Intempo: towering testament to madness of Spain’s construction boom


Designed to be Europe’s tallest residential building, unfinished Benidorm ziggurat is concrete example of banking recklessness.

It was to be Europe’s tallest residential building, a monument to the boom years when the construction industry helped Spain’s economy become one of the fastest growing in the world.

Now, the In Tempo apartment block in Benidorm has become a metaphor for the madness of the 10-year building bonanza that brought the country to its knees.

The 200 metre (650ft) high twin towers containing 269 flats are now the responsibility of the so-called “bad bank” established to consolidate the toxic assets of the country’s bankrupt savings banks.

Most of these assets consist of unsold or unfinished property built during the boom. The bank, full name Sociedad de Gestión de Activos de la Restructuración Bancaria (Sareb), assumed the €54m (£47m) In Tempo-related debt of Caixa Galicia, the savings bank that funded the apartments in 2005.

In a symptom of the banking recklessness that had become the norm, Caixa Galicia offered the developer Olga Urbana €93m to build the tower on the strength of the developer putting up a paltry €3,100 in seed capital.

Read @ The Guardian

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