We’re excited to announce a joint venture today with Barcelona Homes to build housing for the urban renter in Spain.

The partnership concludes a year-long effort to study the European market. Barcelona was selected as the launch destination for a broader European expansion after careful review of its housing supply and demand drivers. 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. 

The expansion will be led by Esteve Almirall, Starcity’s Managing Director for Spain. Esteve 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 eight 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 our early approach in California, the joint venture will focus on converting existing buildings that are in need of revitalization. We plan to build our footprint and European home base in Barcelona in the coming twelve months, before turning an eye to other markets in Spain.

Why 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 delighted to be the first to start serving this part of Europe under a full service approach in which we develop and operate coliving spaces.

Our local team will develop and operate 150 beds by the end of this year and we look forward to developing thousands of beds in the region in the coming years. We’re thrilled to start with Barcelona Homes’ existing multifamily portfolio, which is more than 175,000 square feet in the heart of Barcelona.