The Barcelona Municipal council announced Monday it will purchase empty high-street stores for 16 million euro, in order to rent and reactivate them, an initiative which is part of the plan Amunt Persianes (Blinds Up).
During a press conference, councilwoman for Commerce, Montserrat Ballarín, explained that, out of these 16 million euro, 10 million euro will serve to buy the establishments across the entire city and the remaining 6 million euro will be used specifically within the Ciutat Vella district.
Budget councilman, Jordi Martí, added that this is a free concurrence process and a public open process will be open to all owners who want to offer their establishment for the Municipal Council to purchase it.
Martí explained that they expect to buy 60 stores with the 16 million euro, although this number may be larger or smaller depending on prices and he added that the Municipal Council also includes the rehabilitation of the acquired stores.
The initiative, proposed by ERC in March during the municipal budget’s approval for 2021, seeks to reactivate empty commercial stores, many of which as a result of the economic crisis and the lockdown caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Municipality calculates that there are 5.300 empty stores in the city, representing 1.5 million sqm, within a strategy which complements the creation of a Bolsa de Alquiler de Locales en Planta Baja (Ground Floor Store Rental Exchange) together with real estate operators to reactivate between 100 and 200 currently inactive stores.
Owners will be offered an insurance to face possible defaults during the first two years and the rental prices will be inferior to the market prices during the contract’s first four years.