Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Postgraduates' Trip to Barcelona

Each year, after exams, the postgraduate real estate students undertake the gruelling task of spending a week in a european city looking at the real estate market and making a comparison with the UK. This year they went to the beautiful city of Barcelona with a brief to consider what advice they would give to a potential investor in these difficult times for the eurozone.


Gaudi didn't create typical real estate property!

In property terms, Barcelona is Spain's second city, after Madrid and considered more industrial compared to Madrid, which has more financial services. Barcelona also has a larger tourism market, which is important to the retail function of the city. The students were looking at the potential for investment in both office and retail property in the city and enjoyed talks by planners, surveyors and academics as well as visiting a number of offices and retail properties around the city.

Students listening to surveyor Nick Wride from Jones Lang Lasalle

The pictures below show a double office development in an inner city business park within Barcelona, known as Distrito 38. The high spec development is owned by Gesmadrid and designed by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki and Spainish architect Alejandro Zaera Polo.

In all the project has over 26,000 square metres of office space, 2000 square metres of retail and over 440 parking spaces. The students heard from Brit surveyor Nick Wride from Jones Lang Lasalle how the office leasing market is performing in the downtown and the rents achieved.

We are not shopping! Retail property represents a major investment in Barcelona

Students also looked at how investing in high street retail compared to shopping centres in Barcelona. The city has sought to protect traditional high street retail and has strict planning control on shopping centre development.

But it wasn't all work. After an intensive year and with just the applied project to complete, the group celebrated on the last night with a wonderful meal down by the harbour.

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