Benson Elliot marks opening of Barcelona office development with City’s Largest Letting since 2012 (ES)

Benson Elliot has let 6,800 m² (73,200 ft²) in its newly-built Cornerstone office development in Poblenou, Barcelona, to ADP, a global leader in outsourced services and human resources management. The letting is the largest in Barcelona in more than a year, and represents a further sign that this Spanish city is turning the corner on the global financial crisis.

Cornerstone is located in the heart of Barcelona’s modern business district of 22@, close to the crossing of Poblenou’s two principal thoroughfares: Avenida Diagonal and Avenida Pere IV.

ADP has taken a seven year lease at Cornerstone, and will occupy floors 1 to 6 of the project’s Building B. The company’s intention is to consolidate 400 staff from various Barcelona-area offices into a new Diagonal-Parc Central headquarters.

Benson Elliot agreed to forward purchase the 20,700 m² Cornerstone office development from Banco Sabadell subsidiary Solvia in 2011, in a joint venture with Bream Real Estate. At the time few were willing to make such a significant – and indeed speculative – commitment to Spain’s real estate sector. Three years later Cornerstone represents the only major new office project expected to deliver space for occupation in Barcelona in 2014, even as the city finds itself increasingly undersupplied in terms of new Grade A provision.

Trish Barrigan, Senior Partner at Benson Elliot, commented: "Benson Elliot acquired this asset with the recovery in mind, but not yet in view. We recognized the stand-out quality of the project – in a city that remains a magnet for international business – and could see the dearth of competitive supply in the pipeline. This letting to ADP, and the level of interest we are seeing from other potential occupiers, validates our early decision to move forward with the project. It is also satisfying to see renewed investment interest in Barcelona, and in Spain more broadly.”

Cornerstone is one of Barcelona’s most design-efficient developments, having been conceived with occupiers in mind. The buildings provide efficient, open-plan floor-plates set around a 2,100 m² communal plaza. Locally sourced materials, showers and changing rooms for staff, free electric vehicle charging and DALI intelligent lighting controls underpin the project’s commitment to sustainability. Recognizing that commitment, the building was at completion awarded Barcelona’s first ever LEED Gold certificate for an office building.

International real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield who advised on the letting will be providing a full fit-out service for ADP and will oversee the ongoing property management for Cornerstone.

Source: Benson Elliot

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