Operación Campamento Delayed Until Mid-2016

23 September 2015 – El Confidencial

According to the popular proverb, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And Operación Campamento, a development that has already been delayed for more than a decade, may not be completely “clean” to be put up for auction until the middle of 2016. In other words, one of the most anticipated urban planning projects in the capital, whose expected sale was announced in style by the Ministry of Defence – which owns the land – through the real estate website Addmeet in April, will have to wait almost a year. And all because of the urban “paperwork”.

At the beginning of September, Pedro Morenés, from the Ministry of Defence, blamed the Town Hall of Madrid for the delay, as it “has to grant the licences for the project to go ahead. The Ministry of Defence has already gone to the Town Hall to ask for the permits”, he assured the Senate.

According to the experts consulted by El Confidencial, “although the pending urban planning procedures are simple, they will take time. And, in this case, we could be talking about months”. However, far from harming the Ministry of Defence, which expects to generate revenues of €80 million from the sale – as reflected in the State’s General Budget for 2016 – the delay may end up benefitting the central government department, given the significant level of interest the land has sparked amongst investors over the last year. At the beginning of July, the State Land Company (‘Sociedad Estatal de Suelo’ or Sepes) awarded the largest package of land in Madrid to date – measuring 120,000 m2, on which more than 1,200 social housing properties will be constructed – for €50 million.

On a smaller scale, but of no less importance for the purposes of measuring the temperature of this market, have been the on-going sales of land in Valdebebas, which has also witnessed this renewed buyer appetite at first hand, along with the slight “overheating” that is starting to be seen in some land purchases. Prices in this development bottomed out a few years ago at around €800/m2 and currently stand at around €1,100/m2, although some operations are being closed at higher prices.

The experts consulted calculate that Operación Campamento may be put on the market for between €200 million and €250 million, and that the urban planning delay may tip the balance towards an even higher figure. It is worth remembering that this development has a surface area of almost 1.5 million m2, of which 1.3 million m2 are buildable, and almost 11,000 homes (social housing and unsubsidised homes) may be constructed. (…).

In any case, the Town Hall insists that “the procedures that the Ministry of Defence says depend on the municipal institution, are being carried out within the appropriate timeframes” and they criticise the Ministry of Defence for trying to make the general public believe that the Town Hall is to blame for the delay to the Operación. (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Elena Sanz and Paloma Esteban)

Translation: Carmel Drake