Concerns are mounting about the future of la Lonja in Palma.The conclusion of a new study carried out by the Palma XXI association is that la Lonja “is a victim of its own success”.
Recently, the city council has introduced new restrictions on restaurant and bar terrace opening times in response to complaints from local residents in the district which used to be the thriving heart and soul of the city centre’s nightlife.
However, the “gentrification” of the old fishing neighbourhood, according to the findings of the report, has done more harm than good and is “killing” the area.
Association secretary, Jaume Garau, presenting the report yesterday, called on the new city council to take steps to protect the neighbourhood from further damage and restore some of its original former glory.
One of the biggest concerns has been exodus of local residents.
Between 2004 and 2018, the number of Spanish residents in the area has shrunk by 10.7 percent and now, foreign residents make up 73.2 percent of the neighbourhood’s residential community.
One of the measures the association would like the council to take is to try and attract local residents back into the area.
However, one of the problems, as is the case with most parts of central Palma, is that property purchase and rental prices are too high for locals to meet - way above the average wage structure.
Another finding is that foreigners purchasing property in the area are investing in business establishments as opposed to residential properties and the association would like to see more Majorcan businesses settling Majorcan products.