Benson Elliot signs second major letting in Barcelona, as early move into Spain continues to prove successful

Benson Elliot, the UK-based private equity real estate fund manager, has signed its second blue chip tenant at its 20,700 sqm (222,800 sq ft) Cornerstone office development in Barcelona, Spain.

Henkel, the German manufacturer of household products including Sellotape, Persil and Pritt adhesives, has agreed a 10 year lease on 6,423 sqm (69,137 sq ft) of space for its new Spanish HQ. Henkel will occupy the ground to fifth floors of Building C from the beginning of 2015.

In March 2014 Benson Elliot announced that it had agreed the largest letting in Barcelona for more than a year when ADP, a global leader in outsourced services and human resources, took nearly 6,800 sqm (73,200 sq ft) of space in Building B. The new letting to Henkel brings occupancy at the building to 64 per cent, only 6 months after completion.

Benson Elliot was one of the few investors willing to make a significant commitment to the Spanish real estate sector in 2011, when the firm agreed to forward purchase the Cornerstone office development from Solvia, a Banco Sabadell subsidiary, in joint venture with Barcelona-based Bream Real Estate. In an increasingly undersupplied Barcelona office market, Cornerstone is the only major new project with Grade A space ready for occupation in 2014.

Cornerstone was conceived with occupiers in mind; its three buildings, set in a 2,100 sqm communal plaza, offer efficient, open-plan floor plates in the heart of Barcelona’s modern business district of Poblenou. Cornerstone was awarded Barcelona’s first ever LEED Gold certificate for an office building, with sustainable features including locally sourced materials, free electric vehicle charging and DALI intelligent lighting controls.

Trish Barrigan, Senior Partner at Benson Elliot, commented: “The letting to Henkel underpins our decision to move into the Spanish market at a time when others feared to tread. Henkel is a major international business, with a strong covenant, and we’re pleased to welcome them to Cornerstone. Occupier interest continues to be strong, and we anticipate making further letting announcements in the near future.”

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