Madrid’s New Town Hall Approves a 400-Home Residential Complex in Cuatro Caminos

20 June 2019 – Somos Chamberí

During its first week in office, the newly elected Town Hall of Madrid has approved plans for the construction of more than 400 homes above the old train depots in Cuatro Caminos.

The previous municipal government had prepared all of the necessary paperwork but its legislature ended before the plans could be presented for approval.

Now, the Community of Madrid must give the green light to the project, known as Residencial Metropolitan, which will include six buildings, including a 31-storey tower that will change the skyline of Chamberí forever.

Original story: Somos Chamberí (by Diego Casado)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Madrid’s Regional Government Gives Green Light to Operación Madrid Nuevo Norte

19 May 2019 – El Mundo

According to information obtained by El Mundo, the Community of Madrid is going to send its Environmental Assessment Report regarding Operación Chamartín to the Town Hall of Madrid on Monday, which will leave the path clear for the municipal plenary to vote on the plan before the local elections are held on Sunday 26 May.

The urban development project, which is now known by its new name, Madrid Nuevo Norte, will see the construction of 10,500 homes at the northern end of Paseo de la Castellana, together with the development of offices, retail areas, green spaces and three new metro stations.

The only requirement stipulated in the definitive report issued by the Community of Madrid is that agreements be made upfront about who is going to pay for the public building works, including the Canal de Isabel II installations, the construction of the three new metro stations and the preparation of the surrounding roads.

According to the protocol of execution signed a month ago by the Town Hall of Madrid, Adif – the public entity that owns the land – and Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN) – the private company that is promoting the development – the three leading players will share the cost of developing the aforementioned infrastructures, whereby ensuring that local taxpayers do not have to foot the bill.

Original story: El Mundo (by Marta Belver & Isabel F. Lantigua)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Real Madrid to Invest €525M in the Modernisation of the Bernabéu Stadium

2 April 2019 – Eje Prime

On Tuesday, Real Madrid and the Town Hall of the Spanish capital announced the launch of a project to modernise the Santiago Bernabéu stadium, which will see a total investment of €525 million. The work will begin at the end of May and is due to be completed at the end of 2023, with no planned disruption to the fixture schedule during that period.

According to the club’s President, Florentino Pérez (pictured above, right), Real Madrid has already spent €500 million upgrading its facilities since 2000. Specifically, it has invested €256 million in several updates to the stadium and another €231 million in the construction of the Ciudad Real Madrid training ground in Valdebebas.

The latest project, designed by GMP Arquitectos/L-35/Ribas will involve a new step in the transformation of the stadium, although few details have been revealed at this stage. During the first phase, the La Esquina del Bernabéu shopping centre will be demolished to create a large square and another square will be built next to Paseo de la Castellana.

In total, 23,000 m2 of space will be freed up and distributed between stores and restaurants to complement the museum, which will also be expanded. The capacity of the stadium will also be expanded by 1,000, which will be dedicated in their entirety to people with reduced mobility or some kind of disability.

It is not yet known who will carry out the work or how the project will be financed, but a tender process for the execution of the work is scheduled to open in April. Four companies are predicted to participate: Acciona, FCC, Ferrovial and San José.

Original story: Eje Prime (by M. Menchén)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Town Hall of Madrid Approves Legislation to Close 10,000+ VUTs

27 March 2019 – El País

On Wednesday, the Town Hall of Madrid approved a special plan to regulate the licences required to operate tourist apartments (“viviendas de uso turístico” or VUTs).

To obtain a licence, a VUT must now have a separate access from the other homes in the building, which means, in practice, that 95% of the establishments of this kind in Madrid will have to close. More than 10,000 VUTs will be affected, according to municipal calculations. The legislation applies to those properties defined as VUT by the Community of Madrid, which are effectively those that are leased for 90 days or more per year.

The new legislation, which was supported by Ahora Madrid and the PSOE, will enter into force within the next few days. Non-compliance will trigger a process to cease the activity in that property, like in the case of a bar operating without a licence, rather than the imposition of a fine.

It was in January 2018 that the Town Hall of Madrid established that VUTs – homes that are leased for three months or more – represent an economic activity and, therefore, require a licence. At the same time, a moratorium was declared on the granting of licences whilst the new legislation was drafted, which has now been approved.

The impact on the more than 40,000 reservations that have been made in accommodation of this kind for the Gay Pride celebrations in July 2019 is far from clear.

Original story: El País (by Gloria Rodríguez-Pina)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Town Hall of Madrid Unblocks the Construction of 22,287 Homes in Berrocales

27 March 2019 – Eje Prime

The Town Hall of Madrid has unblocked the urban planning agreement for the management of the buildable land in the Los Berrocales area of the capital. More than 22,000 homes are expected to be built on the site by 2034, half of which will have some kind of public protection (social housing status).

The project will be undertaken in six phases over fifteen years and will involve a total investment of €3 billion. The site, bordered by the M50, M45 and A3 motorways to the southeast of the city, is also expected to include an industrial park spanning 639,057 m2, office space measuring 235,442 m2 and open and green spaces covering more than 2.1 million m2.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

The Bidding Opens for the Largest Plot of Tertiary Land in Madrid

20 March 2019 – Expansión

Savills Aguirre Newman is marketing more than 180,000 m2 of land for the development of retail, hotel and office properties in the Valdebebas area of Madrid. It is the largest undeveloped tertiary use plot in the capital and the surface area for sale has been divided into three zones, all of which are being managed by the Valdebebas Compensation Board. The owners of the land include Monthisa, Bisbel, Vivienda Económica, Celteo, Coindeco and Inmobiliaria Espacio.

The plan is for the sale of the land to be completed by the beginning of the summer, which means that a large number of investors will be able to participate. Retail, hotel and office property developers have already expressed interest in the site, although no firm offers have been received yet.

The development of this new area was unblocked in February, after five years on the backburner, when the Town Hall of Madrid dismissed all of the appeals against the approval of the economic reparcelation project of the Valdebebas land.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

Traffic Restrictions in ‘Madrid Central’ Drive up Parking Space Prices

16 March 2019 – El País

The Town Hall of Madrid, led by Manuela Carmena, introduced new traffic restrictions in the city centre (Madrid Central) in November last year on a provisional basis. As of Saturday 16 March, fines are now being levied on vehicles that enter the area illegally.

Only those vehicles owned by people who own or lease a parking space within the designated area may access the area, regardless of the environmental label assigned to their vehicles, if they are not residents. As such, parking spaces are in demand and so their prices have soared in the last 4 months.

In fact, prices have risen by between 20% and 30% following the imposition of the traffic restrictions. For a parking space that used to cost €20,000, vendors are now asking €25,000, and for a space costing €40,000 previously, vendors are now asking between €45,000 and €48,000, according to Daniel Lucía, founder of the company ParkingYa!, created twenty years ago and which sells more than 250 parking spaces per year.

According to Pisos.com, the average price of a parking space in the Centro district is now €52,100. In the Spanish capital in general, the average price amounts to €21,300. Moreover, even though the prices of parking spaces rose by between 10% and 20% across Spain in 2018, they are still 30% cheaper than in the years before the real estate bubble, when parking spaces in Centro and Salamanca were sold for €90,000 or €100,000.

These assets generated stable returns of 6.2% across Spain in 2018, compared with 5.5% in 2017, according to Idealista. In Madrid, the yield was 3.4%, although that figure varied by district. Location is key, as that typically determines the ease with which a space can be leased. Parking spaces in the city centre are always less profitable (generating less than 4%) than those on the outskirts but they are safer investments as are rarely unoccupied.

Original story: El País (by Sandra López Letón)

Translation/Summary: Carmel Drake

The Land for Spain’s Largest Commercial & Leisure Centre Goes on Sale

21 February 2019 – El Economista

The Madrilenian neighbourhood of Valdebebas is going to become home to the largest commercial and leisure complex in Spain. The first steps to make that possible have been taken today, as the Valdebebas Compensation Board has granted Savills Aguirre Newman the sales mandate for the land on which this new commercial and entertainment space is going to be built, to the north of the city, according to confirmation provided by sector sources speaking to El Economista.

The land has a buildability of 145,790 m2 for commercial space, in addition to a plot for offices measuring more than 35,400 m2 and green areas spanning another 24,500 m2.

The land that is going on sale now has historically been known as the Commercial Block of Valdebebas. Initially, a large shopping centre was planned for the site, but the Compensation Board designed a new plan to build more social housing units and a school. That new plan, approved by the Town Hall of Madrid in 2014, was subsequently appealed and overturned by the Supreme Court, and so the land has been returned to its original use.

According to explanations provided last year by the President of the Valdebebas Compensation Board, César Cort, in an interview with this newspaper, several investors have approached the Compensation Board interested in this plot, however, the Board wants “to carry out a transparent process that is completely secure legally”.

In terms of the price, Cort said that it will be “a high figure”. “When this same product was sold to Metrovacesa and Riofisa, the price amounted to more than €200 million, but it will not necessarily be the same figure”, explained Cort, who assured that “we plan to sell the land during the first half of 2019”.

Residential activity

Currently, around 18,000 people live in Valdebebas and the population is expected to double to around 35,000 inhabitants over the next three to four years.

Besides the launch of the commercial block, the Town Hall of Madrid has already started to grant building permits in the residential market. In this way, there are plans afoot for the construction of 48 residential developments, which will result in the construction of 3,800 homes in total, which represent one third of the 11,400 homes planned for the Valdebebas area.

During the first few months of the year alone, more than 20 developments will obtain licences to begin the construction of 2,000 homes.

Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Countdown to Los Berrocales: Investment of €4.4bn Over 20 Years

18 February 2019 – Eje Prime

More millions for Los Berrocales. Joaquín Gómez, manager of the Los Berrocales Compensation Board, expects investment of up to €4.4 billion from the owners and future housing developers over 20 years. That amount will be added to the €200 million that has already been invested by the owners in pipelines, collectors, infrastructures, service roads and earth movement work.

The proposal that has been reached with the owners of Los Berrocales is that the neighbourhood will be constructed in phases. First, phases I and III, which are expected to involve the construction of 10,000 homes over 10 years. The rest of the construction work will be carried out in the following decade. Up to 100,000 homes from the plan, located in Los Cerros and Valdecarros, will be suspended due to the requests filed for compensation against the Town Hall, according to reports from Cinco Días.

Nevertheless, the approval of the agreement does not mean that the construction work is going to begin immediately. In fact, Gómez expects that construction of the homes could begin in 2022 or 2023. For now, there are no threats of suspensions for political reasons given that Ahora Madrid, Ciudadanos and the PP are all in favour of the project. The position of Pepu Hernández, the likely socialist candidate, if he is elected mayor, remains to be seen.

The owners of the 8.3 million m2 of land include Habitat, Pryconsa, Santander, Caixabank and Liberbank. Another of the major landowners is the Town Hall of Madrid, which holds almost 8% of the plots.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Carmena Approves Los Berrocales, the Largest Housing Development in the South of Madrid

24 January 2019 – El Confidencial

The Government Board chaired by Manuela Carmena will give an important boost to the urban development area of Los Berrocales on Thursday. It is the largest in the city and the first to receive the green light of the sites that comprise the project known as the Developments of the Southeast (Los Desarrollos del Sureste). The Town Hall of Madrid and the Compensation Board for the area have finally agreed the initial text for the urban planning agreement for the management of the buildable land, which will see the construction of 22,000 homes on the largest land bank in the south of the city. 50% of the homes, around 11,000, will be dedicated to social housing.

The General Plan for the city of Madrid obliges the parties involved to sign an urban planning agreement for the management of this area. The Administration and the urban planning entity are signing the commitments assumed by both for the development of the area. According to comments made to this newspaper, the agreement reflects the obligation of the Compensation Board to urbanise the land (which spans 8,305,812 m2 in total) over the course of six phases, during which the planned buildings will be constructed and the services implemented. The project will run until 2034. Moreover, the agreed texts establish the criteria to ensure the equitable distribution of profits and charges between all of the owners (…).

The total buildability amounts to 3.3 million m2, of which 2,247,121 m2 will be dedicated to residential use. 50% of that will be for private housing, 31% for price-controlled housing and 19% for social housing (that latter two percentages correspond to 11,000 homes). The rest will be dedicated to industrial, tertiary, office and commercial use.

In terms of facilities, more than 2 million m2 will be converted into green space, 1.9 million m2 will be used for public facilities and services, 1.7 million m2 for infrastructure and 228,830 m2 will be used for social integration homes.

The agreement reached with the Compensation Board represents a victory for the municipal Government and specifically, for the Sustainable Urban Development department, led by José Manuel Calvo, five months before the end of the current legislature (…).

Following the green light from the Governing Board, the text of the agreement must be submitted for public consultation – a comment period – and afterwards, it will go to the municipal plenary. From that moment, the urban planning entity will be able to start work on the execution of the project.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Paloma Esteban)

Translation: Carmel Drake