13 June 2016 – Andalucía Información
Investors and governments alike are trying to take advantage of the improvement in the economic environment to reactivate the real estate market in Sevilla. Whilst on Thursday, the Town Planning department put 19 plots of land in Sevilla, on which 1,440 homes may be built, up for forced sale through public auction, now comes the mandate for the confidential sale of half of the urban development rights over the large site of the former Cruzcampo factory, where the PGOU has authorised the construction of 1,963 homes, in addition to tertiary uses.
The site of the historical brewery on Avenida de Andalucía had gone from being a star project to a failing project. The Basque real estate company Urvasco, which acquired the plot during the golden years of the real estate boom, commissioned the design of a “high standing” neighbourhood to four of the star-architects at the time: Norman Foster, Jean Nouvel, Arata Isozaki and Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra, who…even had their photo taken together with Monteserín, the then mayor, on the balcony of the Town Hall, in 2006. At the time, sourcecs spoke about an investment of €750 million in the construction of a luxury neighbourhood that was going to boast a high category hotel with around 150 rooms.
Nevertheless, with the burst of the (real estate) bubble just two years later, the project ended up foundering, along with its developer, Urvasco, which was unable to meet its obligations with the banks that had lent it €330 million and so it had to hand over the land to a pool of financial entities and companies linked to them (around a dozen in total).
The ‘Compañía para los Desarrollos Inmobiliarios de la Ciudad de Híspalis’ is the owner of half of the urban development rights of this land (49.91% to be exact). The Company was constituted by Banco Popular, CajaSur, Caja Granada, Caja España, Caixa Catalunya, Cajastur, Caja Laboral, Bancaja and Caja de Ahorros de Extremadura.
This company, which had accumulated debt amounting to €294 million and losses of €200 million, filed for voluntary bankruptcy in January 2016 in the Commercial Court of Madrid, and its application was approved on 22 February. However, that has not represented an obstacle to the process to sell its urban development rights, entrusted to an intermediary company, which is looking for potential investors in a restricted process that will run until Friday (17 June), the deadline for the acceptance of offers.
The sales brochure highlights that the plot has a surface area of 18,286 sqm and is located just 400m from El Corte Inglés on Nervión Plaza (presented as the main shopping centre in Sevilla), as well as from Sevilla F.C.’s stadium and the Santa Justa train station.
The Interior Reform Plan definitively approved the development of 1,963 homes, of which 890 will be allocated for social housing, as part of a total constructible area for residential use of 225,823 sqm, as well as a further 29,345 sqm for tertiary use. Therefore, the gross buildable area amounts to 255,168 sqm.
All of this will be constructed on wide blocks located in the Southern area of the plot. The Northern section will be a green area covering more than 70,000 sqm. According to the sales brochure, “the proposed plans seeks to achieve a maximum liberation of space, of around 35% in total, for the enjoyment of citizens. To achieve this, the plans propose the construction of tall buildings, which in the case of the residential units will be 15-storeys high”.
Original story: Andalucía Información (by M. J. Florencino)
Translation: Carmel Drake