Castellón Plans on Approving New General Plan in 2019

7 October 2018

The version including the resolution of contentions will be completed before the end of the year.

The government of Castellón’s team has set December as its deadline to send the new version of the General Structural Plan to the Regional Ministry of Territorial Planning, including the resolution of contentions, with the expectation that the city may have its new urban planning ordinance approved in 2019, after four years of planning rules – extended to 2021 – and after years of litigation to comply with the Supreme Court ruling that had cancelled the PGOU of 2000 in 2008.

According to the Councillor for Territorial Planning, Rafa Simó, the government’s technicians are continuing to study the more than 500 contentions presented. Without specifying yet which ones may be accepted and which ones may not, he stated that their goal is to resolve them “prioritising the general interest”, and write a second version of the General Structural Plan with the accepted resolutions, including the sectoral reports, to take it to an ordinary plenary session in November or December, without ruling out an extraordinary one.

PROCEDURE // The document will then be sent to the Ministry, which will demand as many modifications as it deems appropriate and will return the General Plan to the City Council, which will have to resolve them and open the second phase of exposition and contentions. After that, it will be able to write the definitive General Plan and send it back to Territory, which will then have to authorise it. “We hope that the Ministry will be agile because they have been monitoring the General Plan since the beginning,” said Simó.

In parallel, progress is being made on the detailed plan, which only requires the City Council’s approval. After the six briefings in the last weeks, the public exhibition will continue until November 8. With the deadline in hand, Simó declined to reveal how many contentions have been submitted, nor their content. The procedure for this includes the resolution of any contentions and a new phase of public exposition, which is to coincide with the second exhibition of the structural plan.

Original Story: El Periódico Mediterráneo – Estefania Moliner

Translation: Richard Turner

El Ingenio to Invest €6MM in Renovations, Creating 120 Direct Jobs

4 October 2018

Salsa Real Estate plans on expanding the shopping centre by just over 4,800 square meters to modernise its facilities in an attempt to respond to the growth of online sales.

The El Ingenio shopping centre, owned by Salsa Inmobiliaria, which is a benchmark in the region, visited by more than nine million people a year, has set itself the goal of remodelling its facilities after 18 years in operation. The goal is to purpose is to modernise the facilities to face growing competition from online sales and to increase its current size by more than 4,800 square meters (10% of its current surface area) to attract new brands and consolidate existing ones.

The project will involve an investment of approximately six million euros, which will create 120 direct jobs. According to the shopping centre’s director, Leonardo Galdeano, El Ingenio is currently the largest private employer in the region with more than 700 direct employees and about 500 indirect employees. “We want to adapt to the current reality of the market. Online sales are growing by 20% per year and are considered the main enemy of trade and employment. We intend to provide new experiences for our customers, creating new leisure areas and circuits and continuing to generate wealth in Axarquía,” Mr Galdeano said.

According to Salsa Inmobiliaria, the idea is to prepare El Ingenio for the future, offering a newer and more satisfying shopping experience and incorporating complementary activities that attract people from both inside and outside the region.

In this sense, Mr Galdeano stated that half of the people who visit the shopping centre every year (4.5 million) come from outside Vélez-Málaga and Torre del Mar, creating synergies and providing a major boost to the local economy, as those visitors also tend to interact with other areas of the city.

“This is a firm commitment towards sustainable economic growth and to continue generating employment based on people, local commerce and innovation,” Salsa announced.

With the planned six-million-euro investment, the company’s goal is to carry out a thorough modernisation of the mall, which will allow the centre to accommodate new establishments and build the necessary extensions to existing stores. According to Mr Galdeano, “the world leader Inditex, owner of Zara, closed 99 stores last year that did not comply with their new requirement for surface areas and modernisation.”

The city council is currently processing a modification to elements of the General Land-Use Plan (PGOU) to allow the centre to increase its commercial area by 4,860 square meters, occupying mainly two areas in the immediate region, the first next to the service station, and at the opposite end, at the main entrance, where one of the centre’s chimneys is located. The matter, ruled on by the Urbanism informative commission, was approved by the representatives of the PSOE, while the rest of the political groups, PP, PA, GIPMTM, IU and the non-attached mayor, abstained.

The mayor, Antonio Moreno, explained that his group is gathering the necessary information on the project to inform the political groups and the merchant’s associations of Vélez and Torre del Mar, which have come out against the project. Salsa Inmobiliaria has set itself the goal of completing the renovation by 2020, the shopping centre’s 20th anniversary.

Original Story: Diário Sur – Agustín Peláez

Photo: A. Peláez

Translation: Richard Turner

Former Bacardi Factory Plots in Málaga to go up for Sale for €15M

7 June 2018 – La Opinión de Málaga

Yesterday, the consultancy firm Savills Aguirre Newman announced the upcoming sale of almost 75,000 m2 of land on the site of the former Bacardi factory in Málaga, an operation for which it is acting as the broker and which could reach a market value of around €15 million.

The land, which is classified as buildable industrial, could prove very attractive for investors, given the current lack of available spaces of this kind in Málaga on which to locate industrial or logistics facilities. The director of the consultancy in Málaga, José Félix Pérez-Peña, described the land as “one of a kind”, despite the fact that it is located on the Guadalhorce flood plan, and mentioned several high-profile “international funds” as possible interested parties. The consultancy firm, which indicated that the plots will come onto the market “soon” is placing the focus on the use of the site for office buildings.

Another attractive plot that Savills Aguirre Newman is brokering the sale of is the former Salyt brick factory, spanning almost 13,000 m2, although it is still unknown whether that will be allocated to industrial or commercial use. A Dutch group had expressed interest in building a shopping centre on the site although the price being requested by the Town Hall paralysed that operation. There has also been talk recently of the land housing a logistics warehouse. Pérez-Peña said that the final destination of these plots would be revealed over the next few months.

In terms of Astoria, he said that “several international groups are interested”, including one in particular that has properties of this kind in Spain and Europe and which may soon make contact with the Town Hall. In theory, the Town Hall is planning to convene a tender at the end of this year or the beginning of 2019 in which anyone who wants to will be able to participate (…).

Another one of the projects that is being “followed very closely” by Savills Aguirre Newman is that of Martiricos, where two residential towers are going to be built, plus an office building measuring 7,000 m2 and another commercial building measuring 3,000 m2. The consultancy firm classified it as one of the “star projects” in Málaga, which “is going to change” the city.

Pérez-Peña also summarised other matters such as the future of Pier 4, which has a surface area of 26,500 m2 and which, in his opinion, could become a great space for offices or homes. He also said that Repsol, spanning 117,000 m2, could be a wonderful enclave for making a city of offices, although that would be up to the Town Hall and Sareb to decide. And he also alluded to the potential of the Correos building (3,352 m2) as an office block, although he admitted that it would generate higher yields if it was allocated for residential or hotel use.

Original story: La Opinión del Málaga (by José Vicente Rodríguez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Land Use In Espai Vila-Real May Be Modified

20 October 2017 – El Periódico Mediterráneo

“Clearly, times have changed”. With that phrase, José Benlloch, the mayor of Vila-real, acknowledged that the plots of land in Espai Vila-real may be reclassified (in terms of their use), now that the Government has decided that the intermodal station will not be constructed in Castellón.

One door closes, but others open, and the Town Hall wants to be prepared not to waste its opportunities. It is for that reason that Benlloch is planning to meet the owners of the land, spanning 1 million m2, which comprises this Comprehensive Action Plan (PAI), to find out “what options are being considered in terms of its ownership and to inform them about the current possibilities”.

The mayor seems willing to modify the uses of the land if necessary and to “change the terms of the program, provided there are expectations on the part of the owners”. The one option the municipal corporation has ruled out is the large shopping centre that the Popular Government’s team, led by Juan José Rubert, planned in 2007. That plan included, amongst other matters, the arrival of the Swedish multinational Ikea in the town.

Mediterranean Corridor

One of the options that is gaining strength at the moment is the conversion of these plots, located opposite Porcelanosa, into a logistics hub, linked to the construction of the third strand of the Mediterranean Corridor. Such infrastructure is being demanded not only by the Regional Government but also by most of Valencia’s businesses. “We are aware that if this goes ahead, users will need places for storing goods temporarily, and we think that these plots are perfect for that, given that they are located in the heart of a very industrial district, La Plana Baixa”, explained the mayor.

Even though this idea will be on the table at the meeting between the Town Hall and the landowners, Benlloch is convinced that this question may be “compatible” with other proposals linked to the installation of new industries and projects relating to services, as well as the business that may be negotiated over the next few months. That said, the mayor wants to begin the new phase that is been opened by drawing “a roadmap that is shared” with the owners.

Original story: El Periódico Mediterráneo (by Xavi Prera)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Andalucía To Draft New “Land Use Plan” For Western Costa del Sol

5 September 2017 – Inmodiario

Following the cancellation by the Supreme Court of the Land Use Plan (POT or ‘Plan de Ordenación del Territorio’) approved in 2006, the Governing Board of the ‘Junta de Andalucía’ has started the process to prepare a new POT for the Western Costa del Sol.

As well as addressing the formal questions behind the legal ruling, the document will update and adapt to the changes that have been seen in the region in socioeconomic terms over the last ten years. The aim is to establish a new framework for urban and land development in the area, which comprises nine municipalities and has a population of almost 400,000. In addition, the plan will set objectives and supra-municipal organisation criteria for infrastructure, green spaces, and areas of growth.

To prepare the plan, the formulation decree approved by the Board establishes the creation of a drafting committee, which will comprise representatives of the central and regional administrations, as well as from the Provincial Council and the Town Halls in the district.

In general terms, the POT identifies those areas that should be protected from the urbanisation process due to their environmental, scenic cultural value, and those that should be allocated to the development of economic activities and the location of supra-municipal equipment and facilities, given their strategic value. All urban plans and public and private initiatives must adhere to these guidelines.

The POT for the Western Costa del Sol includes the following municipalities within its scope: Benahavís, Casares, Estepona, Fuengirola, Istán, Manilva, Marbella, Mijas and Ojén (…).

Original story: Inmodiario

Translation: Carmel Drake