Work is underway in the old customs office of Salou after almost 20 years of blockade

Almost 20 years have passed, but finally the site of the old customs office in Salou is beginning to take shape. Work began a few days ago to build a four-story tourist apartment block with two underground parking floors. The project, announced more than two years ago, should be ready in 2024 and will put an end to two decades of litigation and disagreements between the property and the council. The Salou City Council celebrates that one of the urban issues that has caused the most headaches in recent times is finally on track. The location of the estate, in the heart of Barcelona street and very close to Paseo Jaume I, made the site one of the black spots in the city.

The old customs building, declared in ruins after suffering a partial collapse, collapsed in 2006. Since then, the site has remained fenced off and unused. These days, the developer company, Amsamar, has installed a large crane that will be used to make the foundations, together with several construction containers. For a couple of weeks, a crew of workers has already been working on the ground.

“It will represent a revulsive”

The mayor of Salou, Pere Granados, has detailed in statements to the Daily that it is about the previous works and that "by the time they can remove the fences and occupy a part of the sidewalk, the execution of the works will be faster." Likewise, the mayor has been satisfied that this investment is finally put into operation, which, he considers, "will represent a boost for this central area of ​​the municipality, which will be revitalized, and will give life to the commercial hub of Nucli Antic."

The project includes the construction of 121 tourist apartments in a four-story building, which will have commercial premises on the ground floor and a swimming pool on the roof. In addition, 136 spaces for cars will be provided in a two-story underground car park. The total area of ​​the plot reaches 2,300 square meters and the main façade faces Barcelona street.

The project, which includes commercial premises and an underground car park, should be ready in 2024

It was not until last November 3 that the Local Government Board gave the final green light to all the documentation required from the promoter for the start of the works. The license had been granted in December of last year, but in order to execute it, the City Council placed a series of conditions and requirements on the Amsamar company, which it had just completed last October. Among the conditions of the license, the municipal technical services urge the promoter to minimize the noise and inconvenience caused during the works.

Obstacles and a long process

In this way, a situation that has been dragging on for almost two decades is finally unblocked. The land of the old customs, located in one of the busiest areas of Salou, had been abandoned for 16 years. In 2006, the old building, built during the 1820s, was demolished. The controversy, however, came from behind, when the POUM was approved in 2003.

The urban planning then modified the uses of the lot, going from hotel to residential, which caused the property to file an appeal against the council. In 2010, a ruling by the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia (TSJCat) recognized the company's right to claim compensation for the damage caused. It was not until 2017, after different appeals by both parties, that the City Council received the final figure of the compensation that it had to pay, of 4.2 million euros. From there, the investment entered a new phase of lethargy that culminated in the announcement of the aparthotel project in August 2020 and that could see the light of day in 2024.

It should be remembered that the building of the aparthotel will also serve to return to its original location the historic Ferran VII fountain, which was inaugurated in 1828 and which was dismantled and stored after the demolition of Customs in 2006. This fountain is part of the Catalog of Salou protected assets.

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