in those cities.

Following the latest two acquisitions, AQ Acentor currently has 5,000 homes under development, distributed over seven projects: three in the province of Barcelona (in Sant Adrià del Besòs, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Zona Franca, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and Viladecans), two in Madrid (in the neighbourhoods of Lla Moraleja and La Ciudad de los Ángeles), two in Málaga (one in Rincón de la Victoria and another one in Estepona), and a final one in Valencia.

In Valencia, the company is working on the development of a residential and tertiary use complex, where it has made an investment of more than €350 million. That is the project through which the company debuted in Spain, in September 2018. It will house a total of 1,800 homes on a plot spanning 130,000 m2 (…).

On the other hand, the group also still has its sights set on Portugal, the country that Aquila Capital has entered through investments in the renewable energy sector. “We have identified two operations in the Lisbon residential market that we hope to close during the course of this year”, said the director.

AQ Acentor is financed by Aquila Capital, which is also present in the German residential market and has a portfolio of assets worth €7 billion. The fund manager’s commitment to the property developer is long term. In fact, the manager of the company denies any plans to debut on the stock market soon. “We have been in Spain for almost five years and we have no intention of divesting”, concluded Schoel.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Berta Seijo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Mercadona Buys Land in Barcelona to Open its Second Warehouse for e-Commerce

20 November 2018 – Eje Prime

Mercadona is doubling its commitment to e-commerce in Barcelona. The Valencian supermarket chain has purchased a plot of land measuring 25,668 m2 in the municipality of Ripollet, where it is going to build a logistics platform to support its online business.

This new hive, which is what the group calls this new type of asset that it is promoting, will measure 14,650 m2 and will be the second establishment that the company has launched in Barcelona, after the premises it occupied in the Zona Franca, owned by Goodman, which is expected to be operational by 2020.

In Valencia, Mercadona already has a first warehouse specialising in online commerce. It is a platform with a surface area of 13,000 m2, which was inaugurated in May. The company led by Juan Roig is already looking for new locations in other parts of the country, primarily, in Madrid.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

UPS to Open Operations Centre for Southern Europe in Barcelona

8 July 2018 – Eje Prime

UPS is increasing its commitment to Barcelona. The parcel sector multinational is going to open its operations centre for Southern Europen in the Catalan capital. The company will open a logistics space spanning 60,000 m2 in the Zona Franca area and will leave the site that it currently occupies in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat.

The US giant is undertaking this investment shortly after its German competitor DHL decided to expand its presence in Barcelona with a new centre measuring almost 3,000 m2 in Castellbisbal, according to reports from TV3.

The site in Castellbisbal is going to become DHL’s third centre in the Catalan capital, where it already has a presence at Barcelona Airport and in the Zona Franca area, where it will now have UPS as a new neighbour. The aim of the German company is to begin the building work this year so that the space can be inaugurated in the summer of 2019.

The strength of the e-commerce sector is proving to be key to the increase in logistics leasing in Cataluña, where the market has grown by 70% during the six months to June, according to data from the consultancy firms Cushman&Wakefield and Savills Aguirre Newman.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Iberdrola Inmobiliaria Buys Esteve’s Former HQ in Barcelona

27 June 2018 – Eje Prime

Iberdrola Inmobiliaria is acquiring space in the heart of Barcelona for new homes. The company has acquired the former headquarters of the pharmaceutical group Esteve, where it plans to promote residential properties and facilities.

The amount of the operation has not been revealed, according to Expansión. The building is located on Avenida Mare de Déu de Montserrat and has a surface area of 15,000 m2, part of which is dedicated to residential use and part to social use.

The pharmaceutical group has just moved all of its staff to a new headquarters in the Zona Franca area – that property is owned by Iberdrola Inmobiliaria and the group now occupies 12,000 m2 there.

Iberdrola Inmobiliaria is the parent company of the Iberdrola group’s real estate business. Currently, the company has a real estate portfolio in operation that has a gross leasable area of more than 200,000 m2.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Forcadell: 12% More Office Space was Leased in Barcelona in 2017 (340,000 m2)

23 February 2018 – Eje Prime

In 2017, the office business in the Catalan capital recorded its highest volume of activity for ten years. According to the real estate consultancy Forcadell, 340,000 m2 of office space was leased in Barcelona in 2017, up by 12.2% compared to the previous year and also higher than the volume recorded in 2015, even though both years also saw record leasing figures. Moreover, the lack of space in the city of Barcelona has driven the office market to the outskirts of the city over the last 2 years – peripheral areas accounted for 20% of all of the space leased in 2017.

According to data from Forcadell, the availability rate of offices in Barcelona is continuing its downward trend, moving from 9.3% during the first half of 2017 to 8.8% by the end of 2017.

“That gradual decrease in product availability is due to the good leasing rate and the rapid absorption rate recorded over the last 2 years, and in particular during 2017”, say sources at the consultancy firm.

In terms of demand, the office market in Barcelona closed the second half of 2017 with an increase in demand of 9.2% with respect to the same period a year earlier. Demand for surface areas spanning more than 1,000 m2 was concentrated in the New Business Districts, specifically in 22@ and the Zona Franca, whilst demand for smaller surface areas rose in the prime and Central areas.

According to Forcadell, the average price per m2 of offices in Barcelona amounted to €13.5/m2/month at the end of 2017. During the second half of the year, office rents in the Catalan capital continued to show moderate increases in almost all areas, in line with the trend observed over the last 5 years. The average YoY variation in Barcelona amounted to 8%, identical to the increase recorded in H1 2017.

The consultancy firm’s outlook for the year ahead is that the office market in Barcelona will continue to attract interest from investors. “They are increasingly demanding a minimum rating category, given that that has become an essential requirement for companies moving into new work spaces”, say sources at Forcadell. Moreover, international funds specialising in the comprehensive renovation of office buildings have also shown interest in the Barcelona market, a trend that is expected to intensify during 2018 and 2019.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Goodman to Develop 130,000m2+ of Logisics Space in Spain in 2018

14 December 2017 – Eje Prime

Goodman Group, one of the leading specialists in the development and management of logistics space in the world, is strengthening its commitment to Spain. Taking advantage of the improvement in the sector, which is growing at a rate of 20% p.a., driven by the strong performance of the country’s economy, the company plans to develop more than 130,000 m2 of logistics space in Madrid and Barcelona in 2018, according to a statement issued by the firm.

“Currently, the occupancy rate of Goodman’s assets in Spain is 100% of its portfolio, approximately 3% higher than the average recorded in Madrid and Barcelona, the two regions with the highest demand for logistics facilities”, says the group.

This year, the logistics company has developed more than 41,000 m2 of new logistics space and has signed lease contracts for more than 25,000 m2.

One of the locations where the manager has worked the most is Can Margarit Logistics Center, in Sant Esteve Sesrovires (Barcelona), where, in the last two years alone, it has completed the development of more than 85,000 m2 of logistics space. The site is home to the French sports equipment retail chain Decathlon, amongst others.

Next year, Goodman will develop 19,850 m2 of new land for the sector in the Zona Franca area of the Port of Barcelona, of which 9,500 m2 will be available from June onwards.

Meanwhile, in Madrid, the company plans to launch the construction of a logistics plant measuring 34,000 m2 in Vicálvaro at the beginning of 2018, as well as the development of a 75,000 m2 platform in Alcalá de Henares.

Currently, the Goodman Group is present in Continental Europe, the UK, the Asia-Pacific region, North America and Brazil and has a portfolio of assets under management worth €22.6 billion.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Amazon To Construct New Logistics Centre In Barcelona’s Zona Franca

27 October 2017 – Eje Prime

Amazon is redoubling its commitment to Barcelona. The US group has leased a plot of land in the city’s Zona Franca Consortium, which will become its fifth logistics centre in Cataluña. The plot of land measures 20,000 m2 and the plan is to build a warehouse on the site, with a surface area of 9,300 m2, according to Expansión.

The US group has agreed to pay €7.6/m2/month to the property developer Goodman, according to sources familiar with the operation. Sources at Amazon have declined to confirm or deny the operation, which is likely to have been signed during the third quarter of the year.

The decision to locate the new logistics centre in the Zona Franca reflects Amazon’s willingness to establish itself strategically close to the city of Barcelona, given that proximity is a key factor for the distribution of last mile delivery products.

Goodman plans to build another warehouse measuring approximately 10,000 m2 close the warehouse that the US company will occupy, although it does not have a tenant for that property yet.

Following this deal, Amazon will have five logistics centres in Cataluña (in El Prat de Llobregat, Castellbisbal, Martorelles and Eixample), and it plans to open a new research and development centre specialising in artificial intelligence, which will employ more than 100 people.

The company started to set up its own structure in the country in 2012, with the launch of its first complex in Illescas (Toledo). In Madrid, it opened a large complex in San Fernando de Henares and it is currently building two more in Alcobendas and Getafe. In Barcelona, the group is finalising the launch of its platform in El Prat, whilst it has one platform in Valencia and is building another one in Sevilla.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Saba Sells Stakes In 5 Logistics Parks To Merlin

26 September 2016 – Expansión

The parking management company Saba has closed an agreement with the Socimi Merlin Properties to sell Saba Parques Logísticos, the company that groups together stakes in five logistics parks.

In a statement, Saba, which did not disclose the consideration paid for the sale, clarified that the operation includes stakes in the following logistics parks: CIM Vallès (Santa Perpètua de Mogoda, Barcelona); Lisboa Norte; the Logistics Park in the Zona Franca, in Barcelona; Sevisur, in the ZAL in Sevilla; and Arasur, in Álava.

Saba stated that the competition authorities have already approved the operation, which is expected to be signed within the next few weeks. The firm also explained that this sale forms part of its strategy to reorganise its asset portfolio to focus on its parking activity.

In fact, since 2011, the group has invested €482 million to strengthen its car park business.

Logistics parks accounted for 14% of Saba’s revenues last year, whilst its car park business generated the remaining 86%. Saba has operations in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Chile.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

The PSC Sells Its HQ In Barcelona For €10M

8 June 2016 – 20 Minutos

The PSC has sold its historic headquarters, on Calle Nicaragua in Barcelona, for €10 million to a company linked to the real estate sector, according to sources.

The political party signed the “contrato de arras” on Monday 6 June and now has eight months to vacate the property.

The building on Calle Nicaragua has a surface area of more than 4,700 sqm, spread over six floors, one of which comprises a 400 sqm parking lot. It has been on the market for more than a year: the socialist party evaluated up to three offers during that period before closing the deal.

The Catalan socialists have occupied the property for more than 40 years and have sold it in order to pay off some of the €12 million debt that is weighing down on the party.

Through this operation, the PSC joins CDC and Unió, which have also put their respective headquarters up for sale recently: the CDC managed to sell its building on Calle Còrcega in Barcelona a year ago and Unió is currently considering offers from potential buyers for its head office.

The search for a new space

The PSC is now looking for a new, smaller headquarters, measuring around 1,500 sqm, and is willing to rent or purchase a property in order to find an office that best suits its needs.

It is currently evaluating three options in the 22@ district of Barcelona, although it also has other options on the table in the Zona Franca area.

The PSC would like for its new headquarters to be located below (to the south of) Avenida Diagonal in Barcelona and for its price to be affordable.

Original story: 20 Minutos

Translation: Carmel Drake

RE Inv’t Reached €1,977M In Barcelona In 2015

16 January 2016 – El País

Real estate investment reached record figures in Barcelona last year. It amounted to €1,977 million in total, up by 43% compared with 2014, and exceeding even the levels seen before the crisis. The recovery in the office market primarily drove the trend, although there was also another important factor: overseas investment. According to a report by Aguirre Newman, foreign buyers accounted for 55% of all investments, and that percentage increases to 85% if we consider the Socimis’ shareholders. The remaining capital is local.

Investors’ need to seek reasonable rates of return explains their interest in Barcelona, according to the CEO of Aguirre Newman in Barcelona, Anna Gener. In her opinion, neither the sovereign process being undertaken by the Generalitat or the hotel moratorium imposed by Barcelona’s Town Hall have scared off investors, and her views are supported by the figures. The Catalan capital has continued to attract the same rate of investment as the rest of Spain, which amounted to €10,790 million in 2015, another historic record.

“Investment has grown a lot, given that the must talked about exodus of businesses did not happen”, explained Gener yesterday, who added that real estate advisors are more concerned about finding available supply for potential institutional investors, who have traditionally ben conservative when it comes to investing. She said the same thing applied in the case of hotels, which in Barcelona accounted for investment amounting to €347.5 million, despite the decision by the Barcelona en Comú Government to block new openings. “Hotels in Barcelona are so profitable that everyone wants hotels and the moratorium removes competitors from the sector”, said Gener, who predicted that the price of hotel licences will increase as a direct result of the Government’s measure.

The office market is still the most active segment, after achieving a rental volume of 400,000 m2 and total investment of €885 million, up by 52% compared with a year earlier. Aguirre Newman thinks that the major problem is the scarcity of supply in premium areas, which is putting upwards pressure on prices. Its major client this year has been la Generalitat, with the operation to concentrate offices from different departments in the Zona Franca, in one of the large facilities measuring 46,000 m2. There is no availability in the city centre for offices measuring more than 1,500 m2.

Another sector that is rising from the ashes is residential, with growth of 43% and an average price rise of 8% last year. The consultancy firm predicts an increase in the number of projects involving renovations and changes in use to luxury residential, with international buyers dominating the segment. In these high-end cases, Aguirre Newman forecast that prices may even reach €10,000/m2.

The forecast for this year is that investment across the whole real estate sector (in Barcelona) will amount to €2,000 million once again.

Original story: El País (by Dani Cordero)

Translation: Carmel Drake