SAN BARTOLOME DE TIRAJANA – An impoverished shopping centre at one of the most popular beaches in the Canary Islands is not a good thing. After years of wrangling, there now seems to be movement at last as a result of investors who do see potential in ‘the Kasbah.
Twenty million euros is needed to demolish the Kasbah and build a new complex. However, the investors will benefit from the fact they still have buildable space on the coast due to renovation. The Kasbah shopping centre is one of the oldest in Playa del Inglés, in San Bartolomé de Tirajana. Like its neighbours, the Plaza and Metro shopping malls, it is strongly focused on offering nightlife. However, unlike the other two complexes, the Kasbah is the one in which more businesses have remained active over time. That is why this centre has the best chance of success after a renovation. Consequently, work is now being finalised to begin the extensive renovation of the complex.
Javier Alonso, president of the group of investors, says in Canarias 7 that “negotiations are already well advanced” and that an estimated investment of between €18 and €20 million will be involved. That amount is needed to demolish this old compound which dates back to the late 1960s. Then another complex will be built, adapted to the current time and more accessible. It will also partly focus on nightlife with clubs and discotheques again. Moreover, the project will be delivered soon.
According to Alonso, the problem is usually that the properties in these types of shopping centres are usually owned by different owners who all have to agree on the project to follow. “In this case, however, the negotiations are well advanced,” said Alonso.
Golden mile of the tourist south
Alonso points out that powerful investors will be attracted to finance this ambitious proposal. In particular, large commercial retail and hospitality companies. They have the desire to settle on what has for years been considered the golden mile of the tourist south. Very different from what it is today: a black stain on the reputation of the popular seaside resorts and the nerve centre of the destination Maspalomas Costa Canaria, in San Bartolomé de Tirajana.
The Kasbah now has an asset in its favour. According to Alonso, not all of the buildable area is occupied. Therefore, for the investors, it offers opportunities to obtain land to settle in a tourist area.
Well-known supermarkets want to get a foothold in Playa del Inglés, but they have not succeeded so far due to a lack of land. Hence, the possible demolition of the Kasbah or the neighbouring Metro commercial centre becomes an attractive opportunity.
This is also confirmed by the Councillor for Urban Planning in San Bartolomé de Tirajan. Samuel Henríquez does not doubt that they can count on the financial support of some of the dozens of investors who frequently consult with his department about land and zoning plans to settle in the middle of the tourist area. Although he admits that he is not aware of the details of the project that is currently being negotiated.
“They should demolish Metro now, it’s embarrassing”
For Alonso, it is clear that if Playa del Inglés is to get off the ground again, it urgently needs to shake off the ballast created by the architectural skeleton and giant rubbish dump that Metro has become. “They should demolish it as soon as possible, it’s a shame,” he complains. “We will make an effort to renew ourselves, but the immediate environment must also improve.”