The promoter of the hotel in the former Ideal cinema building throws in the towel more than a year after her intention to turn the property into a four-star hotel business was known. The Baraka company admits that it resigns from the project after the decision of the Ministry of Education and Culture to demand greater protection from the Alicante City Council for the nearly century-old building, located on Avenida de la Constitución.
It does so after the report of the General Directorate of Culture and Heritage, dependent on the department headed by Vicent Marzà, which in practice meant blocking the project by demanding more protection for the building, specifically for the interior, paralyzing any action that “Affect the patrimonial asset”. However, the possibility of the legal route remained open, but the promoter has no intention of entering that path. “If things are not legally ordered, we do not go to war. It would take years “, say company sources, who lament the lack of political” will “to carry out the initiative. Only time, with possible changes in the regional and municipal governments, could return the promoter’s interest in the project, according to sources close to the parties. The promoter, from now on, will focus on other initiatives in the tourism sector, such as a hotel in Seville.
This report from Culture and Heritage caused deep discomfort among the building owners and also in the hotel promoter from the first moment. There is nothing to protect. The only thing they achieve is to lose the opportunity to energize the area, to create jobs and attract tourism, “said sources from the Murcian company in mid-December, who already then cooled down the judicial process to defend the project:” We will wait for events. The judicial process can take years, so we understand that the Administration will see the benefit of the project sooner or later. The family that owns the building, which had agreed to sell the building conditional on the granting of a license for the project, still does not want to comment. At least for now. Shortly he plans to hold a meeting with political leaders of the City Council.
The promoter Baraka requested a planning license in early 2020 for a hotel in a building that, then, only had partial protection, including façade and volumetry. In mid-2020, the City Council announced that the project on the Ideal, among others, would be streamlined by being included in a municipal government measure to prioritize the processing of urban planning licenses in initiatives that generate a significant volume of business. The hotel, according to municipal sources, involved an investment of 3.5 million euros, with 48 permanent jobs and 20 indirect labor during the work.
However, the Ministry warned at the end of the year, after a technical inspection of the property, that “the deterioration presented by culturally valuable attributes does not entail the cancellation or impairment of its heritage value.” The Culture report explained that the regional technicians had “verified that the interior of the property presents values of outstanding patrimonial significance, describing the integral parts and belongings with which this recreational space is identified and to which the patrimonial protection should be extended, since it is located in danger”. Among the requests that he formulated, he highlighted the “new requirement” to the City Council to complete the “form of the Catalog of Protections for the purpose of incorporating attributes.”
This request to the Department of Urban Planning also implied that, until the Catalog file was completed, the actions that could affect the patrimonial asset were provisionally paralyzed. A deadline was also given for Urbanism to prepare a report, which ended up concluding that the partial demolitions inside the building that housed the Ideal cinema were carried out without authorization. Then, municipal sources confirmed that the license for the hotel was paralyzed and that, on the other hand, the increase in protection (from partial to comprehensive) will be made official when the Department of Territorial Policy, Public Works and Mobility definitively approves the Protection Catalog, for which there is no date or estimate.
About the future of the building nothing is known yet. The City Council as a block agreed to promote the purchase of the property that the Ideal hosted, although for its appraised value (2.5 million), which would represent less than half of Baraka’s offer.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.