The Port Authority of the Balearic Islands (APB) has given the go-ahead for a €50 million investment to open up part of its facilities to the city and connect the Promenade with the cruise ship terminal via a freely accessible pedestrian axis.

The APB Board recently approved the Club de Mar Mallorca renovation project, which allows the installations to be adapted to the new concept of city-port, with the expansion of the concession’s public areas, the creation of a pedestrian connection between the Promenade and the Cruise Ship Terminal, and a substantial improvement in the services provided to its members and users. Club de Mar Mallorca will retain its concession for 25 years and in exchange will make investments in the public spaces to the value of €50 million, renewing the current buildings and remodelling the existing piers and jetties. Also, as part of the agreement for the extension of the concession, the Club undertakes to pay into the public purse the sum of €250 million over the next 25 years in port charges revenue.

Borja de la Rosa, President of Club de Mar Mallorca, has expressed his satisfaction at the approval of the project, which he has been working on for the past three years. He says, “this is very good news, not only for the members of this organisation, but also for the city, as the new Club will be a benchmark for this new concept of integrating nautical sports in to the city.” According to Borja de la Rosa, the renewal of the concession is the result of adapting the project to the State Port Law, which requires an allocation to the renovation of the facilities of a sum equivalent to 50% of the value of the “initial investment” made in 1969.In the case of Club de Mar, says its President, “that requirement has been exceeded, as the €50 million to be invested in the Club’s improvement is well above the minimum required.” For his part, José Luis Arrom, Managing Director of Club de Mar Mallorca explained that the project has surpassed all the administrative procedures thanks to its strategic and sustainable nature. “Right from the start, we knew that opening Club de Mar up to the city and the environmental aspects were our priority issues. We wanted a 21st century port, adapted to the demands and social sensibilities of our time. The new installation will allow us to improve on our policies of environmental efficiency, quality, safety and service to the community that have been in place for many years.” he says. “We will have more space for sailing and canoeing schools, which we can use to promote sporting activities among young people” This includes agreements with the city’s schools to foster the enjoyment of these sports among school-age children, which in fact we are already doing.

Apart from the obvious aesthetic and functional improvements, the main highlights of the architectural and urban refurbishment of Club de Mar will be opening up a significant part of the facilities to the city, which will enable the widening and extension of the Promenade (including the gardens and cycle lane) to the cruise ship terminal at Pelaires dock. This will provide pedestrians and cyclists with free access to the new spaces located in the public buildings area, to be distributed over three floors and connected by ramps.

The new concession will enter into force from 2020. From then until 2044, the new concession will have a significant socio-economic impact on the city. The total gross value added (GVA) is forecast at €425 million. In terms of employment, it is estimated that the new Club de Mar will generate some 500 jobs and that investment in infrastructures will result in a value of €170 million by the end of the concession.

According to initial projections, the construction work is scheduled to take place over three to four years, starting in October 2018, after the high season, and will be finished at the end of 2021. The work phases will be in eight-month periods, concentrated between 1 October and 30 May, meaning that services to members and customers will not be interrupted. Borja de la Rosa believes that, ultimately, the planned actions “will allow the continuity of Club de Mar Mallorca, raising the current quality and environmental standards, and allowing Palma to remain a benchmark in the Mediterranean’s nautical sports sector.”

The Club de Mar Mallorca was founded in 1972 with the aim of attracting nautical tourists of high purchasing power, which at that time were concentrated on the Cote d’Azur. It is considered as one of the best marinas in Europe and harbours some of the world’s top private yachts.