22 January 2015 – Expansión
Following his investment in Atlético de Madrid, the Chinese tycoon, owner of the Edificio España, is studying the possibility of building a residential and tourist complex that would also include casinos. He is considering two locations: Campamento and Venta de la Rubia.
Yesterday, for the first time, the Chinese businessman, Wang Jianlin (pictured), owner of the conglomerate Wanda Group, confirmed his plans for the creation of a residential and leisure macro-complex in Madrid. “We have already had a meeting with the Spanish President and it is now up to Spain to take a decision”, said Wang in China, after signing an agreement to acquire 20% of the Atlético de Madrid football club.
The objective of Wang Jianlin, who has assets of more than $13,200 million, according to the most recent Forbes ranking, is to invest at least €3,000 million in the creation of an upmarket complex that would include up to 15,000 luxury homes. The development would also house leisure areas, such as a retail complex, theme parks and casinos. In fact, Jianlin has already hired the project’s creator from the gaming magnate Sheldon Adelson in Macau, say sources close to the entrepreneur.
In terms of the location of the macro-complex, Wang Jianlin and his team have two options. On the one hand, the site in Venta de la Rubia, in Alcorcón, where Sheldon Adelson was going to build the failed Eurovegas project. On the other hand, an old barracks site in Campamento, in Madrid, which is currently owned by the Ministry of Defence.
In favour of the former are its location, close to Madrid’s tourist attractions, such as the Royal Palace, and crucially, the fact that it has a single owner, the central Government, which would massively simplify future negotiations regarding construction. Against, is the price that Jianlin would have to pay for the site, which covers almost 9 million square metres, and the fact that a development plan already exists and modifications to it may delay construction.
The second option, in Venta de la Rubia, is close to Santander’s business park, as well as to the land where Atlético de Madrid plans to build its new sports facilities; in addition, Wang would be allowed to create a tailor-made development plan for the site. Furthermore, the owners of the land, who are united through a Compensation Board and which include companies such as Metrovacesa and the Urtinsa group, would be willing to hand over some of the land for free – something they already offered to Adelson, according to real estate sources – since the rest would be re-valued.
Regardless of the location that Wang Jianlin and his team finally choose, the construction of this macro-complex would revitalise this area to the south-west of the capital. “The goal is to convert the Paseo de Extremadura into the new Castellana, and develop the whole of the surrounding area through the Jianlin complex”, explain sources close to the businessman.
“He is keen to start very soon”, said Enrique Cerezo, President of Atlético de Madrid, yesterday. Mr Cerezo has acted as a guide to Jianlin during his visits to Madrid. Yesterday, the President of the Community of Madrid, Ignacio González said that “The regional government is “fully” committed”.
Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)
Translation: Carmel Drake