Urbania's proposal for the tower project. / sur

Auction for the Repsol towers project will go ahead as planned, says Malaga city council

A court rejected an attempt by the Bosque Urbano association to have the development stopped, but the local authority is aware that some companies may no longer wish to continue

JESÚS HINOJOSA Malaga

The invitation to bid at auction for the land and development rights for the Repsol towers project in Malaga, which was issued last December, will go ahead, but after a new period during which the companies who had placed bids can decide whether they want to continue or to withdraw. The decision was taken by the city council in response to a legal case brought by the Bosque Urbano association, which attempted to have the project stopped.

The court found in favour of the council, saying that the project can be carried out exactly as stated in the Urban Plan which was approved in 2011, whether the land is owned by the local authority or by another party.

Raúl López, the Councillor for Land Regulation, has explained that the town planning department has responded in a report to questions and complaints from companies which had presented a bid at the auction after learning about the case brought by Bosque Urbano.

The report explained that lawyers have advised that the land is currently an object of dispute and it is not yet known what the consequences of the court case may be. For that reason, it has been decided to give the companies in question another 15 days to decide whether they want to bid again or to drop out.

Plenty of interest

The land the council wants to sell is beside Avenida Juan XXIII and three towers (32, 30 and 28 storeys high) are to be built there, housing 528 apartments, shops and offices. Three companies have already bid for the five plots (Urbania, Stoneweg and Acciona), and another two just for the site on which the tallest tower will stand, from Single Home and Exxacon.

With this much competition, the council expects to receive far more money than it had originally expected.

An announcement about the winning bids had been expected in early June, but then the municipal audit office requested more justification for the points given by technicians to the architectural proposals presented by the companies.

On 23 June the board was due to meet again but this was postponed because of doubts over the Bosque Urbano court case. It remains to be seen whether third time will be lucky for the council and those interested in the projects.