Distrito Castellana Norte Plans to Start Work on Operación Chamartín in 2020

10 January 2019 – Eje Prime

The countdown to the start of the work on Operation Chamartín could begin very soon. The developer behind the macro urban development project, Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN), is hoping that the Town Hall of Madrid will definitively approve the plan to start construction in 2020.

Antonio Béjar, President of DCN, explained that “it is perfectly possible and expected that all of the administrative approvals will be granted before the elections”.

The director says that it is “a 20- or 25-year project” that will have to survive various governments “at the three levels of administration”. For this reason, Béjar classified Operación Chamartín as a “State Project”.

What will become a new neighbourhood in Madrid will have 10,500 homes and a new large business centre. All of that constructed on 2.66 million m2 of land, which is 26% less than the 3.37 million m2 planned in 2015, when the Town Hall was governed by Ana Botella.

Each of the two sides of the M-30 where the project will be built will have a very different feel. To the north, office skyscrapers are going to be built, whilst to the south, there will be large green spaces and cycle paths, as the backdrop to residential developments.

The office area will be built to the north of Paseo de la Castellana, opposite the Cinco Torres, and will have a buildability of 1.3 million m2, which is 200,000 m2 less than agreed in the previous plan.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Operación Chamartín’s Secret Contract: Adif Sells 1.2 million m2 of Public Land at Half its Market Value

27 December 2018 – El Diario

For 25 years, the agreement has remained a secret. It is the document that supports one of the largest urban development projects in Madrid in one of the most sought-after areas of the capital, in the north of the city, to continue the Castellana, where the financial district and the most expensive homes and offices are located, which are being sold for more than €5,000/m2. The contract is going to be signed on Friday. On the one hand, Adif, the public company that forms part of the Ministry of Development and that manages the railway infrastructure, and on the other, Distrito Castellana Norte, a property developer that has changed its name repeatedly over the last quarter of a century.

In 1993, the Ministry of Development, chaired at the time by Josep Borrell, now the Foreign Minister, signed an agreement with the construction firm San José and BBVA to develop the railway land reserved for Chamartín station. That agreement, whose term has been extended several times, has been kept under lock and key until today. The property developer filed several lawsuits to prevent it from being published.

However, eldiario.es is now exclusively publishing the latest draft of the agreement, which reveals the economic conditions of the project, which is reportedly the largest urban development project in Europe: the sale of 1.278 million m2 for homes and offices. On Friday, the definitive agreement will be signed, confirm sources at Adif, which has been blessed by the municipal planning of Manuela Carmena’s government and which will see the disposal of public buildable land for a price of €769.5/m2 in that area to the north of Madrid, the expansion area of the financial district, one of the most expensive parts of the capital.

Sources in the real estate sector claim that the agreed value represents half the market price at which other plots in the same area have been sold recently. In January, the same vendor, Adif, put another plot up for sale, further north, in San Sebastián de los Reyes, outside of the capital, which was sold for €1,500/m2 to a real estate cooperative: €16.3 million for 1,500 m2.

The gigantic plot that Adif is going to sell to Distrito Castellana Norte (DCN), formed by the construction firm San José and BBVA, groups together 1.27 million m2 of land, according to the current contract. For that space, DCN is going to pay €984.2 million, which represents a price of less than €769.5/m2 excluding the financial interest corresponding to the payment over 20 years.

Hours after eldiario.es published the contents of the agreement, Adif issued a statement confirming that the cost that the private partners (…) will pay for the operation is above market prices. To reach this conclusion, the public company (…) is taking the price of the land and adding the interest that will be paid for 20 years (3% each year), the budget for the urbanisation of the plot and even the transfer of the land that the law obliges to the property developer: 100,000 m2 for public housing that Adif estimates at €67.4 million.

In September, the Government of Manuela Carmena approved the general plan to authorise the urban development of the so-called Operación Chamartín. In the accompanying financial report, the only official estimate that exists, the Town Hall of Madrid calculates a land value that is three times higher than the figure that Adif is going to receive. In that document, Manuela Carmena’s Government establishes that the sale of the whole reclassified area (which groups together twice as much land as mentioned above and which also involves other landowners) “would amount to €3.749 billion in total”. The price established in that financial report corresponds to 2.6 million m2 of that urban development. According to those accounts, the price per m2 equates to €1,407/m2, well below the €769/m2 that Adif is going to receive (…).

Original story: El Diario (by Fátima Caballero)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ana Botella & 7 of Her Officials Sentenced to Pay €22.7M for the Sale of Flats to Vulture Funds

28 December 2018 – Voz Pópuli

The Court of Auditors has sentenced the former mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella (pictured below) and six high-ranking officials of her municipal Government to pay €22.5 million for the sale of 1,860 publicly owned flats to two companies owned by Blackstone, considered to be a vulture fund, for a price below that stipulated by the market in 2013. Another senior official, Fermín Osle, has been sentenced to pay more than €3 million for his role as the “accountant directly responsible” for the operation.

The ruling, revealed by Cadena Ser, concludes that the eight people now condemned “engaged in serious negligence” by not preventing “damage to public property” by selling the homes for €128.5 million when, according to the calculations of the Court of Auditors, Botella’s Executive could have received proceeds of more than €151 million.

The sentence is based on a claim filed a year ago by the current Government of the Spanish capital, led by Manuela Carmena, through the Municipal Housing and Land Company (EMVS). The ruling determines that the operations carried out by the Municipal Housing Company that reported into the Government “led to an unjustified impairment of public property”, which they estimate amounted to €23 million.

The other condemned officials are Enrique Núñez Guijarro, Diego Sanjuanbenito, Paz González García, Dolores Navarro, Pedro Corral and Concepción Dancausa, former delegate of the Government of Madrid.

They will appeal the sentence

The former mayor and her then municipal government team are going to appeal the sentence, according to sources, after hearing the content of the ruling, since “they do not agree with it”. They also noted that the Prosecutor of the court has already requested the dismissal of this claim “for not having any accounting responsibility”.

In the same way, they have indicated that the previous Governing Board of the Town Hall of Madrid “did not intervene directly or indirectly in the operation to sell the homes” to which the decision by the Court of Auditors refers. “Only, and in its capacity as the General Shareholders’ Meeting of the aforementioned company, did they ratify the feasibility plan that the EMVS’s Board of Directors had already approved”, they highlighted.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Carlos Frías)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Fotocasa: The Price of Parking Spaces Soars by 12% in Carmena’s Madrid Central

9 December 2018 – Voz Pópuli

It’s been a week since Madrid implemented the so-called ‘Madrid Central’ project, which restricts the access of the most polluting vehicles into the centre of the city. But some parties have been doing business for several months thanks to the regulatory changes approved by the mayor Manuela Carmena’s team in this regard.

The sales price of parking spaces has soared by 12%, according to data provided by the portal Fotocasa. The price of acquiring a spot in which to park a private vehicle increased from €26,960 to €30,152, on average, between September and October, in other words, a month before the introduction of the measure.

Although rental prices, by contrast, stayed the same at €177/month, so far this year, the district where Madrid Central is located is where prices have risen almost by the most, 9.7%, behind only San Blas, where they increased by 10.8%.

Madrid Central is looking “to ensure that our health is protected against the effects of air pollution, which in Madrid exceeds the protection levels established by European legislation. It will also contribute to the reduction of noise and to the fight against climate change, by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases”, explain sources at the Town Hall of Madrid.

Parking in the centre of Madrid

Parking in the centre of Madrid will be a real headache from now on. The most polluting cars, those that display B and C labels from the DGT, will be able to circulate in the centre to park in the various parking lots, but they may be fined if they cross into the Madrid Central perimeter without entering an underground parking lot, and even more so, if they decide to park in a SER zone (blue or green). In the event that there is no space in any of the parking lots, vehicles cannot be fined and the Town Hall will report that fact.

How can drivers know if there are any spaces available in the city centre’s parking lots? The Town Hall plans to install electronic screens at the 17 access points to Madrid Central, which will inform users about the availability of parking in real time. Nevertheless, those screens are not going to be installed until May next year, as they are currently at the tender contract phase.

The problem arises because the Town Hall has already announced that it will start to fine any drivers of private vehicles who break the new regulations from February onwards, three months before users will have information on the screens.

Original story: Voz Pópuli (by Carlos Frías)

Translation: Carmel Drake

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

Town Hall of Madrid Reorganises 2,500 Hectares of Land in Valdecarros & Los Cerros into Smaller, More Feasible Areas

16 October 2018 – Inmodiario

The Town Hall of Madrid has agreed to submit to public information the Advance documents detailing two Modifications to the General Plan for four areas belonging to the developments in the south-east: Valdecarros-Cantiles de Manzanares, with a surface area of 1,928 hectares, and Los Cerros-Ensanche de San Fernando, with a surface area of 494 hectares. The main objective of these documents is to adjust urban growth to the real needs of the city, establishing a new framework for the economic, social and environmental feasibility of future developments.

Moreover, the documents prioritise the defence of the general interest of the city in two senses:

They ensure the environmental values of certain areas in the aforementioned zones through the classification of the land.

They increase the economic guarantees and legal commitments of the private management and execution, and they ensure the implementation of facilities, services and infrastructure to the real capacities of the public administrations.

The economic and legal guarantees affect the public and private agents. On the one hand, the capacity of private players to carry out the investment necessary to manage and urbanise and, on the other hand, the public capacity to implement services and amenities.

To streamline the use of the land, a new land classification system has been established for these areas, which allows for their gradual planning and development, in smaller sections. In this way, the urban planning documents program smaller execution units to ensure the production of land for homes, economic activities and amenities in timeframes that match the needs of the city. In this way, the future developments may be adapted to social, economic, technological and environmental changes that evolve in the future, and will avoid the execution of urbanisations and the inappropriate or unnecessary regulation of buildings.

The result of the land reclassification is 2,422 buildable hectares (…).

In total, the potential capacity of the land in Los Cerros and Ensanches de San Fernando decreases by 28.45%, from 14,900 to 10,700 in terms of the number of homes, and by 23.70%, from 570,000 m2 to 440,000 m2 in terms of the buildable surface area for economic activities.

The first development is scheduled for 2022 in the north of the region (….).

Original story: Inmodiario 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Madrid Nuevo Norte’s New Offices will be Home to 125,000+ Employees

22 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Madrid Nuevo Norte, the focus of the recently announced new homes, is also going to be home to a business centre. Offices are going to be built in the financial epicentre of the Spanish capital to house 125,472 employees in total. Moreover, the district is going to be home to the tallest building in Spain, with up to seventy floors.

The project is going to house the Chamartín Business Centre, where almost all of the properties for businesses are going to be located. They will house two thirds of the 1.5 million m2 that are going to be dedicated to offices in Madrid Nuevo Norte, according to reports from Cinco Días.

The volume of business in terms of office development will exceed €10 billion; in the case of house building, that figure will reach €3.0 billion. The project’s economic report shows a range of profitability from the real estate business in the new district of between 11.2% and 16.4%.

After several adjustments, Madrid Nuevo Norte has decreased its total buildability by 21%, down from 3.37 million m2 per the initial plan to 2.66 million m2. Similarly, the district has been divided into four areas: Chamartín station, the business district, Fuencarral-San Roque-Tres Olivos and Fuencarral-Las Tablas. Each one will have its own timetable and urbanisation costs.

The project is going to be financed almost in its entirety by the landowners, which will disburse an average of €1.2 billion. With the aim of covering the urbanisation costs, the Town Hall of Madrid will spend €307.89 million, which will be added to €24.78 million from the Community of Madrid and €220.49 million from Adif, the concessionaire of the rights.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Madrid Nuevo Norte will Generate €13.2bn of Business for the RE Sector

12 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Madrid Nuevo Norte represents good news for the Spanish real estate sector. The Town Hall led by Manuela Carmena expects the project, which received the green light at the end of September, to generate €13.2 billion of business for the real estate sector.

The urban development project, to the north of Chamartín train station, is going to house 10,485 new homes, as well as 1.5 million m2 of offices and another 103,119 m2 of commercial space. The acquisition of the plots will involve a total cost of €3.74 billion and the construction costs will exceed €2.78 billion.

The Town Hall of Madrid has confirmed that the tertiary assets will contribute the bulk of the income for the property developers that participate in the construction of Madrid Nuevo Norte. Together, the sales price of those properties will amount to €10.2 billion. In the case of the development of new homes, the business will amount to €2.98 billion, according to reports from Cinco Días.

The results of an economic study for the project show a range of returns of between 11.2% and 16.4%, although the Town Hall warns that the margin will depend heavily on factors such as the evolution of the real estate market and the acquisition price of the land. In terms of the latter, an orientative cost of €2,899.47/m2 is forecast for private housing located in the financial centre.

Following several adjustments, the total buildability of Madrid Nuevo Norte has decreased by 21%, down from 3.37 million m2 according to the initial plan to €2.66 million m2 under the current plan. In addition, the district has been divided into four areas: Chamartín station, the business centre, Fuencarral-San Roque-Tres Olivos and Fuencarral-Las Tablas. Each area will have its own construction timetable and urbanisation costs.

The project will have to be financed almost in its entirety by the landowners, who will disburse €1.2 billion on average. The Town Hall of Madrid is going to spend €307.89 million with the aim of covering the urbanisation costs, which will be added to €24.78 million from the Community of Madrid and €220.49 million from Adif, the concessionaire of the rights.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Metrovacesa Receives Green Light to Build Madrid’s ‘Medicine City’

3 October 2018 – Eje Prime

Metrovacesa has received the green light to start work on the construction of ‘medicine city’ in Madrid. The Town Hall, led by Manuela Carmena, and the property developer have reached a definitive agreement to start work on a large complex to be dedicated to tertiary use in the north of the Spanish capital.

Specifically, the building work will be carried out in the vicinity of the Ramón y Cajal Hospital. The industrial plot measuring almost 44,000 m2 and owned by Metrovacesa, will be used to build commercial facilities and accommodation, according to reports published by El Confidencial.

The new complex will serve the neighbourhood and users of the Ramón y Cajal Hospital. The agreement between the Town Hall and Metrovacesa also covers the protection of the milk group Clesa’s old factory, a property considered important due to its industrial architecture and in whose honour the operation has been named. That installation occupies more than 10,400 m2.

Of the remaining space, 22,900 m2 will be allocated to accommodation, including a hotel and rental apartments for the exclusive use of users of the hospital. Another 19,800 m2 will be dedicated to a student hall of residence, in particular, to accommodate students of the MIR and other doctors visiting the centre. Finally, 3,000 m2 of space has been reserved for commercial use.

The initiative began in 2014, when the real estate company asked for a licence to demolish the Clesa factory, with the idea of building a residential complex. Nevertheless, the Town Hall of Madrid did not approve that change in classification of the land from industrial to residential.

With the arrival of Manuela Carmena to the Town Hall of Madrid, negotiations began to redesign the project. In this way, the recovery of a historical building is promoted and the Ramón y Cajal Hospital will become an important health pillar, according to a statement issued by the Town Hall of Madrid.

Original story: Eje Prime 

Translation: Carmel Drake

Carmena Invites Ministry of Development to Reactivate Operación Campamento with 11,500 Homes

25 September 2018 – El Confidencial

The mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, announced today that she has invited the Ministry of Development to reactivate Operación Campamento, originally proposed in 2005, to be built on disused military land in the south-west of the capital, with the construction of 11,150 homes instead of the 22,100 units projected by the PP initially. This is one of the last remaining urban development projects in Madrid, together with the developments in the southeast of the city and Operación Chamartín, which received initial approval from the Town Hall of Madrid last week.

In April 2015, the Ministry of Defence – the owner of the plots – announced their sale through an online public auction on Addmeet, but in the end, the operation was left hanging. Then, as El Confidencial reported, the asking price for the plots – through the public auction process – amounted to between €200 million and €250 million.

Now, three years later, and with the urbanisation process underway for Madrid Nuevo Norte (MNN) – the new name for Operación Chamartín – Carmena seems to be willing to place enough land on the market to try to put a stop to the sharp rise in prices, both in the purchase and rental markets, that the capital has experienced over the last two years and which has also led Carmena herself to propose to the central Government a moratorium or an automatic extension of the rental contracts that are due to terminate before the Urban Lease Law (LAU) is reformed.

Manuela Carmena made this announcement during her opening speech in the debate over the state of the city, in which she vindicated the Government’s actions in urban planning and its willingness to put a stop to the inequality that exists between the north and the south of the city (…).

As already happened with MNN, where the total buildability was reduced by 21% – from 3.37 million m2 in the previous plan to 2.66 million m2 in the current plan – along with the number of homes – from 18,500 to 10,510, mostly social housing properties – the operation will not go ahead at any price and, according to Carmena’s comments, the total buildability would also be reduced in this new Operación Campamento and the construction of public housing would be strengthened.

Operación Campamento in numbers

Designed on plots of land owned by the state, the Town Hall wants to build 11,150 homes, of which 40% will be private – 4,150 -, 37% will be social housing properties with limited prices – 3,800 – , and 23% will be social housing properties, of which 1,100 will be rental homes.

So-called Operación Campamento was launched in 2005 with the signing of an agreement between the then Minister of Defence, José Bono, and Minister for Housing, María Antonia Trujillo, and the then mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, for the construction of two phases of up to 22,100 homes on this disused military site to the west of the Spanish capital. Even though today, around half of the homes should have already been built, not a single brick has been laid.

Despite the strategic location of the plots, the reality is that only the Chinese businessman Wang Jianlin, owner of the Wanda group, publically announced his intention to undertake the €3 billion investment on them. That offer never came to fruition because the auction never went ahead (…).

Operación Campamento is one of the most important residential developments in Madrid capital after Operación Chamartín. It spans 1.5 million m2 – with more than 1 million m2 of buildable space – on which offices, hotels, shopping centres, private and public housing, as well as sports facilities and schools could be built. Moreover, the operation would include placing part of the highway to Extremadura (the A-5) underground as well as the construction of a transport interchange at the Aviación Española metro station, where a parking lot is planned for around 2,000 vehicles.

Original story: El Confidencial (by E.S.)

Translation: Carmel Drake