Metrovacesa To Build Homes & Hotels In Clesa Factory

28 May 2015 – Expansión

The real estate company and the College of Architects are holding a competition for ideas to renovate the main building of the complex in Madrid and develop homes, hotels and retail spaces.

Recover an industrial area that was abandoned years ago, and integrate it into the new urban plan for Madrid. That is the ambitious project that the real estate company Metrovacesa finds itself immersed in.

The company has decided to convert the Clesa factory – the former dairy brand of the Ruiz Mateos group – in Madrid, into a residential area with all sorts of amenities, as well as hotels and retail spaces. The project includes the demolition of 16 industrial warehouses that make up the complex, but one building, created by the architect Alejandro de la Sota, will be maintained. “The disused building was neglected by the former tenants, which constructed adjoining properties. We have been working on (this project) for months and in the end, last Friday, we got the green light from the Town Hall of Madrid for the classification (of the property) as a protected building”, explained Carlos García León yesterday, Director General at Metrovacesa.

The area, located on Avenida Cardenal Herrara Oria in Madrid, next to the Ramón y Cajal hospital and with 90,000 square metres of buildable area, has been empty for the last six years, when the business conglomerate owned by the Ruiz Mateos families ran into financial difficulties. Metrovacesa has been the joint owner of the factory since 2006 and in 2013, it became the sole owner of the property.

Now, and with an investment of more than €30 million, Metrovacesa will reduce the buildable surface area to 70,000 square metres, of which 9,000 m2 relate to De La Sota’s protected building; the remainder will be split as follows: 60% for homes, both unsubsidised (free homes) and subsidised social housing; and 40% for tertiary properties.

“We have listened to the requests made by people in the area, such as the families of patients at the hospital, who do not have retail areas or hotel rooms to stay in”, explains José Antonio Granero, Dean of Madrid’s Official College of Architects (el Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid or COAM).

Competition for ideas

The first phase of this new urban development will feature the protected building. To this end, Metrovacesa has teamed up with COAM to hold a competition for ideas to renovate the property, designed in 1959 and completed in 1961, to find a new use for it. “The competition will be announced next week once the Town Hall’s approval of the change to the general plan has been published in the BOE”, explain sources at COAM. The decision to award the project will evaluate both the proposals for the provision of services in the area, as well as their technical and economic feasibility. Interested architects may submit their proposals to a panel comprising directors from Metrovacesa, architects from COAM and members of Madrid’s Town Hall.

For the renovation of this space alone, the real estate company will invest between €15 million and €20 million.

Furthermore, Metrovacesa has signed an agreement with Adif for the transfer of 1,000 square metres of space, which the railway manager will use to improve the station that is currently closest to the site. “Adif is going to build a footbridge to link the area with the Ramón y Cajal hospital, which is currently separated from the complex by the train tracks.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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