6 Dec, 2023 @ 15:03
1 min read

Barack Obama’s ambassador to Spain faces local bureaucracy headache after his ambitious renovation plans for a famous finca in Mallorca are blocked

James Costos (left) and his husband

BARACK Obama’s former ambassador to Spain has purchased a sprawling finca in Mallorca.

But he will have to brush off his diplomacy skills if he wants to go ahead with his planned extensions.

James Costos, 60, has already spent €400,000 renovating part of the property, which is situated in the exclusive area of Llubi and on an old estate named Vinagrella.

The works, already complete, were carried out with the help of his husband, the noted interior designer Michael S. Smith.

James Costos (left) and his husband

However it is their plans to turn a second building on the land into three new chalets that is facing pushback from the local authorities.

The Llubi City Council has already issued a decree against so-called ‘segregation’, i.e. turning one building into multiple properties.

The decree has been sent to the Consell de Mallorca, which governs the whole island, for a ruling on the issue.

Mayor of Llubi Magdalena Perello told Ultima Hora: “They want to segregate and to do so they have provided a ruling that says property can be segregated, however our technical experts say that that ruling refers to buildings with agricutlural purposes, not for the construction of chalets.

“We have made a report and have sent it to the Consell de Mallorca for a decision.”

The estate sits on the outskirts of Llubi on the road to sa Pobla.

One of the two large buildings was previously owned by the prestigious Gomez-Acebo family, which has close ties to former King Juan Carlos and his wife Doña Sofia.

The former reining monarchs are said to have visited the property on several occassions.

Laurence Dollimore

Laurence has a BA and MA in International Relations and a Gold Standard diploma in Multi-Media journalism from News Associates in London. He has almost a decade of experience and previously worked as a senior reporter for the Mail Online in London.

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