The shutters came down in September 2019. | Teresa Ayuga

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Redevelopment of the units beneath the Plaça Major in Palma will not start until after the end of the current town hall administration - the next election is in May 2023. Closed since September 2019, specifications for the architects' tender and project have yet to be drawn up, a situation criticised by Julio Martínez of the opposition Partido Popular.

In December 2019, the town hall announced that it had two projects. One featured car parking for residents; the other was for commercial use and for offices for various official associations. In the end, the town hall chose the second option, with the aim of having a definitive project by the end of 2020.

However, the pandemic hit and everything was delayed. In October 2020, two months before a deadline, no start had been made to drafting the project. Meanwhile, the town hall announced that there would be a tender for architect ideas. This was due to have been at the beginning of 2021. Bidding for actual work to be carried out was envisaged to start in the autumn.

It then became apparent that the work couldn't start until this year. There hadn't been any allocation for it in the 2021 budget, only 50,000 euros for the ideas tender and the executive project. Even so, the specifications for this tender hadn't been drawn up and, according to Julio Martínez, still haven't been.

Martínez says that it will be impossible for work to begin before the next election. After awarding the architect contract, the project itself would then have to be processed and a tender raised for the actual work. "This could take more than a year."

The PP councillor says that there has been "failure" on behalf of the ruling parties. They have been unable to provide a solution for units that have been closed for two and a half years. In his view, the administration masks the whole process by calling it citizen participation, "but what they have been demonstrating is that they don't know what to do with the space".

In September 2019, the municipal concession for 62 of the units expired. The rest are privately owned.