Spanish socimi completes acquisition to unblock Madrid mall development

The sale of a site in Valdebebas in Madrid, which is earmarked to become the largest shopping mall in the north of the capital, completed this week.

The Valdebebas Compensation Board, which manages the 145,000 m2 site on behalf of its owners, sold the land to General de Galerias Comerciales for €55 mln.

A condition of the sale is that the buyer commits to developing a regional shopping centre on the site which is in an urban residential area to the north east of the city centre, and north of Barajas Airport.

Socimi General de Galerias Comerciales, an experienced Spanish shopping centre developer-investor, is thought to have made the only binding offer. Other non-binding offers were made with the potential buyers wanting guarantees regarding transport improvements needed in the area.

The compensation board put the site up for sale last March and was advised by Savills Aguirre Newman. The mall is seen as key in supporting other commercial development in the Ágora de Valdebebas project which the compensation board controls, including further land intended for offices, educational use, hotel and leisure.

An attempt to sell the site for a retail development eight years ago foundered when private equity firm Doughty Hanson pulled out after offering between €110 mln-€120 mln for the land.

The director of the compensation board, Marcos Sánchez Foncueva, said: “In 2020 Valdebebas, will be the engine of real estate investments in Madrid with a renewed revitalization of the residential and commercial sector.’

Its implementation, he added, would be a ‘definitive factor in the launch of Valdebebas as a global and inclusive development, fulfilling its vocation to place the city of Madrid at the head of European capitals.’

About 18,000 people live in the new district where 6,000 homes have been built with 5,00 in the pipeline. Other projects in the area are the Real Madrid football ‘Sports City’, the expansion of the IFEMA exhibition space and resumption of the stalled 260,000 m2 judicial Justice Campus.

Galerias Comerciales owns seven shopping centres and is controlled by Tomas Olivo, one of Spain’s richest businessmen.

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