18 January 2019 – Málaga Hoy
The majority owner of the La Equitativa building, which is behind the partial restoration of the property for the installation of a 5-star hotel, now has the path clear to obtain the building permit for the work. The Delegation of Culture of the Junta de Andalucía has just issued a favourable report for the renovation project, plans for which were submitted almost eight months ago, which paves the way for the Urban Planning Department to grant permission for the intervention.
That was confirmed to this newspaper by sources close to the owner company, who indicated that it was the last procedure that was pending with the municipal entity. In terms of the timeframes that the company is working with to launch the work, the same sources said that it will depend on the announcements made by the municipal entity, which will have to validate compliance with the other technical requirements before proceeding to grant the permit.
The unblocking of the hotel project came on 22 June, when Key International, an investment fund headquartered in Miami, acquired 100% of the east part of the building, which comprises a ground floor plus seven upper storeys, through the firm Alameda Retail. The sale and purchase operation also involved one home and a commercial premise, and although they barely account for 3% of this section of La Equitativa, they were limiting the possibility of the project going ahead as a hotel.
That circumstance forced the private firm to not rule out the possibility of opting for residential use for that part of the building. Having closed the purchase of the remaining buildings, an operation that required several weeks of negotiations with the tenants, the investment fund has free reign to push ahead with its first objective: hotel use. It was precisely that purpose that sparked the firm’s interest in buying La Equitativa in the first place, closing the purchase of 60% of the historical building, which had been owned by Rubcapel until that time.
At the end of April, through the company Key Continental, a request was filed with the Urban Planning Department to proceed with the renovation of the property for that purpose. The data points to an establishment with capacity for around 80 rooms, with an investment of around €14 million. In addition, there will be commercial premises on the ground floors.
Once the position of Delegation of Culture, which is in favour of the intervention, has been defined, then the company may soon resume contact with hotel chains to close an agreement for the management of the establishment.
The other part of La Equitativa corresponds to the tower, comprising 14 floors, which will also be renovated but which will retain its residential use. For that, the owner, Ingomar, also requested a building permit from the Urban Planning Department last October.
The restoration of this building, which is still in the processing phase, is part of a major transformation process currently on-going in La Alameda area, with the future arrival of the metro and the semi-pedestrianisation work, promoted by the Town Hall, as some of the main features.
Original story: Málaga Hoy (by Sebastián Sánchez)
Translation: Carmel Drake