AQ Acentor breaks ground at AQ Urban Fira

Lectura 5 min
  • Construction work begins today on two residential buildings, dubbed Lisboa and Berlín, heralding the start of a new urban regeneration programme for the neighbourhood of La Marina del Prat Vermell
  • AQ Acentor is set to invest some €270 million in the AQ Urban Fira development, expected to create around 3,000 direct and indirect jobs
  • The developer will deliver more than 680 homes and a 15,000 sqm office complex built to a sustainable design, with a view to meeting the criteria for internationally recognised certifications

Barcelona, 26 May 2021: AQ Acentor, Aquila Capital’s property developer in Spain and a specialist in delivering projects in major urban centres, is today breaking ground on the first two buildings in its AQ Urban Fira development. The two residential towers, dubbed Lisboa and Berlín, are the forerunners of a new urban regeneration programme for the neighbourhood of La Marina del Prat Vermell.

AQ Acentor is spearheading the programme by creating more than 680 new homes: 480 destined for sale on the open market and more than 190 state-subsidised units. These first two buildings will deliver more than 30 state-subsidised homes (VPO) and around 110 for general sale. The developer plans to build another three residential buildings and another office complex extending to some 15,000 sqm. In total, its involvement is expected to generate investment of approximately €270 million and around 3,000 direct and indirect jobs, including 800 linked to the development of the Lisboa and Berlín properties.

The project is part of the urban regeneration programme adopted by Barcelona City Council, which will ultimately see the creation of a new neighbourhood for the city covering approximately 75 hectares. Former industrial land will be transformed for residential use, providing more than 11,800 sustainable new homes with a significant social component. Around 47% of new units will be state-subsidised, with 53% offered for sale on the open market. The development area is located within the boundaries of La Marina de Sants, La Marina de Ports and the Barcelona Free Zone, part of the Sants-Monjuic district. On completion, it is expected to accommodate around 30,000 new residents. The new homes will stand out for their use of efficient, planet-friendly technologies for heating, cooling and water treatment and for their generous provision of green and public space. The start of construction work marks the inauguration of the largest urban development programme currently under way in Barcelona.

Sven Schoel, CEO of AQ Acentor, remarked: ‘AQ Urban Fira is a flagship project for us as part of this green, sustainable and energy-efficient urban regeneration programme. The homes and offices we will be offering have been designed to conform to sustainability criteria set by leading international certification schemes. This project will not only inject new life into the great city of Barcelona; it will also expand the residential options available within the urban area, where there is little remaining scope for new-build development of this calibre.’

AQ Urban Fira will also benefit from the wide range of amenities and services in the vicinity of La Marina del Prat Vermell. Residents will have easy access to a variety of cultural and educational opportunities within a ten-minute radius, most notably the Montjuic de la Fira de Barcelona site, the National Museum of Catalonia and the IESE Business School. There are also numerous sports facilities in the area and an extensive leisure and fashion retail offer, thanks to the Gran Via 2 de Hospitalet shopping centre and a varied choice of high street stores.  The development area also stands out for its excellent transport links, including direct access to metro lines L 10S and L9S – offering connections to the airport – and five different bus routes within a five-minute walk of the Lisboa and Berlín sites. Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat international airport can be reached in 15 minutes by road.

AQ Urban Fira will put sustainability at the heart of every project phase. The entire development process will be carried out in accordance with international guidelines for BREEAM certification. All properties will be built to achieve an ‘A’ rating for energy efficiency and will be connected to a new, regenerative water system developed by Barcelona City Council, designed to facilitate sustainable use for both direct and indirect purposes. They will also be part of the Ecoenergies Barcelona network, which provides heating and cooling services for HVAC systems and domestic hot water (DHW). The end result will be a lower-impact, more sustainable urban environment that helps property owners get optimum value from the services they need.

About AQ Acentor

AQ Acentor is Aquila Capital’s specialist property developer in Spain, with particular expertise in delivering projects in major urban centres. At present, it primarily operates in Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga and Valencia.

AQ Acentor is currently developing over 6,000 new-build homes, across 660,000 sqm of land, with a total investment value of more than €1,600 million. More than 40% of these homes are build-to-rent properties, making AQ Acentor one of the top players in the Spanish rental market. In addition to rental properties, 40% of AQ Acentor’s current portfolio consists of social housing, reflecting the company’s clear commitment to creating affordable housing.  

About Aquila Capital

Grupo Aquila is a market leader in the real estate investment space. It follows a sustainable investment strategy focused on renewables, energy efficiency, infrastructure, residential property, green logistics, silviculture and agriculture. Founded in 2001 as one of Germany’s first alternative investment firms, Grupo Aquila now manages some €12,500 million (at 31 December 2021) on behalf of institutional investors based all over the world. 

Over the last ten years, Grupo Aquila has amassed a largely pan-European portfolio, having invested in renewable energy projects with a combined capacity of 10.7 GW and brought more than two million square metres of residential and green logistics property to completion or active development. Grupo Aquila is committed to advancing the energy transition in Europe by financing sustainable investment. 

To create value for investors, Grupo Aquila adopts a fully holistic approach to investment and fund management. With 14 offices in 12 countries, its expert teams mobilise their extensive experience and professional networks to evaluate, develop, finance, manage and execute investments at every stage of the value chain.

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