BENIDORM mayor Toni Perez signed a deal on Wednesday to usher in a new era for the city’s controversial bus station.
The agreement will see €24.5 million paid by a new contract holder to Estación de Autobuses de Benidorm.
The fee is compensation for the termination of the firm’s 50-year operating concession.
The commercial centre and hotel linked to the station will also be legalised.
The last remaining retailer left the centre in January with the area an eyesore due to a lack of upkeep on the empty shop units.
The current franchise holder owned by Alicante developer, Enrique Ortiz, will spend €288,000 ‘immediately’ on making essential improvements to the station as part of the deal.
Benidorm mayor, Toni Perez, said: “A new management contract will be tendered to resolve the current situation of the terminal and the rest of the facilities that make up the complex within a maximum period of nine months.”
“Benidorm can have facilities and a service at the level that the city deserves, as well as all the people who come to a leading tourist destination like ours,” added Perez.
The protracted saga started when Benidorm council awarded Ortiz the rights to build and manage the bus station in 2003.
The contract covered shops occupying a 500 square metres area but 10,000 square metres were illegally developed as well as two unauthorised storeys at the adjoining hotel.
In 2007 and 2012, court rulings annulled the concession to Ortiz because of changes to the plans but no potential deal to break the log-jam over the station’s future appeared until 2020.
It’s been estimated that Ortiz’s illegal work cost around €50 million with the original bus station project coming in at under €6 million.
Toni Perez said that ‘municipal technicians were already working on the specifications for the concession’.
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