10 years of commitment

10 years of commitment to...

The quality of the portfolio

Carlota Yllera
Director of Asset Management Retail at Grupo Lar

If there is a key aspect when evaluating any real estate company, the quality of its assets is likely the most revealing of all. Tracking a real estate portfolio is a reliable and comprehensive way to verify the corporate philosophy, management principles, environmental commitment, or investment capacity of the company behind it. For better or for worse, any real estate company leaves an indelible corporate footprint through its various assets. In the case of a SOCIMI, such as Lar España, that footprint is doubly significant due to the obligation to lease almost all properties and rotate them to maintain the purpose of the investment society.

In less than six months, Lar España will celebrate ten years of activity. In that time, it has invested in 37 assets and currently holds 12 in the portfolio. This represents a notable corporate footprint, where several iconic properties of the last decade, such as Lagasca 99, have left their mark. Following this evolution over time is also relevant: there are initial strategic investments designed to give volume and substance to the portfolio. At the same time, there is a gradual transition to retail, which was significant from the beginning, becoming step by step a differential, specialized project with criteria as rigorous as they are innovative.

Moreover, we are talking about a real estate portfolio designed and consolidated on a case-by-case basis in an extremely irregular economic context. Lar España went public after a hiatus of more than three years without new additions to the stock market. At that time, it embraced the flag of a very professional and qualified investment model, with a core of top-level shareholders and a management contract designed to apply the highest standards of portfolio selection and qualification. Only in 2014 did the company complete twelve investments.

Since then, a portfolio of highly relevant retail assets has been consolidated. Albacenter (Albacete), Portal de la Marina (Alicante), Megapark (Barakaldo, Vizcaya), Ànecblau (Castelldefels, Barcelona), Txingudi (Irún, Guipúzcoa), As Termas (Lugo), Las Huertas (Palencia), El Rosal (Ponferrada, León), Vidanova Parc (Sagunto, Valencia), Lagoh (Seville), Abadía (Toledo), and Gran Vía (Vigo, Pontevedra).

These twelve are located in strategic locations, providing highly well-located physical sites in densely populated areas with clear dominance. This explains their 96% occupancy rate. Additionally, each one is 100% owned by the company, a substantial advantage when managing the entire portfolio.

Dominance is achieved with the ideal location, but it is consolidated and strengthened over time with values such as sustainability or the quality of the commercial mix. Each center and park is the ideal meeting point for e-commerce within an increasingly powerful omnichannel strategy.

Each center offers its end customers a wide and distinctive range of leading brands capable of anchoring and multiplying the interest of the overall commercial offer. This is why the interest of brands in opening retail spaces in Lar España’s centers and parks remains almost always at full occupancy, and probably with the lowest default rate in the entire sector.

The resilience of the assets was clearly demonstrated during the pandemic and the subsequent geopolitical and economic uncertainties on the international stage. In such an uncertain environment, all of them have easily recovered visit frequencies from before the pandemic, and the declared sales volume has clearly surpassed previous levels.

Perhaps the Lagoh shopping center in Seville best encapsulates this resilient capacity. Inaugurated in September 2019, it has become the flagship of Lar España. In December 2022, it exceeded one million visitors in a single month. It has also received two particularly significant awards: in June 2022, the award for the best shopping center, granted by the Spanish Association of Shopping Centers and Parks. In May 2023, the award for the best newly developed shopping center, awarded by the European Council of Shopping Places.

Both awards recognize a new model of much more family-friendly, innovative, sustainable, resilient, and city-revitalizing shopping centers. Based on this foundation, we trust that the next ten years of Lar España will be as good as or even better than the ones that have passed.