Carmena Works With Property Owners To Design Madrid’s Office Supply

6 February 2017 – Cinco Días

The Town Hall of Madrid, led by Manuela Carmena, and large property owners and companies in the real estate sector, which are grouped together into the Spanish Office Association (AEO), have committed to creating a working group to define the future model for the office market in Spain’s capital.

Last week, José Manuel Calvo, Councillor for Sustainable Urban Development, held a meeting with most of the members of the AEO in which he appeared willing to create a working group to establish collaboration between the Administration and the private sector, according to a statement made on Wednesday by the Association.

The AEO includes large office owners such as BBVA, Mapfre, Mutua Madrilieña, Pontegadea (the family office owned by Amancio Ortega, the founder of Inditex), Repsol, Acciona and Telefónica, together with large real estate companies such as Merlin Properties, Colonial, GMP, La Finca, Torre Rioja and international funds such as GreenOak, Blackstone and Iba Capital Partners, amongst others.

Over the next few months, the Councillor will present a study “which will allow them to lay the foundations to create a working group between the sector and the other parties involved, with the aim of facilitating the design of a rational future model, which will strengthen and improve the supply of offices in Madrid”, said sources at the AEO in a statement.

Sources from the companies that attended the meeting highlighted the opportunity to hold conversations with the Town Hall’s Head of Town Planning. They also said that Calvo has committed to working together with the Community of Madrid and the Central Government, in a combined effort, to try to attract to Madrid some of the companies that are leaving London due to Brexit.

The politician also reminded the businessmen about the town planning matters that are still pending at the Town Hall. Amongst other items, he explained his efforts to unblock Operación Chamartín, promoted by Distrito Castellana Norte (controlled by BBVA) and his commitment to build a major office nucleus close to Chamartín station, once it has been refurbished.

Original story: Cinco Días (by Alfonso Simón Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Valdebebas’ Legal Problems: The End Is In Sight

21 September 2016 – El Mundo

The capital’s residential sector has endured several months of uncertainty, awaiting the ruling from the Supreme Court (TS) regarding the appeals filed against the express review of Madrid’s Urban Planning General Plan, undertaken by the Town Hall of Madrid during Ana Botella’s mandate.

The ruling, which the Supreme Court finally published on Tuesday, validates the legality of the PGOUM and means that urban development can now resume in the capital with a sound legal base. The main beneficiary of this ruling is the area of Valdebebas, affected by a first instance judgement from the Dispute Tribunal number 24 in Madrid, which declared the economic urban planning project null and void in July.

As a result of this ruling, the Town Hall notified the Valdebebas Compensation Board at the beginning of August that “on criteria of prudence”, it would suspend the granting of all new construction permits until it was aware of the meaning of the ruling from the Supreme Court. This setback represented the latest obstacle in a long list of legal proceedings that Valdebebas has been involved in since 2012.

According to sources, this legal uncertainty and the questions regarding the meaning of the ruling from the Supreme Court have paralysed some important land purchase operations – they have been delayed until the contents of the ruling are known. Now, and after hearing the ruling from the Supreme Court, the Valdebebas Compensation Board believes that normality will return.

In this sense, according to a statement, the Board will request the Town Hall of Madrid for “its support to restore the urban planning instruments (that were recently cancelled) as soon as possible, so as to be able to offer all of the legal guarantees necessary to neighbours, cooperatives and property developers”. The Board says “that it does not see any reason for the Town Hall to maintain its recent stance of suspending the processing and granting of construction licences”.

“It is time to implement solutions and we are going to urgently seek the necessary collaboration with the Town Hall”, said Jorge Serrano, manager of the Valdebebas Compensation Board.

“Today we are all celebrating the support for the decisions and developments made and for the opportunities being presented to continue to respond in a normalised and sustainable way to the growing residential demand that Madrid is experiencing at the moment”, he added.

The ruling has partially upheld some of the appeals, annulling the Transitory Disposition of the Agreement dated 1 August 2013, which sought to provide retroactive effects, but has limited its annulling effects exclusively to three urban planning projects that were carried out following the ruling from the Supreme Court on 28 September 2012 and until the resolution to approve the general plan was agreed on 1 August 2013.

According to an explanation provided by the Compensation Board in a note, in the case of Valdebebas, the ruling affects only the construction licence granted in 2012 for plot 168 (Residencial Adhara), which has been cancelled, although that does not have any practical impact given that the building on that land is covered by a subsequent licence granted in 2014.

Original story: El Mundo (by Luis M. De Ciria)

Translation: Carmel Drake