If we start talking about Torre Glòries in Barcelona, it is quite possible that some readers don't know exactly which symbolic building we are referring to. However, if we use the much more popular name of Torre Agbar, the recognition is almost instant. Despite the fact that the company occupying the skyscraper for a few years no longer has its headquarters there, both residents and tourist guides continue to use its original name. But, as we anticipate rare occurrences in this same venue, it may be necessary to change the name of the Glòries Tower once again thanks to an illustrious tenant like Facebook.
The real estate agency, Engel & Völkers, was the main intermediary of this business arrangement that resulted in the rental of over 9,000 sqm in the tower, which is still owned by Merlin Properties. This leading real estate company with extensive experience in the management of this type of business maintained the anonymity of the company that had leased that part of the tower. Facebook will greatly expand its presence in our country by opening an Internet content control centre to combat fake news.
This rental management has been a milestone in the history of Engel & Völkers in Barcelona, but in a broader sense, it can also be interpreted as a success for the Catalan capital. Although the city has always enjoyed a great attraction among real estate investors, we can not forget that a wealth of circumstances had caused some uncertainty among foreign agents. With the decision of Facebook to set up its call centre here, the city as a whole becomes strengthened and once again witnesses an iconic and perhaps cursed skyscraper get back to business.
The Torre Glòries intended to mark a turning point in local architecture when it first opened its doors back in 2005. The company, Aguas de Barcelona (Agbar) was its first major tenant, although the tower always performed below its true potential. With rare exception, most of the gigantic building's spaces have been empty for several years, despite the continuous rumours that emerged about the opening of a luxury hotel. Merlin Properties took over the ownership of the tower at the beginning of 2017 and started a very serious process to put these modern facilities back to good use.
Our efforts and the necessary collaboration of our real estate agents have resulted in the rental agreement signed with the US firm, Facebook. In fact, this US company has already undertaken the necessary remodeling works so that the office complex can be fully operational from May 18th. Prior to the publication of the agreement, those responsible for the social network site would have already provided the owners of the tower with the instructions to start the works. In this way, Facebook will have an unbeatable framework to carry out a project that is becoming increasingly necessary.
The US firm will delegate to Competence Call Centre (the company that was initially the lessee) the supervision tasks of content control in relation to fake news. It is a strategy that Facebook has been using for a few years, while it has a content control centre in Essen (Germany) very similar to the one that is about to open in the Glories Tower. None of the people in charge at Facebook have made any statements about this move but we know that up to five hundred professionals are expected to work on this new project. Some analysts have already interpreted this project to be a turning point for the city, which lost the opportunity to host the headquarters of the European Medicines Agency not so long ago.
It must be said that the figures from the Glories Tower (or should we say Facebook Tower?) are truly impressive. The skyscraper, located at number 211 Avenida Diagonal (at its confluence with Plaza de les Glòries Catalanes) is the third tallest building in the city thanks to its 142 metres high tower. Throughout its 34 floors we can find more than 37,000 sqm available for companies, including, as a most notable space, an auditorium with capacity for 350 people. The tower is especially known for its daring exterior design, which not only offers a light show at night but also constitutes a great example of energy efficiency (awarded by the European Union).
In short, Engel & Völkers cannot hide its satisfaction for participation in a rental agreement that will result in greater external visibility for our city. It must be noted that the same area where Facebook will work in (known as district 22) is already home to offices of companies, such as eBay, Yahoo, Indra, and Deutsche Telekom.