Since Marbella Town Hall approved modifications to local planning restrictions to allow the construction of skyscrapers in the municipality, so far only one project has been put forward. The plans envisage a 30-storey residential block reaching 115 metres above sea level on the Istán road. The high rise block would be designed by Catalán architect Ricardo Bofill, thanks to negotiations with the developers that are in their final stages.
While several investment groups from Spain and further afield have shown an interest, this is the only definite project that has reached the local planning offices.
In May 2012, when Benidorm government officials climbed up the InTempo - the European Union's tallest residential building still under construction - for a photo op, they had an idea. The twin towers joined at the top by a cone were to become a symbol of the post-crisis takeoff of the Spanish city of skyscrapers par excellence.
But in late December, with 94 percent of the building completed and 35 percent of units sold, Spain's bad bank, Sareb, announced that it was taking on the loan that a savings bank had extended to the developer eight years ago.
By that time, a construction firm, Olga Urbana, pompously advertised what was going to be "an unquestionable banner of the future." The landmark building would rise meters up into the clouds. The now-defunct Caixa Galicia extended a 92-million euro loan in 2005 - a mortgage that ended up at Nova Caixa Galicia following the merger of Galician savings banks. Now Sareb has assumed the loan for 46 million euros, representing a debt release of 50 percent.
The inauguration was initially scheduled for mid-2009, then pushed back to the summer of 2011. For months, it was evident that no progress was being made at all on the site. But the project's real situation did not emerge until last week, and it is a complex one: although the loan belongs to Sareb, the contract shows that building itself is the property of Olga Urbana, and only a realtor called Maxxima may sell it. ...continue reading "Benidorm’s prized high-rise tower becomes a symbol of incompetence"
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