It’s been a year since the City Council of Valencia has approved measures to encourage building on ruined and abandoned sites, and those measures are already showing the results. The policy was very simple in Valencia – build, sell or lose. A list that was created at that time has grown to 60 different sites throughout Valencia, where the owners were given a simple choice: is built, sell or lose. The offered deadline was six years and the ultimate penalty – City Council’s intervention.
It looks like the measures worked – the Department of Urban Development recently announced that they are in the process of approving quite a few licenses and that many owners choose to move forward, rather than lose their properties. The site list is not published yet, but we know that of the most of those empty stands are in Ciutat Vella, (highest number located in El Carme and Velutters) while some are in Extramurs, as well as Rusafa and Poblats Maritims.
At least there is no doubt anymore how will the City Council’s intervention look like. A recently approved restoration project on Plaza Doctor Collado, next to Lonja de la Seda, is the prime example. This beautiful square houses two ruins, and the City Council have already started the reconstruction tender. The first phase is stabilizing and the conservation of the facades, second is archaeological works, and later-rebuilding and restoration. This tender will be finished within two months and estimated works, within a year. The budget has been already set aside so there is no doubt that Plaza Doctor Collado will regain its former glory, and the whole area around Lonja, one of the major tourist attractions, will improve.
Another good news, happening at the same time is that the project for rejuvenation of La Casa De Relojero was recently approved and the works will finally go ahead in the near future. This derelict building, standing in the Micalet street, next to the tower, has been a hot renovation topic for years. First mentioned in the 17th century, it propped City Council to administer an emergency action in 2013 for the fear of the building falling down. At one stage, the government of Rita Barbera wanted to completely demolish it and create a garden. The winning project will turn this house into the cultural center, as a part of a new, more modern complex that will surround it. It is hard to imagine the final looks, but at least, the Relojero house will be completely restored.
Some more empty stands in El Carme will be a thing of the past and instead, the city will get another tourist attraction. City Council of Valencia has just bought 3 empty stands on Plaza del Angel, where, hidden from the sight, is an old, quite sizable Moorish wall. This is another important project for the image of Valencia as a town that takes care of its past.
All of this confirms that Valencia is starting to recognize the importance of dealing with the abandoned and derelict properties, which will ultimately influence the prices in Ciutat Vella, once those projects are finished.