Carmena Invites Ministry of Development to Reactivate Operación Campamento with 11,500 Homes

25 September 2018 – El Confidencial

The mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, announced today that she has invited the Ministry of Development to reactivate Operación Campamento, originally proposed in 2005, to be built on disused military land in the south-west of the capital, with the construction of 11,150 homes instead of the 22,100 units projected by the PP initially. This is one of the last remaining urban development projects in Madrid, together with the developments in the southeast of the city and Operación Chamartín, which received initial approval from the Town Hall of Madrid last week.

In April 2015, the Ministry of Defence – the owner of the plots – announced their sale through an online public auction on Addmeet, but in the end, the operation was left hanging. Then, as El Confidencial reported, the asking price for the plots – through the public auction process – amounted to between €200 million and €250 million.

Now, three years later, and with the urbanisation process underway for Madrid Nuevo Norte (MNN) – the new name for Operación Chamartín – Carmena seems to be willing to place enough land on the market to try to put a stop to the sharp rise in prices, both in the purchase and rental markets, that the capital has experienced over the last two years and which has also led Carmena herself to propose to the central Government a moratorium or an automatic extension of the rental contracts that are due to terminate before the Urban Lease Law (LAU) is reformed.

Manuela Carmena made this announcement during her opening speech in the debate over the state of the city, in which she vindicated the Government’s actions in urban planning and its willingness to put a stop to the inequality that exists between the north and the south of the city (…).

As already happened with MNN, where the total buildability was reduced by 21% – from 3.37 million m2 in the previous plan to 2.66 million m2 in the current plan – along with the number of homes – from 18,500 to 10,510, mostly social housing properties – the operation will not go ahead at any price and, according to Carmena’s comments, the total buildability would also be reduced in this new Operación Campamento and the construction of public housing would be strengthened.

Operación Campamento in numbers

Designed on plots of land owned by the state, the Town Hall wants to build 11,150 homes, of which 40% will be private – 4,150 -, 37% will be social housing properties with limited prices – 3,800 – , and 23% will be social housing properties, of which 1,100 will be rental homes.

So-called Operación Campamento was launched in 2005 with the signing of an agreement between the then Minister of Defence, José Bono, and Minister for Housing, María Antonia Trujillo, and the then mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, for the construction of two phases of up to 22,100 homes on this disused military site to the west of the Spanish capital. Even though today, around half of the homes should have already been built, not a single brick has been laid.

Despite the strategic location of the plots, the reality is that only the Chinese businessman Wang Jianlin, owner of the Wanda group, publically announced his intention to undertake the €3 billion investment on them. That offer never came to fruition because the auction never went ahead (…).

Operación Campamento is one of the most important residential developments in Madrid capital after Operación Chamartín. It spans 1.5 million m2 – with more than 1 million m2 of buildable space – on which offices, hotels, shopping centres, private and public housing, as well as sports facilities and schools could be built. Moreover, the operation would include placing part of the highway to Extremadura (the A-5) underground as well as the construction of a transport interchange at the Aviación Española metro station, where a parking lot is planned for around 2,000 vehicles.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E.S.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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