Sunday, October 24

Benidorm will tender 10 market stalls as a block where a supermarket can be opened

Several of the Municipal Market stalls that have been closed for years and will now be tendered in a single batch.  |

Several of the Municipal Market stalls that have been closed for years and will now be tendered in a single batch. |

Benidorm City Council is going to make the umpteenth attempt to reactivate commercial activity in the Municipal Market, located in the heart of the city and where about half of their positions remain empty almost since the new building was built and inaugurated, in 2007. For this, the local government, of the PP, plans to bring a proposal to change the use of a dozen positions in plenary session next Monday, seven of which They are empty and another three that will be unused shortly, with the aim of being able to tender them in a single lot, with the use of a “supermarket”.

The measure could open the door to the introduction of Mercadona’s line of products and prepared food, which runs a supermarket in the basement of this same building and which, according to various sources, would have spent months studying the possibility of extending its business to the first floor.

As this newspaper has been able to know, the proposal of the popular proposes the change of use of ten premises, those numbered from 1 to 10, all of them located in the inner wing of the Market and that they would be destined to the sale of fish products, frozen products and charcuterie. Of these, seven remain closed practically from day one; two will close in the near future due to the retirement of their owners; and another has asked to move to another position within the same market.

Access to Mercadona, which could expand its presence in the Market, in file photo. | DAVID REVENGA

Along with the change of use, the proposal will also open the door to tender these ten spaces together, within a single lot. Now, the mayor of Contracting, Aída García, pointed out that, despite changing the use of these positions to that of “supermarket”, the specifications that will govern the tender will stipulate “clearly” that the commercial activity to develop in this new sales area “cannot coincide with that of the Mercat stalls that are already operational”, so that the options are greatly limited, since in the Market there are already butchers and delicatessens, a bakery, as well as egg and nut stores; fruit and vegetable; and a locksmith, among others.

Municipal sources confirmed that the Juan Roig chain already conveyed to the City Council in 2019 its interest in acquiring the empty positions in the Market. Not in vain, despite the fact that a few months ago Mercadona made improvements to the supermarket that it has in the basement of this building, the limitation of the surface area to be able to continue growing prevented it from launching the take-out line in its downtown establishment that already works in other stores of the group.

Hence, for more than a year the company has been considering for more than a year the formula of disembarking on the first floor in order to expand its services.

From the local government, the councilors of Contracting and Commerce assured that The objective of this proposal is to revitalize the Market and expand the flow of visitors by creating new services.

Likewise, they pointed out that once the specifications are drawn up and the economic and technical conditions of the concession are established, the award will be carried out through a public and open procedure, so all companies that may be interested can choose.

Background Multiple unsuccessful adjudication attempts

The new formula that the City Council is considering to encourage the opening of stalls in the Market is one more of the multiple attempts that different municipal governments have carried out to revitalize this space. In fact, the City Council has opened several award processes, even reducing the economic conditions, but in most cases they have either been deserted or, after the concession, they never opened. Now they trust that this time is the final one.

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