The number 20 of the Lower Corredera de San Pablo has seen a lot of history pass in front of its door, as witnessed by the stone Maltese Cross that crowns its entrance. It has been there since the seventeenth century and in addition to belonging to this order of chivalry, it welcomed the Machado brothers at the beginning of the twentieth century -their mother lived there-, then a chess society and, later, it opened a tapestry and a tavern on its premises. , La Pepita, which the regulars of Malasaña nights of a few years ago will remember for its croquettes, its minis and the posters of Miguel Induráin on its centuries-old walls.
This last premises closed in 2008 and since then the building has not had commercial activity due to the fact that it went through a long process of ruin, demolition and sale that we will explain later. Until now, because on November 30 it will reopen its doors: it will do so to welcome its first tenants, those of the apartments that have just been rented, once the entire property has been renovated inside to become a building of luxury apartments.
“The building has been completely renovated with great care and offers fully equipped apartments with top quality finishes,” says the page that sells them, that of Caterina Corporate House, which has called Eleanor to this set of properties located in one of the neighborhoods with the most personality in Madrid, seeking to revalue its past with the name of Antonio Machado’s wife.
Renting one of these apartments is not within everyone’s reach: the minimum reservation is one month – it does not have a tourist license to do so for shorter periods – at a rate of 130 euros per night. If you also add the laundry, cleaning and other expenses, spending 30 days in it costs at least € 4,200.
Although the company indicates on its page that the building has nineteen one, two and three bedroom apartments, at the moment only two are rented: one of 65 square meters and the other of 120. Both cost the aforementioned 4,200 euros per month and their distribution It is similar: large living room with integrated kitchen, bedroom and small bathroom with shower.
Caterina Corporate works with similar prices in several apartments in Atocha and especially in Barcelona, the city in which she began to operate. It ensures on its website that it offers building owners and investors “a yield up to 40% higher than traditional real estate” thanks to its “careful design”, “multi-channel marketing” and a management team with a long history. It does not specify who are the preferred recipients of the properties they manage, although all messages and descriptions for potential tenants are written in English by default. The newspaper Somos Malasaña has tried to contact the company in different ways, but the company has chosen not to return the calls.
Squatting and sale at demolition price
The history of Corredera 20 is a good example of how urban dynamics and the circulation of capital work in a big city like Madrid. The 17th century building was bought by the City Council in 1991 with the intention of turning it into a social facility for the inhabitants of the Malasaña neighborhood, while maintaining the integrity of the interior and exterior of the building, with the maximum level of protection for its historical value.
But the years went by and the building continued with no other use than that of its commercial premises. In 2006, with Ruiz-Gallardón as mayor, the Madrid City Council budgeted five million euros to convert the place into social housing for young people, but the project was not executed and fell into oblivion again. In January 2011, amid rumors of sale, a group that was then in full activity in the neighborhood, Patio Maravillas, renovated the building to ensure a social future. A group of architects then began there the so-called Corredera Process, a project to reform the building with social purposes at zero cost for the council. A few days before he was presented to the councilor for Urbanism, with an appointment set on the agenda, they were evicted by the National Police.
“Given the neglect of the administration of this city and the sale processes of the few public spaces that remain in the city, we will continue to denounce the looting that the municipal administration carries out to transfer the economic debt generated from a starting point to the citizens. of a city model based on financial speculation, the fundamental cause of the current economic crisis “, The members of Patio Maravillas then published in a statement, putting Corredera 20 as “an example of the plundering of the public.”
“It is not worth us to rehabilitate it at the price of protected housing, it is better for a private person to do it”, responded then the municipal officials. And the Madrid City Council began to do so by publishing a tender to sell it: the starting price was 11 million euros, but the contest was void. At the end of 2011 it was offered for 4.7 million, with the same result. In May 2012, the offer fell to 4.2 million, but potential buyers still did not arrive. It ended up being settled in 2014 by finger for two million to a company created five months earlier in the Netherlands, Prime Cities Spain SL with only 3,000 euros of capital (the legal minimum). Today that company no longer exists.
The property has three floors and 793 square meters of floor, according to the information that appears in the cadastre to which Somos Malasaña has had access, and includes an annexed part at number 39 Calle del Barco. It is divided into five commercial premises, twelve homes and warehouses, which together accumulate 1,994 meters. Its buyers acquired it at a demolition price, less than € 1,000 per square meter, in a neighborhood where housing was around € 5,000 / m2 at that time. And they began to make reforms.
The works began in 2015 and during them the neighborhood association Acibu denounced the disappearance of protected elements, without any action being initiated by the City Council. By 2018 they had already applied for the first occupation license. Three years later, they open their first rental apartments. If the 19 apartments are put at the same price as the two that are already available, the management company will be able to bill about one million euros a year in income.