Some advertising banners next to kilometer 10 of the A-3 motorway is the only visible sign that behind a building site hides the largest floor bag for housing in Madrid. Is about The Berrocales, one of the neighborhoods of the so-called strategy of the southeast and that after almost two decades finally seems to start.
The Junta de Gobierno of the Madrid City Council last month approved the agreement that will start work on a future neighborhood that will house 22,000 homes, double that allowed in the Operation Chamartín. It is expected that before the end of this term, the agreement will receive the approval of the municipal Plenary, predictably only with the opposition of the PSOE.
Although now the team Manuela Carmena has given the go-ahead to Los Berrocales, however for three years the approval of the agreement has been paralyzed, first waiting for the approval of the Justice to the urban plan, later setting up a round table with neighbors and finally a plan Alternative municipal director in 2018, who has just been knocked down in the courts.
The new proposal that has been reached with the compensation board (owners) of Los Berrocales is a construction of the neighborhood by phases. First will go phase I and III, which encompass 10,000 homes to be built in 10 years, and the rest of the works in another decade. At the moment it is the only sphere of Southeast strategy that has been supported by Carmena. The rest, up to 100,000 homes in Los Cerros and Valdecarros, are paralyzed and in danger of legalization by request of compensation against the City Council by the owners.
After Los Berrocales there is a relevant business. The owners have already invested around 200 million euros in pipelines, collectors, infrastructures such as bridges (for example the one that connects the neighborhood with the commercial center of La Gavia), service roads and earthworks. The planned investment of the owners and future housing developers will reach up to 4,400 million in 20 years, calculate Joaquín Gómez, manager of the compensation board of Los Berrocales.
One of the large landowners in Los Berrocales is the Proinsa real estate company, which has fallen into bankruptcy, and in turn has been owned by Reyal Urbis, the great promoter of Rafael Santamaría, who is in the process of being liquidated. The company controls almost one million square meters of this neighborhood. It is foreseeable that this land will go out to tender in the coming months within the liquidation process of its parent company and, as the project progresses, it will presumably have a good acceptance among possible bidders, especially among funds and large real estate companies.
Many promoters and experts look at this enclave as the large housing market at a reasonable price that can help put an offer on the market and de-stress prices in the city. Gómez does not see it as clear: "We can remove 1,000 homes per year for 10 years. With these figures, the price in the city is not regulated ".
Among the large owners of the 8.3 million square meters of land of Los Berrocales is located Habitat, the historic Catalan real estate recently rescued by the Bain Capital fund. They also stand out as great owners of plots Pryconsa, the Aragonese Ebrosa and the Santos family, historical owners of land in that area through companies such as Promur. They are also great owners Santander, Caixabank and Liberbank, entities that were left with the land due to the bankruptcy of some housing cooperatives such as Ofigevi.
Another of the great owners of land is the City of Madrid, which controls almost 8% of the plots and must decide what to do with all those lands. Many of the owners will take advantage of the start of the operation to sell to promoters and funds, which will be the ones that actually build the houses in the future.
The approval of the agreement does not mean that the houses can be built. The agreement obliges to reparcelar the scope, a titanic work that affects the plots of more than 250 owners, on land for residential and also for industrial use and offices. "Urbanism is so slow that any change needs a legislature. We need one year to repatriate, another to process and another to register, "says Gomez, so he does not expect that until 2022 or 2023 can begin to build houses.
The manager shows the first street they are building in the urban operation. Join this area under construction with La Gavia and the Ikea store in Vallecas. He hopes to open the bridge and that the people of Madrid know the new neighborhood. In the adjoining hill, next to the A-3, it foresees that the promoters who bet to do business in Los Berrocales build the pilot flats. The illusion of Gómez, architect with a place in the Navy, is to see the first cranes before retiring, at the end of the next term, after 18 years leading the project. "Four more years and I'm leaving. I am 70 years old, but I want to see the first houses. In the end this is like watching a child grow, "he confesses. The first homes will arrive next to the A-3, on the other side of the Ensanche de Vallecas. For the following phases, it will be built towards the north, following the axis of the M-45.
In principle, the manager does not fear new paralyzes for political reasons. Now Madrid, PP and Citizens They are in favor of the project. Only the question of what would happen if the socialist candidate, Pepu Hernández, that at the moment does not know first hand the project, arrived at the mayor's office.