Opaque Sale of a Downtown Plot by Madrid´s Subway

27/08/2014 – El Diario

On July 22nd, the Official State Bulletin (or BOE) informed about the call for proposals for plot Granada-Cavanilles, sold by Madrid’s Metro. The 18.500 square meter piece of land is located in the center of the capital (in the south of the Retiro park) and it houses the subway‘s central premises.

The auction attracts attention due to the downtown location of the plot, where there are more no vacant parcels left. Conditions of the bidding were called ‘the blind try’ among the experts from the sector as considerable part of the payment will be conveyed ‘in kind’, materialized through construction of new headquarters for Metro. With the tiny detail that neither the cost, nor the project will become known before the auction.

Another thought-provoking aspect of the sale is the reason why Metro de Madrid is actually selling the plot. The company justifies it as follows: green areas will be given to the public at the expense of land which is today underused by the subway.‘ However, official documents indicate that only 3.210 square meters out of the 18.500 put up for sale (around 17%) will be intended for green areas, while office buildings will occupy over 40% of the plot.

According to terms of reference issued by Metro, bids can be submitted until October 22nd. Asking price is €28.8 million.

As mentioned before, the purchase will be sealed both in cash and in kind. The latter means construction of the new headquarters on the land in the Canillejas neighborhood. ‘Estimated budget for the investment reaches €20 million and the project will have to be adopted as the winners own

Sources from the sector say: it seems Metro wants to keep 90% of the bidders away from the auction. The more, that the firm clearly states that the candidates must provide it with specific job classification certificates, including earthworks, drilling, large concrete constructions and high-voltage installations”, to name just few.

Finally, the Engine Shed (la Nave de Motores), a cultural heritage site from 1919 situated on the land for sale next to the Metro de Chamberi station, has been ommitted in the terms of reference document.


Original article: El Diario (by Antonio Ruiz del Árbol)

Translation: AURA REE