Carmena Grants Partial Demolition Licence For Former MOD Building

9 December 2016 – Expansión

The Town Hall of Madrid has granted a licence for the partial demolition of the Precision Artillery Workshop, on Raimundo Fernández Villaverde, despite opposition from Ganemos.

Cooperativa Maravillas, the property developer behind the residential project that is going to be constructed on a plot of land that used to be owned by the Ministry of Defence, on Calle Raimundo Fernández Villaverde, has received some good news this week. The Town Hall of Madrid has granted the management company Domo a licence to demolish the Precision Artillery Workship, now in disuse, despite opposition from Ganemos, one of the parties that forms part of the municipal government’s coalition.

Following a favourable report from the Community of Madrid’s Local Heritage Committee, the Town Hall has authorised the partial demolition of the building. The remodelling of the property forms an essential part of the management company’s plans, which involve the construction of more than 300 homes on this street, located in the Madrilenian neighbourhood of Chamberí.

In any event, the licence for the complete demolition is pending a decision by the Heritage Committee to determine whether the building’s basement still contains any old air-raid shelters from the Civil War, in which case, they should be preserved. In addition, the cooperative is waiting for the agreement reached between the Town Hall and the management company to be ratified.

Details of the agreement

According to this agreement, the Town Hall of Madrid will receive 5,422 m2 of land for residential use, corresponding to 10% of the obligatory concession.

Similarly, the Town Hall of Madrid will receive 3,360 m2 of green space and 1,000 m2 of space on the ground floor of the building, where it plans to building a primary school. It will also receive 250 m2 of free space.

Manuela Carmena’s urban planning team has reached an agreement with the property developer to assign the property in this way, rather than monetise it, with the aim of “covering the deficiencies of these types of facilities in the district of Chamberí”, explained the Town Hall.

The agreement, which is necessary for the approval of the urban planning project and the subsequent work and construction licence, will be circulated for public information purposes and referred to the Town Hall for its ratification.

Opposition from Ganemos

The decision to demolish this building does not have the blessing of Ganemos. The municipal platform, which forms party of Ahora Madrid, considers that “there is no reason” to grant a licence to allow the demolition of the historical building, given that the management agreement required to be able to construct the new buildings has not been approved. According to the platform, several legal cases are still open with the Prosecutor’s Office and the High Court of Justice of Madrid that may still result in the cancelation of the urban planning project. (…).

Meanwhile, the cooperative pointed out that the buildings belonging to the former Workshop are not classified as being of cultural interest, nor do they have any kind of offical protection. “The General Urban Planning Plan of 1997 and its subsequent review did not foresee the need to classify buildings or land as urban land for residential use.”

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Emilio Cuatrecasa Launches Rural Hotel Chain In El Ampurdán

28 July 2016 – Expansión

Emilio Cuatrecasa has launched a proposal to make the most of the beautiful landscape in El Ampurdán and the Costa Brava.

Yesterday, the lawyer and businessman announced the launch of a new hotel chain, which will specialise in managing small high-end hotels located in the region of Baix Empordà, which groups together idyllic landscapes in the imaginary triangle bordered by the towns of Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Girona and Torroella de Montgrí, in the central part of the Costa Brava.

Through his holding company Emesa Corporación, Cuatrecasas has just acquired Palau de Ullastret, a farmhouse with large arches rising above the medieval walls of this inland town, close to La Bisbal d’Empordà, famous for the archaeological remains of its Iberian settlement.

Emesa plans to invest €7 million – a figure that include the purchase price – in transforming this historical building into a luxury hotel, whose opening date is yet to be determined. The small palace, which will undergo an extensive restoration, is located on a 2,500 sqm estate, known locally as Can Romaguera.

The project represents the cornerstone of a much more ambitious initiative, which involves weaving a network of ten luxury hotels over the next three years, in this coastal region, dotted with hundreds of farmhouses and ancient buildings.

The new chain owned by Cuatrecasas does not have a name yet and will be forged through the purchase of new unique properties, as well as the integration of hotels already in operation that will be adapted to the philosophy of the project. “With this initiative, we are trying to professionalise hotel activity in El Ampurdán, which is currently very fragmented and in the hands of individuals”, explained Ferran Forrellad, CEO of Emesa.

According to the director, the project has been inspired by regions such as Tuscany in Italy, “where there is more organisation and, therefore, much greater international promotion and awareness of the region”.

The new chain will focus on offering rest and comfort to its clients with facilities and rooms equipped with the latest technology and with a modern design, but “without the interferences of a hotel service”. Thus, gastronomic, health and gym services will only be offered on-demand and will be subcontracted to specialist companies.

Original story: Expansión (by Sergi Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake