5 July 2016 – Expansión
More Latin American investment in the Spanish real estate sector. A Venezuelan group controlled by the businessman Juan Guillermo Álamo (pictured above) is backing two projects in Madrid and Barcelona that are going to require a total investment of around €180 million. In the Spanish capital, through Ibemetex, the investor plans to invest €150 million in the transformation of the La Ermita shopping centre, which the entity acquired in 2009, at the height of the crisis in the sector.
Under the framework of the project to redevelop the land freed up after the M-30 was buried underground, an initiative actioned by the previous Town Hall of Madrid, Ibemetex managed to persuade the Town Hall to approve the demolition of the existing shopping centre and the construction of a new complex. The project involves constructing a 75,000 sqm building on a plot of land measuring 45,000 sqm, and will include homes, sports centres and a 150-room hotel, in addition to the retail space. “We are negotiating with the new Town Hall of Madrid to obtain definitive approval for the project”, said Álamo, who considers that his initiative will benefit the city and contribute to improving the area.
In addition to Álamo, Ibemetex has another high profile shareholder in the form of another Venezuelan businessman, Beto Finol, who holds interests in the lactose and livestock sectors and owns a pharmaceutical laboratory with operations in Venezuela and Costa Rica.
Ibemetex is also the owner of the Aqualon shopping centre in Huelva, another asset that it acquired at the height of the real estate bubble.
In parallel, Álamo is promoting the construction of a 125-home complex in the coastal town of Montgat, just a few kilometres from Barcelona. The project will involve an investment of €30 million and will be built on land that used to house the factory of the ice cream company Farggi, which he acquired in October 2015.
Original story: Expansión (by Sergi Saborit)
Translation: Carmel Drake