ADEJE – Possible archaeological finds and two indictments by environmental organisations have caused the construction of a multimillion-dollar tourist complex in Tenerife to be temporarily halted.
Two very wealthy Belgian real estate families have invested more than €350 million in a new tourist complex to be built near the village of Puertito de Adeje on the south side of Tenerife. The complex, with a total area of 650,000 square metres (about 91 football fields), offers space for 420 apartments, some of which are directly on the sea and with a private swimming pool. As such, the well-to-do are the target group of the complex. Moreover, the prices of the apartments vary from €480,000 to €3 million.
The complex is being built right on the beach in one of the few, virtually undeveloped areas of the island. And then also in the middle of protected natural areas. For example, the only whale sanctuary in Europe is located here and the green turtle and the loggerhead turtle live here. On land, there is irreparable damage from construction, as the protected cardón cactus is threatened with destruction.
For almost 80 years, the Galindo family has owned a property a few meters from the coast. This building is strategically located in front of the tourist complex. The project developer has offered the family the mere amount of just over 12,000 euros for their piece of land. The Galindo’s, of course, did not agree to this. To buy them out, they will have to be offered a decent price.
Right next to the Galindo’s building was the company of Paris Manganell, a native of Adeje. He offered guided whale-watching tours and rented kayaks. However, as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, he suffered major losses. This and the uncertain future for his location as the project progresses have made him decide to close the doors for good.
The president of the neighbourhood association, Mari Luz Galindo, has repeated in several radio interviews that there is no further resistance to the project among the inhabitants of Adeje. It leaves their houses and the beach alone. However, the platform Salvar El Puertito accuses the mayor Frage of Adeje of bribing Mari Luz Galindo. They refer to an article in the newspaper Público in which it is stated that the Municipality paid 40,000 euros to the company where Galindo and her husband work.
Call to protest
The spokesperson for the Friends of Nature Association ATAN Eustaquio Villalba has called for a protest. According to him, the island is about to collapse, partly due to the demographic pressure of the still increasing number of tourists. However, the politicians of the island are only happy about that and do not care about nature and biodiversity. On June 11, several thousand people took to the streets to demonstrate against the construction under the motto “Red Tenerife”.
The environmental organization Salvar La Tejita and the association Patrimonial Teguico have both filed a complaint with the island government. Both argue that the island is being irreparably damaged by the construction of the complex and the extra flow of tourists that this generates. The island government subsequently launched an investigation. The conclusion is that the documents relating to the patrimonial investigation were sent to the government of the Canary Islands, but not to the island government of Tenerife.
Construction is suspended
This investigation showed that there are possible archaeological remains, exactly in the area where the complex is being built. This and the two charges filed are reasons for the island government to stop construction as a precaution. But whether this also means the end of the project remains to be seen. The city council of Ardeje rejects both charges. Remarkably, the socialist party Unidas Podemos has repeatedly asked the city council for more information about Cuna del Alma. So far without success, no further information is provided.