22 September 2017 – Eje Prime
After a very drawn out negotiation process and having being passed from Wanda to Grupo Baraka and then to the hotel chain Riu, Edificio España has finally received the green light for its renovation. The Town Hall of Madrid has granted the building permit to allow Riu to start to refurbish its Riu Plaza.
Sources at the Town Hall’s Sustainable Urban Development (DUS) department, explain that the Activities Agency granted the authorisation yesterday, which, given the complexity of the construction work, establishes a program of approval comprising two phases: firstly, the restoration work will be performed, and then the definitive licence will be granted for the inauguration of the hotel, according to EFE.
The first phase of the building permit covers work to conserve the façades, external work to recover recesses, the dismantling of embellishments and the replacement of windows and railings, as well as partial restructuring work, refurbishment and restoration for the adaptation of the existing structure and the dismantling of protected interior elements.
On the other hand, the second phase includes the definitive licence for the inauguration of the hotel activity and the retail space, with the performance of partial restructuring work, construction of internal partition walls and facilities, and external work to assemble the identifying elements of the hotel and the planned retail space, according to sources in the team led by José Manuel Calvo.
Located in the central Plaza de España, the property was constructed by Spanish architects Julián and José María Otamendi between the years 1948 and 1953, and it was the tallest building in Spain at the time. The Chinese multinational Wanda acquired the iconic building with the aim of opening a hotel, luxury homes and a shopping centre, but to that end, it wanted to pull down the existing structure and then reconstruct the façades at a later date, something that the municipal Government refused to allow.
In the end, Wanda sold the building to Grupo Baraka, owned by the Murcian businessman Trinitario Casanova, who visited the property together with the mayor of Madrid and who promised to build a hotel with two swimming pools and a shopping arcade, in collaboration with Riu.
The hotel chain then reached an agreement with Baraka to acquire 100% of Edificio España, and so it will be the entity responsible for undertaking the construction work, in two phases.
Original story: Eje Prime
Translation: Carmel Drake