AXA IM - Real Assets completes EUR77m acquisition of 216-unit residential development in Barcelona

AXA Investment Managers - Real Assets (AXA IM - Real Assets) has acquired, by way of a forward purchase agreement and on behalf of clients, two phases of the Marina Living residential development in Badalona, Spain, for EUR77 million.

The site has been acquired from Stoneweg, a real estate services and management company active across Europe and the US, who will continue to act as the project’s developer.
Due to complete in 2021, the 28,000 sqm scheme will comprise 216 residential units, made up of two, three and four bedroom apartments for the rental market, along with 860 sq m of retail space and generous parking provisions. Spread over seven floors, amenities will include landscaped private gardens, a swimming pool and children’s playground, while each apartment will have its own external terrace and residents will also have access to common storage areas. 
The site is located in a prime seafront location in the borough of Badalona, to the north of Barcelona’s city centre, and just a five minute walk from the Sant Adriá tram station, which provides convenient access to surrounding regions. Badalona has benefitted from high volumes of investment and regeneration in recent years, and now presents a highly sought after residential offering on account of its strong transport links, short distance from the city’s international airport, and its proximity to Barcelona’s commercial and historical hubs, including the planned future development of Las Tres Chimeneas. Additionally, the site borders 22@, Barcelona’s most dynamic office and commercial area which hosts more than 100,000 employees, while a number of ambitious office development projects remain underway, as well as a new hospital, school, university, hotels and an enhanced residential and leisure offering, all of which is expected to increase the long-term appeal of Marina Living. Those living in Badalona or working in the nearby 22@ will be prioritised for residency, in order to increase Marina Living’s long-term tenancy basis.
The Barcelona residential market is characterised by a shortage of high quality new build residential stock for rent, whilst demand continues to rise. This transaction represents AXA IM - Real Assets’ third large investment to the Spanish residential market over the past year and a half, coming shortly after its forward funding of a 135-unit residential development in central Madrid. These transactions are consistent with AXA IM - Real Assets’ wider strategy, on behalf of clients, to invest into residential asset classes which it believes are supported by strong demographic drivers, while they add to its c EUR10.6 billion portfolio of residential assets under management spread across 11 countries.
Hermann Montenegro, Local Team Head, Iberica and Italy at AXA IM - Real Assets, says: “This ambitious project will deliver significant new supplies of high-quality residential stock to the Catalonian market, which is characterised by compelling supply demand drivers. We are confident in the long-term return profile of this opportunity for our clients, thanks to the combination of our local market expertise and the project’s well-connected and desirable location that benefits from increasing occupier demand in line with local regeneration and supportive underlying market dynamics.”
Joaquín Castellví, Partner at Stoneweg, adds: “We are very pleased to carry out this project in partnership with AXA IM - Real Assets. Marina Living will be developed to the highest quality, and will provide increased housing supplies to Badalona, which is an area experiencing very high demand given its proximity to and good connections with Barcelona. In addition, the development of all four phases of this scheme, delivering more than 400 homes, will make a substantial contribution to the dynamic seafront area of the city.”