Speaking to Jornal do Algarve, Lagos Mayor Maria Joaquina Matos said a project is in the pipeline that will see the unfinished concrete monstrosity on Ponta da Piedade demolished to make way for two new hotels.
The skeleton of the Crotália Towers, which started being built in the 1960s but was abandoned in the 1970s immediately after the 25 April revolution, has long been a bone of contention for Lagos locals.
Located near the Ponta da Piedade beauty spot, the cement skeleton has been the subject of a number of well-meant recovery plans, none of which ever came to fruition.
Mayor Matos told Jornal do Algarve that the urban “blemish” is to come down once and for all next year, when it will be demolished. She said demolishing the half-built development “is the only solution”.
“Municipal services have received a request for the rehabilitation of that entire area, which contemplates the demolition of the unfinished buildings and the construction of two new buildings in the hotel sector”, Maria Joaquina Matos said in comments to the regional newspaper, stressing that “the construction will start in 2019” and “the disappearance of those towers will be a great moment for Lagos, which will allow for the re-qualification of the whole area, next to the stunning landscape of Ponta da Piedade”.
In March 2012, Lagos Council and the TroiaResort Company which belongs to the Sonae Group established a protocol for the development of several projects in Lagos, namely the completion of the construction of the two aforementioned towers.
But the group led at that time by Belmiro de Azevedo never advanced with the project, blaming unfavourable economic conditions.
“I am very pleased to finally reach agreement after so many years of uncertainty, “said Maria Joaquina Matos, who guaranteed that the demolition project will move forward next year.
“Demolition is the only urban solution in this case, since Portuguese laws state that the guarantee of the useful lifespan of reinforced concrete, in the case of common constructions (residential buildings), is fifty years. And the proximity to the sea and the exposure of the structure to the elements are factors that accelerate its degradation, so the towers will have to come down”, she explained.
In addition to Crotália Towers, the mayor of Lagos said other urban “blemishes” are also being resolved.
Such is the case of the old São Cristóvão hotel, at the entrance to the city, which has already been demolished and the project for a new hotel under way.
The Golfinho hotel, near Lagos’ famous Dona Ana beach, has also seen a project submitted for its rehabilitation, the council confirmed.
Travel news site eTurboNews gave further insight into this project, reporting “the IR Group announced that it is currently negotiating with hotel management companies to secure partners to have the 269-room hotel refurbished into apartments, which will be sold as vacation timeshares. The property has been renamed the Golfino Lagos Beach Resort and SPA”.
The site says refurbishment is scheduled to begin sometime this year with a goal to have the work completed by 2020.
“The reborn property is to include a restaurant, health club, spa, indoor and outdoor pool, a Zen garden, a conference room, a kids’ club, and a car park”.
It goes on to say that Dona Ana beach itself will need work done on it, “because a sea wall has ruined the beach that was once voted the best beach in the world”, elaborating: “Investors in the timeshares will be able to enjoy staying at the apartment for 2 weeks during the year and are guaranteed a 7 percent return from holiday rentals during the rest of the year. The company is also promising it will buy back the apartment at the price it was originally paid for after five years.”