Madrid Mayor Manuela Carmena has said that the Chinese-owned Wanda Group still wants to refurbish the capital’s landmark Edificio España building and that it will Edificio España, Madridcontinue working with City Hall to come up with a viable solution to doing so without demolishing its protected façade and flanks, as the group had originally wanted.

The announcement, which came following a meeting between the leader of the leftist Ahora Madrid bloc and Wanda’s head in the capital, Michael Qiao, on Tuesday, contradicts recent reports initially published by Cinco Días newspaper saying that Wanda had on Sunday told Carmena that it was pulling out of the project.

The mayor denied that such a weekend meeting had ever taken place.

According to municipal sources, Wanda chiefs have communicated their intention to continue with the project and a “new round of negotiations” has been opened with City Hall technicians to solve the problems.
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The regional government of Madrid has given Banco Santander the go-ahead to begin work on redesigning the interior of the Edificio España. Once Spain’s tallest building, the 117-meter-high tower block dominates Madrid’s Plaza de España, but has been vacant since 2005.

edificio españa2Santander has already found a buyer for the 1950s building once the project, which has been designed by Norman Foster and Carlos Lamela, is finished. Chinese businessman Wang Jianlin has offered €260 million for the deal.

The interior of the building will be ripped out and is to be converted into a shopping mall, a hotel and around 300 luxury apartments. The distinctive red-brick façade and sides will be maintained.

According to information seen by EL PAÍS, the plans proposed by the bank will see the commercial space of the building increased from 10,000 to 15,000 square meters, creating a huge retail center in the heart of the capital.
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