James Costos.


James Costos, US ambassador to Spain and Andorra during the Obama presidency, has bought the Vinagrella estate in Llubi. Together with his partner, interior designer Michael S. Smith, 400,000 euros have been spent on renovating the house on the estate.

He also plans to build three new chalets on the property. But this has run up against planning permission rules. Llubi town hall says that there can be building, but for agricultural purposes rather than for houses. The Council of Mallorca is to be asked for a ruling.

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It is understood that the request to segregate the land and build the chalets is in the name of a company belonging to James Costos and Michael S. Smith and also Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google.

An old 'possession', Vinagrella is in a rural area of Llubi on the road to Sa Pobla. It was previously owned the Gómez-Acebo family, friends of former king Juan Carlos and the Queen Mother, Sofia.

Still close to the Obamas, it was rumoured that the former president and first lady met Costos and Smith for a meal at a restaurant in Llubi during the summer.