13 June 2017 – La Voz de Galicia
Silleda experienced the real estate boom with vigour. And so, what came next had equally dramatic consequences. Some of the effects are still being suffered by those who invested in and acquired flats in inhabitable skeletons and others are still being felt by society as a whole, because many of the real estate assets became economically harmful and, following bankruptcies and repossessions, ended up in the hands of Sareb (…), whose share capital is split between private and public ownership (55%: 45%).
In Silleda and Lalín, Sareb has around twenty flats for sale. But the toxic asset bank owns a lot more properties around the country that affect all of Spain’s citizens. (…) Silleda also has some significant examples of economic decline, although one stands out in particular: a block of 44 flats, located just a few hundred metres from O Castro on Avenida de la Estación.
The crisis left that building high and dry, even though its construction was almost finished by the time the bubble burst. As a reminder of the past, a sign still hangs on the ground floor, “Obras Técnicas de Galicia SL, Obratec, a company created in Silleda in 2003, constructs, develops and sells homes”.
The property has four floors, a ground floor and basement, with its corresponding 44 parking spaces. Outside, the block is clearly uninhabited, but it gives few indications of what really lies inside and fewer still of the real estate loss resulting from five years of abandonment (…).
The building has a stunning interior courtyard, like a typical Spanish tenement building, a residential structure that promotes community life. It has circular corridors on each of the four floors linking the doors of all of the flats, which have two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a lounge, a kitchen…But now this is squatter territory, and even the squatters only visit to dismantle things, add graffiti or make temporary use of the facilities. There are also pigeons and other beings that typically colonise anything left to rot by man.
The building was almost finished, some of the flats had been sold and with individual investments at the time, now it is collapsing amongst its own paint and plaster (…) with the help of the actions of predators who took all of the electrical equipment and other items of value.
From the outside, it has a certain presence, but inside, it is a cesspit with a side entrance in the garage that has been forced open and notches from attempts to enter the rickety front door (…). Its recovery still seems possible. But, as the days go by, its state means that it may soon only be worth demolishing (…).
Original story: La Voz de Galicia (by P. V.)
Translation: Carmel Drake