Legal complications have surrounded the Gesa building for fifteen years. | L. Ladaria


Endesa is demanding that it takes back whole possession of the Gesa building from Palma town hall. The electricity company's move has been motivated by court rulings - both by the Balearic High Court and the Supreme Court. These have revoked the subdivision of land that the town hall made during the 2007-2011 administration and compensation that was established for the Nou Llevant area. This affects the Gesa building and in particular the history of the sale by Endesa to a developer Nuñez & Navarro (now Josel).

Endesa sold land in Nou Llevant for almost 74 million euros in 2004. The year before, a plan was established for the building and the land, which was never carried out and included the possibility of demolishing the building, which was subsequently given protected status as an asset in the cultural interest by the Council of Majorca. This affected the possibilities for the building's redevelopment and it became a town hall property in 2009. In 2016, after much involvement by the courts, Endesa was ordered by the Supreme Court to pay Josel 44.8 million euros in respect of the Gesa plot. Compensation to Endesa has never been settled.

Because of the further court rulings, Endesa is now pressing for the return of the property and for damages. As yet, Endesa hasn't put an exact figure on the compensation it requires.

Endesa, which has its own property department, is understood to have been approached by developers and hotel chains. One that has apparently expressed particular interest is The Standard Hotels, an American group with establishments in New York, Los Angeles and Miami Beach. It is a company familiar with Majorca in that it is believed to have also taken an interest in Michael Douglas's S'Estaca estate in Valldemossa.

Before there can be any movement on this front, there are almost inevitably going to be more legal moves. The building, meantime, is in a deplorable condition, one that is itself contrary to the protected status that was given and therefore to obligations for maintenance. The town hall says it is open to Endesa's demand and that a change of use of the building to a hotel is feasible. However, it would want guarantees regarding other building in the area, given the town hall plan for a green zone.