Unicredit has signed a preliminary agreement to sell Palazzo Mancini in Rome to Kryalos Sgr. The property hosted in the past the French Academy and Banco di Sicilia. As Kryalos communicated in a memo: “the property will accommodate prime offices in a location of high historical and artistic value”.

The operation is carried out through the real estate closed-end alternative investment fund (FIA) named Virtus.

The property is located at 270 Via del Corso, close to Piazza Venezia, and it was built in 1662 by Carlo Rainaldi for the Duke of Nevers, Filippo Giuliano Mazzarino Mancini. After several owners, it was acquired by Banco di Sicilia in 1919 and it became the bank’s headquarters in Rome. The building is composed of 6 storeys above ground and one underground for a total surface of 8,000 Sq m. The building also features a rustication façade and a colonnade.

Source: Ansa

In the Spanish capital, 70% of the area under development is being built on a speculative basis, without having a pre-negotiated end-user; in Barcelona, the situation is the reverse.

The logistics sector in Spain is experiencing another period of heady growth. In 2017, the sector saw a historic high of 1.5 billion euros in investments, while also setting records in terms of allocated area, with the market taking on more than 1.5 million square meters. The year-on-year growth rate of 85%, together with rosy projections, has awoken the interest of many major real estate players, particularly investment funds, which are already working to provide operators with more space. Just this year, 1.18 million square meters of space dedicated to the logistics sector will be delivered in Madrid and Barcelona, according to a report by the consultancy JLL.

The rise of e-commerce and the improvement in the Spanish economy have led to heightened demand, reducing the available amount of business parks and logistical facilities. This is particularly the case in Spain’s two largest cities. In Madrid, the vacancy rate stands at 4.21%, despite a rebound in the last quarter of 2017 through the addition of new areas in the capital. In Barcelona, the situation is even more complicated, and the vacancy rate for logistical areas has fallen to 3.2%.

In both cities, therefore, high demand has led funds and socimis to develop new industrial facilities that will allow the market to continue growing. In the Spanish capital, of the 744,500 square meters that will be delivered this year, 70% has not yet been allocated. Only a third of the industrial facilities and lands that will be inaugurated during the next months already have tenants. This figure demonstrates that market players expect demand to continue to grow throughout the year.

Amazon, which will increase its presence in Spain this year, is a highlight of some of the deals going on in Madrid. The American e-commerce giant is developing its own facility, occupying 103,000 square meters in the capital, where it already has a presence in the Los Gavilanes industrial estate, in Getafe, and in Alcobendas. FM Logística, with 40,000 square meters of area, as well as Jaguar and its 15,000-square-meter facility, are also stand out transactions in Madrid’s logistics market.

Meanwhile, in Barcelona, the situation is the opposite of that of Madrid. In Catalonia’s capital, most of the logistics facilities already have tenants. 80% of the 441,200 square meters that will be delivered in 2018 in Barcelona, for own use or for lease to third parties, are developed with pre-negotiated contracts, despite the limited supply in the metropolis.

Amazon has also considered Catalonia for its expansion plans in Spain. The company is preparing 200,000 square meters of total surface area for use in Barcelona, one of the multinational’s key outposts in southern Europe. Last October, the firm inaugurated a logistical facility in El Prat de Llobregat. Markwins International will also inaugurate an 8,000-square-meter logistics project in the city.

Under this scenario, a survey of thirty investors in the sector, conducted by JLL, highlighted the fact that, faced with a shortage of product in the current market, 98% of respondents are considering the possibility of developing new warehouses in Spain, especially in existing logistical areas.

Barcelona, with 228,345 square meters of available facilities, has seen its logistics market expand its focus to locations such as Martorelles and Sant Esteve de Sesrovires. The first one, in the north of the Catalan capital, is a clear example of the trend, with notable growth in logistics areas in recent years. An example is the arrival of Amazon in the logistics park that Segro, a British fund, has in the municipality. Coincidentally, Segro also acquired two logistics facilities in Sant Esteve de Sesrovires, south of Barcelona.

“The logistics sector is demonstrating some solid fundamentals that give it enormous potential,” stressed Gustavo Rodríguez, JLL’s director of the logistics in Spain, who also stated that “international investors began focusing on the sector last year.” This is because, among other reasons, “our country has unique opportunities compared to other more consolidated markets, where returns are lower.” “Rents, as well as asset values, are increasing, but are still far from historic highs, so investors see opportunities,” the executive added.

It is a unique building. Not for being an architectural jewel of the Baroque period, though it is that too. The property has been in the same family since 1770 when the Moxó family built it. The property was finally sold by the marquises of San Mori at the end of 2017 to Eduardo Rallo (a Mexican investor) for 7.3 million euros. Now it has been discovered that, after conversion by the Trias de Bes architectural studio, luxury apartments will be sold in the property by the Vivendex real estate agency.

The palace was sold in June of last year. An example of Baroque architecture, the building was classified as a Cultural Asset of Local Interest (BCIL) for the city in 2000. It quickly began generating controversy within the municipality. The building is located at 4 Plaza Sant Just, in the Gothic Quarter, became the focus of numerous conflicts due to its sale and cultural value.

Both the ERC and PdeCat demanded that the municipal government (BenComú) provide “explanations” for not considering a potential acquisition of the property through its right of first refusal, something which the owners of buildings classified as having historical interest are obliged to do. Now, the PdeCat criticises that the possibility was rejected twice, according to PdeCat, and that luxury apartments are being built on the site.

The government, meanwhile, stated that there is a limit to acquisitions through the right of first refusal since the price that the owners were requesting initially stood at 7.15 million euros. That was in December 2015, but the district of Ciutat Vella (to which the property belongs) declined to acquire the palace, stating that the purchase exceeded the district’s financial capacity and “the state of conservation of the interior was unknown,” sources within the municipal government explained.

The second occasion that the municipality rejected its right of first refusal was in January of 2017 when the price has risen to 7.33 million euros, and the district once again declined to pursue a possible acquisition.

During the last years, the palace had been used as a multipurpose space for dinners and events for aristocrats in Barcelona. The heir, Inés Moxó, currently lives in Seville, where she moved the furniture that until recently decorated the house.

The building will have up to six luxury apartments and three stores on its four floors. The main floor, measuring almost 600 m2 will be preserved intact: the architectural and decorative elements that are under the protection of cultural property will be respected. The third and fourth floors will receive five duplex apartments, all with private terraces and sizes ranging from 130 to 250 m2. The renovation, Trias de Bes estimates, will conclude in mid-2019, although the City Council still has to grant a building license to the company.

The Community of Madrid is going to carry out a comprehensive remodelling project of Hospital La Paz. Construction work will begin in 2019 and will involve the expansion of the hospital’s existing surface area by 25% or 50,000 m2, with four new buildings and a hotel for patients’ families. The construction work is going to be performed in four phases and will begin next year, according to the President of the Community of Madrid, Cristina Cifuentes, with the aim of ensuring that La Paz “continues to be the best hospital in Spain and one of the best in the world”. The forecast investment will amount to €359 million and will be paid for by the Community.

The size of the reference hospital in Madrid will thereby be increased from 190,842 m2 to 238,198 m2 following the remodelling project, of which 205,538 m2 will be newly built and another 32,660 m2 will be reformed. New green space spanning 10,250 m2 is also going to be created and new roads will be built. (…). The first phase of work is due to be awarded to the contractor(s) in January 2019. (…). La Paz will not reduce is patient activity at any point during the construction period.

The first phase will begin following the award of the construction work in January and will involve the demolition of the North Building, the Teaching building, generators, the parking lot and the Human Resources department (29,508 m2) to build the new General Hospital and a parking lot for employees (109,967 m2), which will be operational from 2022.

The second phase involves the demolition of the General Hospital (68,680 m2) to make space for ambulatory services, day hospitals, rehabilitation and dialysis services (59,428 m2), which will be completed in 2025.

For the third phase, the General Emergency area and the Traumatology Hospital will be demolished (21,884 m2) and the new Maternity-Children’s Hospital buildings will be constructed with an area for ancillary services (38,278 m2), which will be operational from 2027.

In the fourth and final phase, part of the former Maternity-Children’s Hospital will be demolished and other spaces, such as the Maternity Tower (24,267 m2) and a service area, will be reformed. That final phase will be completed in 2029 (…).

According to the regional Government, the new hospital will provide patients and families with “more comfort, privacy and security, with more individual rooms, larger waiting rooms and the creation of recreational spaces, amongst other benefits” (…).

The Investment Plan for Hospital Infrastructures in the Public Network of the Community of Madrid is going to allocate most of its €1 billion budget to reforming the seven largest hospitals in the region: 12 de Octubre, La Paz, Gregorio Marañón, Ramón y Cajal, Clínico San Carlos, La Princesa and Niño Jesús; on which more than €700 million will be spent.

The plan also includes forecast investment of €250 million to renovate another 14 hospitals: Móstoles, Príncipe de Asturias, Severo Ochoa, Getafe, Fuenlabrada, Alcorcón, Virgen de La Poveda, Virgen de la Fuenfría, Guadarrama, El Escorial, Hospital Central de la Cruz Roja, Santa Cristina, José Germain and Rodríguez Lafora. Moreover, it plans to invest approximately €42 million to convert the former Hospital Puerta de Hierro into a new and modern hospital centre for the care and functional recovery of patients.

Times Square Edition, New York. Photo credit: Marriott International.
Rendering of the Residences by Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

Residences by Mandarin Oriental Barcelona Announced for 2020

Mandarin Oriental

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced an agreement to brand and manage 34 luxurious Residences by Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona housed in a 20-storey tower, with a prime location at the intersection of Passeig de Gràcia and Avinguda Diagonal. The Residences are scheduled for completion in 2020.

The spacious apartments will be designed in a contemporary style and will provide panoramic views of the city’s landmarks. Owners will have access to a private, serviced lobby, a club lounge, a variety of meeting and entertaining spaces, fitness facilities and a luxury spa suite. A connecting footbridge will lead to an outdoor recreation deck and swimming pool. The building will also provide high-end dining options and private parking. As with all Mandarin Oriental Residences around the world, residents will benefit from a unique lifestyle offering the comforts of a private home combined with the legendary service of the Group.

The central location of The Residences will provide owners with easy access to the city’s leisure, business and cultural attractions and is a short walk to Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona. Passeig de Gràcia is considered the city’s most exclusive retail street and is also home to some of Barcelona’s celebrated architecture, including two of Gaudi’s works: Casa Milà and Casa Batlló. The street leads directly to the city’s famous Old Town and Gothic Quarter, while Avinguda Diagonal is one of the most prestigious avenues in the heart of the city’s central business district.

The project is a redevelopment of an existing office building, which is owned by KKH Property Investors: a joint venture partnership between KKH Capital Group and Perella Weinberg Real Estate Fund II LP, advised by Aermont Capital LLP. Barcelona-based architect OAB, which is the studio of eminent Catalan architect, Carlos Ferrater, has been appointed as lead architect and the interior design is being created by London based MUZA Lab.

“We are delighted to be introducing the first standalone Residences by Mandarin Oriental in Europe. We look forward to bringing the brand’s legendary hospitality to the owners of these prestigious private homes,” said  Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.

“We look forward to creating the city’s most luxurious residential offering that will be complemented by Mandarin Oriental’s exceptional services,” said the founder of KKH Capital Group.

Groupe ADP and AccorHotels have signed two building leases, one for the renovation of the current Mercure hotel and one for the construction of a new ibis Styles hotel at Paris-Orly Airport.

This new hotel complex, located at the gateway to the Orlytech district, upgrades and adds the finishing touch to the hotel offering in this service district to the north-west of the airport.

Artists impression of the future ibis Styles hotel at the gateway to the Orlytech district at Paris-Orly Airport © Arte & CharpentierArtists impression of the future ibis Styles hotel at the gateway to the Orlytech district at Paris-Orly Airport © Arte & Charpentier

The current Mercure hotel**** will undergo considerable renovation with 189 rooms to be completely refurbished by 2019.  Its services offering will also be upgraded with, in particular, a new food court with glazed walls, opening out onto a large terrace.

An ibis Styles*** hotel will be built next to the renovated Mercure hotel. It will have 200 rooms over four floors, with views over the Orlytech district. Its ultra-modern façade, designed by architects Arte & Charpentier, will indicate the entrance to the airport from the A106 and RN7 roads.

The ibis Styles’ 200 new rooms will bring Paris-Orly Airport’s current accommodation capacity (including Novotel Paris-Coeur d’Orly Airport, ibis Paris-Orly Airport and ibis budget Paris-Orly Airport) up to 1,089 rooms. These two hotels will provide options suitable both for families and business travellers.

Serge Grzybowski, Real Estate Director for Groupe ADP said: “The construction of the ibis Styles hotel and the refurbishment of the Mercure Orlytech hotel mean that our accommodation offering can be adapted to match the marked increase in air traffic, while
also considerably improving the quality of hotel services provided to our passengers and customers of our business districts. These two projects are indicative of Paris-Orly Airport’s extended hotel offering; between now and the end of 2019, all the hotels on Groupe ADP’s land at Paris-Orly will offer only new rooms or rooms having been fully refurbished less than three years prior thereto.”

John Ozinga, CEO of AccorInvest added: “This two-fold project fits in perfectly with AccorInvest’s strategy to strengthen our position as the leading hotel investor in Europe. It makes it possible for us to invest in economy and midscale segments, in HQE-certified* hotels in a strategic position, generating excellent operational performance and which promises to become one of the pioneering business districts in the Greater Paris region.”

Artists impression of the renovated Mercure hotel in the Orlytech district at Paris-Orly Airport © Arte & Charpentier
Artists impression of the renovated Mercure hotel in the Orlytech district at Paris-Orly Airport © Arte & Charpentier

Over the years, Paris-Orly Airport has become a major business hub in the heart of the third-largest economic centre in the Paris region. Located just 10 minutes from Paris, Paris-Orly Airport is accessible from several motorways and many public transport routes (Orlyval-RER B, RER C, Tramway T7, and buses). Access will be improved further with the completion of metro lines 14 and 18 of the Grand Paris Express and with the creation of a TGV railway station.

Large-scale modernisation works are in progress at the airport, which will change its appearance and make it more welcoming, thanks in particular to the construction currently underway of a connecting building which will create a link between the South and West Terminals by 2019.

Artists impression of the ibis Styles & Mercure hotel complex © Arte & Charpentier
Artists impression of the ibis Styles & Mercure hotel complex © Arte & Charpentier

Technical data:

 Developer: Groupe ADP
 Investor: AccorInvest
 Operator: AccorHotels
 Architect: Arte Charpentier
 Surface area: 1.9 hectares
 Hotel capacity:
– Mercure: 189 rooms
– ibis Styles: 200 rooms
 Scheduled to open:
– Mercure: 2nd quarter 2019
– ibis Styles: 4th quarter 2019

* HQE™ is the French certification awarded to building construction and management as well as urban planning projects.​


Rendering of ta guestroom at the DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti

DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti Announced for 2019

DoubleTree by Hilton

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) yesterday announced the signing of a franchise agreement with H.n.h. Hotels & Resorts S.p.a. to open DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti, the city’s first under the DoubleTree by Hilton brand. It will be H.n.h. Hotels & Resorts S.p.a.’s second DoubleTree by Hilton property, joining DoubleTree by Hilton Trieste.

“Rome’s enduring appeal saw it welcome 11 million visitors in the first nine months of 2017, this hotel – our first DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in the Eternal City – is a welcome addition to our growing Italian portfolio,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, development, EMEA, Hilton. “We are thrilled to be extending our partnership with H.n.h. Hotels & Resorts S.p.a. in another world class destination.”

The property will open as DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti after the full refurbishment of an existing property. It will be situated in Monti, a charming neighborhood known for its cafes, alternative fashion retailers and bohemian feel. The hotel is located close to the Bank of Italy, Quirinal Palace and various ministries and embassies. It is also within walking distance of tourist attractions such as the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, and the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore.

Luca Boccato, CEO, H.n.h. Hotels & Resorts S.p.a. said: “DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti, after Trieste, is our second affiliation to DoubleTree by Hilton brand in Italy. We believe in the value of the collaboration with an international brand like Hilton. Its values fit perfectly with the project and our management philosophy.”

DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti will feature 132 guest-rooms, and will offer a fitness centre and spa. Guests and residents will be able to enjoy a range of dining options including two restaurants, a lobby lounge and rooftop bar with stunning views of the city.

DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti joins four Hilton hotels currently trading in central Rome, including Hilton Garden Inn Rome Claridge, Hampton by Hilton Rome East, Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Resort and Aleph Rome Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton.

In recent weeks, the Galician fashion retail group has formalised the operation, which it began to study a year ago. For the time being, the company has not decided what to do with the plots. 

A real estate operation on the edge of Barcelona. The Galician group Inditex, the largest fashion retailer in the world, has signed the purchase of 22,000 m2 of land in Sant Adriá del Besòs in recent weeks. The land acquired corresponds to plots that used to be occupied by Schott Ibérica.

According to explanations provided by sources close to the operation, the acquisition has been carried out by the group’s parent company, Inditex. The sale and purchase has been brokered by the real estate consultancy JLL, according to market sources.

The company chaired by Pablo Isla started to study this move a year ago. Although initially, the possibility of using this land to house the new headquarters of the Bershka chain was considered, sources close to the operation indicate that Inditex has not decided what to use the site for yet. The acquisition is looking to anticipate possible future needs.

Schott Ibérica’s plant in Sant Adrià closed its doors at the end of 2014. The company, which is dedicated to the manufacture and sale of glass tubes for pharmaceutical use, employed more than 100 people on the site at the time of its closure. The plot had attracted interest from several operators.

Inditex has a presence throughout Spain. The headquarters of Zara and Zara Home are located in Arteixo (A Coruña), along with the corporate offices; the headquarters of Pull&Bear are located in Narón (A Coruña); the offices of Uterqüe, Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Oysho are located in Tordera; Stradivarius, in Sallent; and Tempe in Elche (Alicante). In addition to its offices, the group has an extensive logistics presence in Spain, with distribution platforms in A Coruña, Alicante, Zaragoza, León, Barcelona, Madrid and Guadalajara.

In the case of the headquarters in Cataluña, Inditex started to move some of its operations closer to the Catalan capital several years ago, with the aim of improving its ability to attract talent. In fact, Stradivarius moved its design centre to Cerdanyola del Vallès (Barcelona) last year following the acquisition of land there, measuring 18,911 m2, from the Generalitat de Catalunya. That brand’s logistics activity, however, is still located in Sallent (…).

With a network of more than 7,500 stores in 94 countries, Inditex ended 2016 with revenues of €23.311 billion. As we wait for the company to announce its results for 2017, we see that it recorded profits of €3.157 billion in the previous year.

The English Grand Hotel recovers in this stage the splendor and the category that it had in the XIX century and the first half of the XX

Hidden Away Hotels will reopen in March the doors of the Gran Hotel Inglés in Madrid , the oldest hotel in the capital, after investing 16 million euros in the integral restoration, which will open its doors converted into a five-star establishment.

The Gran Hotel Ingles, which dates back to 1853 , was the first hotel to have a restaurant, and is located on the first street in Madrid that had an electricity supply, the current Echegaray street . A place that was a meeting point for avant-garde and intellectuals and he used to concur influential artists, writers and musicians like Matisse, Valle-Inclán or Carlos Gardel.

The boutique hotel located on Calle Echegaray, 8, in the heart of Madrid, a few meters from the Puerta del Sol and the Congreso de los Diputados, in the Barrio de las Letras, has been remodeled by David Rockwell’s architecture studio (Rockwell Group).

Detail of the bathroom of one of the rooms of the Gran Hotel Inglés
Detail of the bathroom of one of the rooms of the Gran Hotel Inglés

The group, which more than two years ago managed to get their property, plans to hire a staff of more than 60 luxury hotel professionals for its operation.

Of the 72 rooms that the old hotel had, it now has 48 rooms , doubling the size of the rooms and 6 luxury suites. The average size of the rooms is 26m2, although there are some that reach up to 125. All equipped with king-size beds, Egyptian cotton linen 500 thread, smart TV and high-speed Wi-Fi by fiber optic.

It also has two private dining rooms, a library called the Hall of Letters , a gym, a wellness area. The name of the restaurant, Lobo 8 , is inspired by the old name of Echegaray Street.

Design of the Gran Hotel English suite
Design of the Gran Hotel English suite

The Gran Hotel Inglés is the second hotel of this project that already has in Palma de Mallorca the boutique hotel Posada Terra Santa , former baronial curia dating from 1576.

Pilot room of the Gran Hotel Inglés
Pilot room of the Gran Hotel Inglés

Hidden Away Hotels was founded four years ago by Carmen Cordón Muro and Ignacio Jiménez Artacho, whose philosophy is to identify properties relegated to abandonment over time.