Madrid’s Town Hall Definitively Approves the Mahou-Calderón Development

15 November 2018 – El Confidencial

The final piece of the puzzle has fallen into place. The Governing Board of the Town Hall of Madrid has definitively approved the urbanisation plans for the Mahou-Calderón project after the corresponding period of public consultation came to an end on Thursday. This means that the owners of the land can now start work. The plenary of the Town Hall will ratify the final project over the coming weeks, although the claims phase is not, in theory, expected to alter the plan initially approved in July: it involves a budget of €42.2 million, will see the transformation of 193,804 m2 of land in total and will be executed in three phases in just under three years. The first phase will involve the demolition of the stadium.

The demolition of the Atlético de Madrid’s temple, an operation that will cost €22.4 million, will be the first piece of work to be carried out, with the exception of the stand located above the M-30, which will remain in place to interfere as little as possible with the traffic on that road. Subsequently, the traffic from the motorway ring-road will be diverted so that the stand can be demolished. The first stage will also include the urbanisation of the roads between Paseo de los Pontones, Paseo Imperial and Paseo de los Melancólicos.

Once those first projects have been concluded, phase 2 will begin, which will see the reorganisation of Paseo de los Melancólicos and Calle Duque de Tovar, with a budget of €7.7 million. Finally, the third phase, with a final budget of more than €12 million, will include the creation of a new park by the river, which, in any case, will come after Calle-30 has been covered over, by the Town Hall. Specifically, the Town Hall has committed to providing €60 million to finance the work to cover over that road, a budget that is separate from the urbanisation project that has been approved today because it was agreed that it would be processed independently.

The Governing Board chaired by Manuela Carmena gave the final green light to this project today, which is going to be financed by the Compensation Board that comprises the landowners (Atlético and Mahou). The surface area of the space is broken down into two sections, one of which is dedicated to residential and tertiary use, and the other to roads, green areas and basic amenities.

The land dedicated to residential use occupies 33,339 m2 (with a buildability of 132,344 m2) of which 13,243 m2 will be for social housing properties, which represents more than 11% of the total. Meanwhile, tertiary use land will have a buildability of 14,705 m2. Finally, the land dedicated to social uses will span 13,893 m2 for public amenities. In addition, 73,099 m2 will be dedicated to green space and 73,469 m2 to roads .

In any case, this final procedure paves the way for the construction work to begin and for one of the major urban planning operations in the city to be unblocked. It has been in the hands of the Department for Sustainable Urban Development, led by José Manuel Calvo. As this newspaper published in the summer, the initial approval of the plan – which today received definitive approval – was a key step for the plans of Atlético de Madrid. The football club suspended the process to sell its urban planning rights in January, as it was waiting to be able to offer the three interested finalists – Solvia, Ibosa and Princeton – a series of guarantees, including the reparcelation and urbanisation project, amongst others.

With the sale of its urban planning rights, Atlético de Madrid is hoping to raise almost €200 million, an amount that it is hoping to use to repay the Mexican businessman Carlos Slim for the €160 million loan that he granted  to Enrique Cerezo’s club to finance the completion of the construction of the new stadium, the Wanda Metropolitano (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Paloma Esteban)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Would-Base Developer of 13,000 Homes in Sevilla is Declared Insolvent

29 May 2018 – ABC Sevilla

Desarrollo Urbanístico Sevilla Este (Duse), the company that was going to build more than 13,000 homes on a 330-hectare site next to the airport, Parque Alcosa and Sevilla Este, has filed for creditor bankruptcy in Mercantile Court number 1 of Sevilla after accumulating debt amounting to €300 million. The company has filed for liquidation after waiting fifteen years for the Town Hall to execute general infrastructure work, for which it had paid the Town Hall €60 million when Alfredo Sánchez Monteseirín was mayor.

Just when it seemed that we had seen the last of the bankruptcy proceedings involving major companies in Sevilla, the demise of Duse comes as a wake-up call for the local real estate sector. The liquidation of this company means the suspension of the urban development that was set to become one of the great areas of expansion in Sevilla: Santa Bárbara.

Duse is owned by Sando Proyectos Inmobiliarios (53.9%); Realia Business (30.5%), linked to FCC; the investment fund Vertrauen Corporate, to which Unicaja sold its 5.99% stake in 2016; Bankia (2.7%) and Bankinter (1.12%), according to the Mercantile Registry. The company owns two plots spanning more than 330 hectares on the Santa Bárbara estate. Some of this land was expropriated in the 1970s and returned to its former owners over the subsequent decades, including the heirs of Augusta Peyré, which ended up selling their land to Sando in 2002.

Urban planning agreement

Before the new PGOU was agreed in 2006, the owners of those plots signed an urban planning agreement to collaborate with the Town Hall of Sevilla to execute the urban development plan. Thus, in 2003, at the height of the real estate boom, urban planning agreements were signed between Sando and the Leaders of the Urban Planning Department for the development of the two plots spanning more than 330 hectares.

In those agreements, the Town Hall undertook to establish a certain buildability ratio for the plots and the owners agreed to bear the acquisition cost of the general infrastructure work (involving the construction of streets, avenues, roundabouts…). The PGOU established that a maximum of 2 million m2 could be built in Santa Bárbara, which would allow for the construction of 13,853 private and social housing units (…).

In exchange for that buildability, Duse paid the Town Hall €15.4 million for the acquisition of land for the external general infrastructure and €42.6 million for the execution of the construction work. In total, Duse paid the Town Hall €58.1 million, according to sources consulted by ABC (…).

The municipal Government received that money but failed to execute the general infrastructure work following the end of the economic crisis (…).

In 2017, Duse filed a claim against the Town Hall for €75.4 million – the €58.1 million it had handed over plus €17 million to cover interest, damages and harm – for the breach of the urban planning agreements (…).

In order to execute the project, Duse signed a loan with Caja Madrid for more than €200 million, which has now risen to an outstanding balance of €300 million due to the non-payment of the principal and interest. As a result of the reordering of the banking sector and the transfer of toxic assets to the so-called “bad bank”, Caja Madrid’s loan for the development of Santa Bárbara ended up in the hands of Sareb.

Sareb’s unpaid loan

In March, the loan in question matured, and so Duse offered Sareb the option to renew it, now that the economic recovery has reactivated real estate demand, or take over the plots as “dación en pago”. According to sources close to the operation, Sareb rejected both proposals. The economic crisis and the failure by the Town Hall to execute the general infrastructure work have ended up economically suffocating the property developer, which has finally thrown in the towel and filed for credit bankruptcy, starting liquidation proceedings.

What will happen to those plots now? In all likelihood, they will go up for auction. If nobody is awarded them, they will end up in the hands of Sareb, which is now the counterparty of the almost €300 million loan that Duse has outstanding (…).

Original story: ABC Sevilla (by María Jesús Pereira)

Translation: Carmel Drake

New Urban Planning PGOU Approved for Málaga

25 November 2017 – Diario Sur

Following the annulment of the PGOU approved in 2010, the route map towards the normalisation of urban planning in Marbella has taken a step forward with the initial approval of some new urban planning rules. The latest document seeks to “update” the plan approved in 1986, which is still valid now and which will serve as the basis for drafting the new PGOU that the city needs. The process, which was approved by the plenary with votes in favour from the government’s team (PP and OSP) and the PSOE, and votes against from IU and Costa del Sol Sí Puede, must now be completed with text from the provincial delegation of the Junta’s Environment Board, prior to the issuance of a mandatory report. Subsequently, it will be presented to the plenary again for definitive approval (…).

In practice, and as the councillor for Land Planning, María Francisca Caracuel, explained, modifications have been made to the framework, amongst others, “which affect many homes” and which mean that “extensions, improvements and renovations will now be allowed” on buildings that were left out of the guidelines after the 2010 plan was annulled.

Another change will affect plots of land, for which it is not currently possible to grant construction licences because no approved urban planning projects exist, in accordance with the plan approved in 1986 “even though, in reality, they are already partially developed”. In these cases, the common rules open the door for the plots to be developed, by submitting an urbanisation work project “which is less complex and which can be processed in less time”.

The new rules will authorise hospitality use on the first floors of homes in the Casco Antiguo (Old Town) and will allow hotel establishments to expand their facilities onto adjoining plots even if the use of those sites is not strictly for hotel purposes (…).

Established urban plots

In the field of urban planning, the plenary also ratified (with votes in favour from the government team, against from IU and CSSP, and abstentions from the PSOE) the proposal made by the Councillor for Land Planning to incorporate established urban plots into the urban development plans, after they have been declared as such by binding legal rulings, administrative declarations, own acts, plenary agreements or by the Local Government. The councillor insisted that, given that it does not require any structural changes, there is no need for the document to be subjected to a new public consultation period, as had been requested by the other municipal groups.

In other matters, the municipal corporation also gave the green light, unanimously, to the proposal from the deputy mayor of San Pedro Alcántara, Rafael Piña (…) to begin the paperwork for the construction of a new secondary school in the south of San Pedro (…).

Finally, the plenary also approved, amongst other items, a proposal from IU to create a network of roads to connect the urbanisations between Bello Horizonte and Elviria, to form a 10km network that will offer a safe alternative to the A-7 motorway, which is “always packed and dangerous”.

Original story: Diario Sur (by Mónica Pérez)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Lar España Invests €53M In Shopping Centre In Sagunto

29 September 2016 – Mis Locales

Lar España Real Estate has presented its plans for “VidaNova Parc”, a new project in which it plans to invest €53 million and which will open its doors in 2018.

VidaNova Parc has been presented with a surface area of 120,000 sqm, of which 44,000 sqm corresponds to the gross leasable area and the rest to open spaces, roads, gardens and parking spaces. It is being created to bridge a gap in the current market and will become a unique shopping centre and family leisure complex in its immediate environment. Around 250,000 inhabitants live in its catchment area (…).

Lar España’s investment in the project is expected to amount to €53 million, in addition to another €40 million that the operators moving into the shopping centre will have to invest. The complex will open its doors in 2018.

The site has a leasable surface area of 44,000 sqm.

With the launch of the construction work at VidaNova Parc, the first operators in the main consumer sectors have already been confirmed, including Leroy Merlín, Decathlon, C&A, Worten, Norauto, Burger King and Fifty Factory (Cortefiel Group). They will be joined by more than thirty brands….in this new shopping centre and leisure park. In addition, the centre will have 2,300 parking spaces.

José Manuel Llovet, Head of the Retail Area at Lar España Real Estate, has highlighted the strong presence of the company in the country through its ten shopping and leisure centres and the two projects that it has under construction. “Our mission, which is a major business priority, is to consolidate our activity in Spain; we want to grow with it, generate wealth, promote employment, and whereby boost the sector and innovate in the field of shopping and leisure”.

Original story: Mis Locales

Translation: Carmel Drake