AEW has acquired an office building in central Barcelona which allows it to undertake the development of a prime new office building in the city’s 22@ district, following the acquisition of the adjacent property in December last year.
The property was acquired on behalf of AEW Europe Value Investors II fund.
The prime office development is located at Carrer d’Avila 48-50 and Badajoz 49-51 and has been designed by Barcelona’s GCA Architects. AEW’s local asset management team will oversee the development working alongside local development manager, Albion Real Estate Management.
The new building will offer c. 8,400 sq. m GLA across a single building distributed in two sections, one of four and the other of three storeys, with basement parking for 89 cars. AEW is targeting a LEED Platinum Certificate for the development, which it expects to complete in Q4 2022. The project will provide state of the art access and hygiene features.
The site benefits from excellent access and public transport, with the Carrer de Badajoz being one of the city’s main traffic arteries and Carrer de Avila providing easy east-west access. The Llacuna metro station (line 4) is within a three minutes walk, which connects directly to the main transport hub at Plaza Catalunya.
The investment represents AEW’s third investment in the Barcelona office market. The acquisition is underpinned by strong supply demand fundamentals and rapid transformation of the 22@ region. Five of the ten largest Barcelona office deals recorded in the first nine months of 2019 (all >6,250 sqm) took place in the 22@ district. Large occupiers, notably from the tech sector, have chosen this location for their Spanish offices, such as Criteo, HP, Facebook and Amazon.
The Fund, which focuses primarily on identifying office properties with upside potential in established and developing locations across liquid European markets, has previously acquired assets in Munich, Stuttgart, Brussels, Madrid and Rotterdam, and has a strong pipeline of potential investments.
“We remain firm in our conviction that regardless of the impact of COVID-19, the fundamental need to bring people together to interact and learn face-to-face remains. Ultimately this means that, while the way offices are used will change, they will remain integral to our working lives. We also believe that the pandemic will accelerate demand for prime modern office space at the expense of older secondary projects which are unable to meet the stringent requirements of the modern occupier. This project allows us to create a brand new, low rise office development that is designed for the future in one of Barcelona’s most dynamic submarkets. Barcelona remains an important target market for AEW given its stability and affordability in the European context as well as its strong long-term growth prospects,” said Carsten Czarnetzki, Fund Manager of EVI II.
AEW was advised by Roca Junyent and BNP Real Estate.