The partnership concludes a year-long effort by Starcity to study the European market. Barcelona was selected as the launch destination for a broader European expansion after careful review. “Rents in Barcelona have risen over 50% since 2013, and the local middle-class is being driven out of the city center. There’s a clear need for dense yet comfortable, inviting homes that bring people closer to jobs,” notes Mo Sakrani, Starcity’s Cofounder and Chief Investment Officer.
The expansion will be led by Esteve Almirall, Starcity’s Managing Director for Spain. Almirall was born and raised in Barcelona, obtained his BA in Real Estate Finance at New York University, and helped build Barcelona Homes by renovating over 40 flats over the past 8 years, before spending time at Airbnb and View The Space. Most recently, he served as Starcity’s Director of Acquisitions in San Francisco. “We’re excited about this partnership. We are aligned with our goal to innovate within the multi-family space and bring coliving to Barcelona renters who are sorely in need of a better experience,” said Almirall.
Similar to Starcity’s early approach in California, the joint venture will focus on converting existing buildings that are in need of revitalization. It plans to build its footprint and European home base in Barcelona in the coming twelve months, before turning its eye to other markets in Spain. “Barcelona and Madrid are two of the largest metropolitan areas in Europe, but the focus of major coliving brands has largely been on the U.K., Germany, and The Netherlands to date. We’re excited to be the first to start serving this part of Europe under a full service approach in which we own, develop and operate coliving spaces,” notes Almirall.
The company plans to have a local team operating 150 beds by the end of this year and is looking to develop thousands of beds in the region in the coming years. In order to do that it will leverage Barcelona Home’s existing multifamily portfolio, which owns and operates more than 175k sq ft in Barcelona.
Starcity is a global, tech-enabled, urban living brand serving renters in expensive cities. It is currently the largest developer and operator of coliving in the Western United States. The company currently operates hundreds of units in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Oakland, with thousands in development. Coliving is a new category of rental multi-family housing that reduces the cost to the individual, increases community by sharing more space and activities, and simplifies the ease of use by providing plug & play living spaces. Starcity has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CityLab, and is backed by Bullpen Capital, Deciens Capital, Pay It Forward, and Y Combinator.
About Barcelona Homes
Barcelona Homes is a family-owned company that owns more than 175,000 square feet of multifamily properties in Barcelona. The company has developed expertise in the mid-term sector by developing and operating a collection of furnished rentals over the past eight years. The company is led by Esteve Almirall who represents the third generation of the family and Joan Ramon, founder and CEO of Barcelona based asset and property management company Barnaquatre.