Demolition is Inevitable

ALM Municipal Market ext front OnLYou’re probably sick and tired of hearing about the municipal-market affair but believe me, this article will not be the last you hear of it in the coming months.

There is a large groundswell in Almuñécar and we are likely to have a repetition of the protests as the machinery moved in to demolish the old Paseo del Altillo all those years back. On that occasion the political parties involved hold opposite positions.

The mobilisation capacity of ex-Mayor, Juan Carlos Benavides, should not be underestimated by the present Mayor, Trinidad Herrera. Add to that the stallholders and locals who are against the demolition but share no affinity with Sr. Benavides and you will have angry locals facing off heavy machinery.

In the meantime, nobody is budging an inch from their opposing positions: the Mayor will go ahead and demolish the old building and then put the construction of the new one up to bidding in exchange for a 40-year lease to run it. It will cost around 5m euros to build so the contract bid has been published in the European Official Gazette. If all goes well the bids will be considered during the month of December, in which case the bulldozers will move in during January.

So, let’s look at facts in order to dispel certain amounts of disinformation. Prior to 1987 the land on which the municipal market stands was a tropical-fruit orchard much like the vegas. The original market stood near Calle Andrés Muller just off Avenida de Andalucía. It was a circular building; a shape conserved to some extent by the block of flat that occupies its place.

The ‘new market’ was opened up with much pomp and ceremony as one of the star projects of the new Almuñécar – much of modern Almuñécar (the P4 and San Cristobal) was built with Benny the Doer in office.

Yet, that which goes up quickly doesn’t stay up very long so before long both the Aquario and the Municipal Market showed signs of rapid deterioration in keeping with ‘jerry-building.’

Then came this long, agonising situation with this central part of the town being paralysed, commercially speaking, by the closing of the underground car park beneath the market. This closure was compounded by the fact that both Sr. Benavides and Sra. Herrera have followed a policy of eliminating surface parking around the then functioning market car park, to favour the leaseholders of the same, with no underground parking and very little surface parking left, the market and nearby business have suffered tremendously.

Yet, let’s not forget that small businesses all over town have been going under under the onslaught of Asian bazars, large shopping centres in Granada and Torre de Mar and online purchasing, so it’s not all the fault of the lack of parking.

With or without social discord the old market will disappear and something will be put up in its place – the important thing is that it has ample underground parking, not only for the business above, but also as long-term parking for locals.

Finally, all this will happen just before the municipal elections so you can fully expect to hear a lot more about it in the build up for the said elections.

(News: Almunecar, Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)

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