The underground of Madrid is beginning to become a very favorable space for doing business. The one that surrounds the Santiago Bernabéu has just entered the process to house two large privately managed public car parks, if the initiative sent by Real Madrid to the City Council a few months ago prospers: to drill the land to build 1,667 parking spaces, most of them They are designed to accommodate the cars of those attending the matches and events held at the stadium.
Almeida renounces a benefit of 18 million by privatizing the municipal parking next to the Gran Vía
The urban operation began to take shape in the summer but remained hidden until December 20, when the construction and privatization plan for both car parks was published on the website of the Madrid City Council. Along with the construction details of the club’s proposal, the numbers of a million-dollar operation that already has the approval of Almeida were attached: 79 million euros in a work that will allow three decades of private concession and the benefit plan: 120.7 million for private capital before taxes at the end of the exploitation period, beyond the year 2051, according to the operation documents to which this newspaper has had access.
The initial project, the number of places and the size of the car parks have been carried out by Real Madrid. Even the concession period that they would have and the annual canon that would be paid to the public coffers for their exploitation: 200,000 euros. The legislation allows this type of private proposal and the City Council has only had to calculate the numbers of the economic-financial model and validate the rest, in the absence of seeing what happens with the allegations presented by individuals and political parties, which have been collected up to this Thursday January 20.
The largest car park, which has already been classified as macro parking by the opposition, will be in the Castellana, in front of the Bernabéu. To build it, it will be necessary to rebuild the newly renovated area within the plan that was approved in 2017. It will have 621 spaces in rotation and 494 for rent for residents, distributed over a surface area of 35,686 square metres. In addition, the project provides for the management of its surface -called Plaza Castellana- with which 300,000 euros per year would be entered.
The second of the car parks will be linear and will run along Padre Damián street. It will have 26,375 square meters and all its rotation places, without space for residents. There will be 552, in addition to a logistics platform and a bus parking area with 12 docks. It also includes a space called kiss&drive under street schools, in which families will be able to leave students underground and which will serve -assures the text of the proposal- to avoid frequent traffic jams at the entrances and exits of class, “eliminating badly parked vehicles and facilitating the fluidity of circulation”, reads the project consulted by Somos Madrid.
Among the virtues of the infrastructure, Real Madrid highlights that it will serve to alleviate “the parking needs of residents and workers in the area”, or that its planned reservation for carsharing “will contribute to promoting clean and sustainable mobility”, among other things advantages.
The works have an expected duration of just over two years (28 months if the planned deadlines are met) and it will take 15.6 years for the return on investment. The economic figures calculated by the Almeida Mobility area on the project establish 2037 as the year from which the management of the car parks next to the Bernabéu will become a gold mine: the company that operates them will earn almost five million euros per year, once the maintenance costs and the €234,516 annual canon that will then be paying the City Council for its exploitation have been deducted.
The volume of benefits from that date will increase exponentially until reaching a total profit of 120.7 million euros, after paying the credits and before taxes. It is the largest part of the cake of an economic operation that will also leave 79.7 million in works contracting and another 49.5 million in operating expenses. Meanwhile, the City Council will keep a small part of this enormous economic amount: 6.5 million euros in operating canon.
The management format of this project proposed by Real Madrid is the creation of a company grouped in the so-called Urban cluster Castellana – Bernabéu, which would be responsible for the construction and operation of both car parks. The financing would come “through a mix of capital from the Concessionaire Company and debt in a Project Finance scheme (at project risk),” explains the text published by the football club.
As they are publicly owned car parks -they would be carried out on municipal land- the council must call a contest for the exploitation of this million-dollar activity. But due to the nature of the initiative, of private origin, Real Madrid will start with an advantage to be chosen as concessionaire: it is entitled to an additional 5% of points for being the entity that has proposed the idea, a substantial advantage over the rest of the possible competitors. And if you were not the winner, you would have the right to be paid the expenses incurred in the development of the project.
More Madrid: “The macro-parkings will attract more smoke and pollution”
The main opposition party in the City Council, Más Madrid, presented its allegations on Thursday to the car park construction project, which it considers goes against the reduction of cars in the city center, generating infrastructures that “attract” to these vehicles. “They are breaching Plan A for air quality, Madrid 360 and the Sustainable Mobility Ordinance recently approved by Almeida,” denounced the group’s Environment spokesperson, Esther Gómez. The mayor also recalled the existence of two nearby car parks in AZCA and in the Palacio de Congresos, to which the one that Real Madrid is building in the old corner of the Bernabéu will soon be added, which will have 400 spaces.
“The macro-parkings will attract more smoke and pollution”, he explained before recalling that near this point is one of the stations that measure pollution in Madrid, that of Ramón y Cajal, the only one that so far this year has exceeded maximum permissible hourly levels of nitrogen dioxide. “The works are going to harm the central green area of the Paseo de la Castellana”, he added to defend the plan approved by the Carmena government in 2017, which contemplated the elimination of the existing surface parking until that date and which provided that the accesses to the stadium were done by public transport or on foot.
“It is contrary to common sense, but also to existing regulations,” added the party’s spokeswoman, Rita Maestre, who denounced the lack of transparency in the entire process and calls for demand and feasibility studies, as well as preliminary projects for the two car parks, which have not been made public. “Almeida wants to encourage people to reach this area by car, but the plan has to be rejected,” he added before warning that they will use all the tools at their disposal to prevent it from being carried out: “In no way can we accept that they are going to build. The city cannot be built on the basis of the squares that it is interested in selling to those who are interested in making car parks”.
The path of the project is still uncertain both in terms of deadlines and in its final form, although the Madrid City Council is willing to carry it out, as certified by the favorable report of the General Directorate of Planning and Mobility Infrastructures on November 26. After the public information process that has just ended, it remains to respond to the allegations, draft the project, tender it and award it before the works begin, sources from the Mobility area of the consistory report. This newspaper has asked Real Madrid several questions about its proposal and the contest, which the white club has not answered so far.
Returning to the document of the Madrid proposal, it concludes with a section dedicated to the “risks” of the idea, both at the time of design and execution, and decides which entity -concessionaire or City Council- should try to solve each problem that may Appear. He calls one of them Socio-political risk, and the document explains that it refers to the “lack of social acceptance” of the project. The person in charge of counteracting this possible setback would be Almeida. With social pressure, it has two unflattering precedents: in the Retiro macro-parking, which caused the project to fall after criticism from Ciudadanos, and in the dissuasive ones in peripheral neighborhoods, which were withdrawn due to the low occupancy of the last ones built. .