‘Operación Chamartín’ Becomes ‘Madrid, Nuevo Norte’

31 July 2017 – Expansión

A Solomonic agreement has been reached between DCN, the Ministry of Development, the Town Hall of Madrid and the Community of Madrid to push ahead with the long-standing project, which will see the construction of 11,000 homes (including 4,100 social housing properties) and a large business centre.

But its name is no longer ‘Operación Chamartín’, ‘Distrito Castellana Norte’ or ‘Madrid Puerta Norte’….after almost 25 years since the idea was first floated by the then government of Felipe González, the development in the northern zone of the belt of Madrid’s M30, is going to be called ‘Madrid, Nuevo Norte’.

On Thursday, the Town Hall of Madrid, Adif and DCN (the property developer in which BBVA and SanJosé hold stakes) presented the strategic guidelines upon which the new project is going to be based. It reduces the buildability to 2.68 million m2, down by 20.5% compared to the 3.37 million m2 proposed by DCN, and cuts the total number of homes to 11,000, of which 20% will be social housing properties. On the other hand, the management of the plan has been handed over to the Town Hall of Madrid, which will control the timings and activities.

The players involved announced the 19 points included as the basis of the agreement, most of which are technical, and which also involve resolving the legal actions. The new plan will see a modification to the General Urban Plan (PGOU) and is divided into five areas (Chamartín Station, Business Centre, Fuencarral Malmea, Fuencarral Tres Olivos and Las Tablas) and two large zones: the South of the M30, which will constitute primarily office space and a large CBD, and the North of the M30, which will focus on housing.

A large business centre for Madrid

One of the fundamental axes of the plan will be the Chamartín station and the Business Centre, which will be located next to the new station to allow for sustainable mobility. The event on Thursday was attended by the Minister for Development, Íñigo de la Serna; the mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, and the President of the company Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN), Antonio Béjar. “This initiative has solid pillars and is sustainable over time. It is an avant-garde and recognisable project, which will generate investment and create employment”, said Antonio Béjar.

Meanwhile, the mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, expressed her appreciation for the capacity for “dialogue and consensus” and asked for collaboration from the other political groups to move ahead with the project. “The world is changing. From now on, in Madrid, we are going to be capable of forming part of that change”. For the Minister for Development, Íñigo de la Serna, this is a new project, born out of an agreement that unites the interests of the parties (…).

In this way, the urban planning project, which just six months ago looked to be doomed to failure, seems to be back on track in the critical areas. The property developers said that Madrid does not currently have a recognisable and compact business district. This plan, they said, is designed to fill that gap.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo, L. Ruiz-Ocaña and C. Galera)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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