rcani explained the remaining steps for the development of the project –which will start operating at the end of 2011– and remarked the symbiosis that the hotel will generate with its environment, Carrasco neighbourhood. With regards to the possible contest of the tender process claimed by some of the candidates defeated, he answered that the initial plan “is not affected at all”. “We are very satisfied with the performance, with the process and the transparency it had,” he commented.
What does this executive project mean? What things will be defined in the following months, once the corresponding deposit is made and they start working in this phase?
In the first place, it is a great pride for us and a great satisfaction to have been formally granted the license, and for Montevieo and Uruguay we consider it is great news, too. It is an emplematic and historical building, that will be recovered; this hotel has not been opened for decades, and will be restored and will become a cultural and social reference for Montevideo. I really think it is good news; employment will be generated, investment will come and a new traffic of high-level tourists from Europe and America will come.It is excellent news; we are very happy and proud.
The development of this project starts from the tender, that obviously has a lot of guidelines that you included. You participated and won, because the city council granted the tender to this initiative, and now this executive project starts. What does it involve?
According to the steps established in the documents, in the following ten days we will present the guarantee of compliance of the contract and then, four months later, we have to present the executive project for its approval by the council. Once approved, we have 30 days to start the construction. These are the deadlines established in the documents, which we will be complying. Once the developments started, we have a maximum deadline of 20 months to inaugurate the hotel.
Specifically, which are the things that will be defined in these four months?
When one presents a project in a tender process, you present it creating a draft bill. This is basically reflected in the blueprints of the hotel, the tender of the areas and their distribution. When one has to pass from a draft bill to an executive bill, you have to detail every aspect and a level of technical definition, which is basically the difference between the two stages. In order to develop an executive project from a draft bill, one needs to hire a great number of councellors, between 15 and 20. It means a very hard work of coordination of different groups during the following months.
If everything continues as it is planned, When will the new hotel be operational?
In 26 months from now on, so in the end of 2011. The hotel will work with Sofitel brand, which is the most prestigious of Accor group, a five-star line. Our aim is to get to Uruguay with a different level of quality and attention. Accor is the most important hotel chain in Europe. Sofitel is an European chain, from France, and when we chose it, we considered it because it was very important for us, because it had to do with Carrasco history.
Codere-Sofitel will invest us$ 63 million and there will also be changes in the settings of the building with a us$ 6 million investment. What does it involve?
First of all, we have made a proposal that involves underground parking, which was the most important of the four offers. It has been done in a way that, once the hotel is inaugurated, its development impacts the least possible in its setting. We also proposed to perform a pedestrian street in Rostand St until Stella Maris church, which has been very well received by the neighbours.
In line with all these, we will be inaugurating the new offices in the following days, which will also be located in Carrasco. Our interest is to be part of the community, to be close of the construction to be able to have a better control and, of course, a construction like this usually generates any logistic difficulty around. So it is important for us to be close and be able to feel it, live it and correct it, when it is possible.