Thursday 30 March 2023

Costa Rica advances “Cuidad Gobierno”: construction would start in 2023

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30 March 2023 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – For decades, various areas of San José, Costa Rica’s capital city, have deteriorated, becoming unsafe areas, with low capital gains and unattractive to promote the development of residential and commercial projects.

The Ciudad Gobierno (Government City) mega project will help change that, becoming an example of urban renewal in the downtown area, a project that will transform approximately four blocks of the capital, providing attractive spaces for commerce and housing repopulation, which will, in turn, promote economic reactivation, improvements security, and more efficient mobility in the sector.

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One of the objectives of the current administration is to execute the first stage of the project announced by the previous administration, which will positively impact the lives of those who live, work and travel in the downtown area of San Jose, and will also influence the promotion of the reactivation of urban economies.

Read more: “Ciudad Gobierno” would give a new face to capital with a gigantic complex of buildings

“Ciudad Gobierno will be an example of urban renewal, being a mixed-use project it will allow the coexistence of offices of public institutions, commerce, public space and eventually housing in a way, which aims to guarantee a permanent use of the space, where we improve the conditions of security, intensively reactivating an area that has been subjected to quite significant deterioration processes for a long time,” said Jéssica Martínez, Executive President of INVU with the rank of Minister of Housing, Habitat and Territory (MIVAH).

In addition to these and other benefits related to the urban development of the capital city, the Ciudad Gobierno project will allow the Costa Rican State to save US$23.5 million dollars a year in the rental of buildings for institutional offices, resources that will be redirected to the payment of said complex once it is built. In this way, the State will acquire the buildings developed with the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), through a lease for a period of 20 years.

“At the conference on June 22, I announced that we would make an inventory of State rents and that we would finally build the Ciudad Gobierno project. A few days ago, I also said that we had identified a way to finance this project that would save millions of dollars paid annually in rent. Estamos cumpliendo!

“Ciudad Gobierno will thus be a beating heart that will inject urban and social development into our capital”, stressed President Rodrigo Chaves.

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Ciudad Gobierno will be built on state land owned for the most part by the Ministerio de Obras Publicas y Transportes (MOPT); Within the comprehensive vision of the complex, it is also expected to articulate it with a more efficient and agile urban mobility, for which the connection with mass public transport services such as primary bus routes and interurban train is contemplated, taking advantage of the proximity to the Estación al Pacífico train station and Plaza Víquez, both integration nodes defined in the mobility system defined for the San José Metropolitan Area.

In the current Administration, a Commission was set up led by Jéssica Martínez and with the participation of the heads of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Policy, Ministry of Justice and Peace, Ministry of Finance and the MOPT. This Commission is working on what is known as a partial plan with distribution of burdens and benefits, as well as on an innovative financial model that promotes active participation by the State in terms of recognition of the contributions it makes, making it possible to make this ambitious and important institutional and urban renewal project.

About the project

The construction of Ciudad Gobierno is planned in three phases. In the first phase, four buildings will be developed with a construction area of close to 178,000 square meters (1.9 million square feet), which will incorporate mixed uses and will allow commercial development on the ground floors for office uses and services on the upper floors.

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Phase II consists of the construction of the building complex between 15 and 21 floors. It would start on the land where currently used for the driver’s license tests, followed by the other blocks owned by the state, according to the master plan.

Once the construction of the buildings is completed, in the third phase, the transfer of personnel and sale or rental of commercial and service uses will take place.

The project will be developed using a Build, Lease, Transfer (BLT) financial model, with the CABEI. This model includes a management that recognizes in favor of the State the income resulting from the urban renewal process.

“As the main financial and technical arm of the region, we adapt solutions to the needs that our partner countries require of us. In this specific case, we are responding to a request that the Government of Costa Rica has categorized as a priority from day one, and as CABEI we express our willingness to develop it under an innovative, transparent, competitive model and at a lower cost than traditional processes,” explained Dr. Dante Mossi, the executive president of CABEI.

It is important to note that article 22 of the Expropriation Law will be complied with, which indicates the fair price of the property. For this reason, the properties that must be expropriated will be paid for at present value, without recognizing the capital gain that those lands will have in the future derived from the construction of the project.

Additionally, thanks to recent changes made, under the leadership of the first and second vice presidencies, in the Regulations of the Cuerpo de Bomberos (Fire Department), it will be possible to streamline renovation processes of existing buildings in the capital, which will allow a repopulation strategy to be promoted in parallel. through the recycling of disused or underused buildings, in order to increase the housing supply in the area. Additionally, improvements to the public transportation system have been planned for the AMSJ, including the project environment.

This Wednesday, December 7, the Government opened the contest of architectural and urban ideas for the distribution of public and urban space for the area where the first stage of the Ciudad Gobierno project will be developed, as well as the buildings that it includes and that It constitutes a great opportunity for urban development, institutional infrastructure and revitalization of public space in the city of San José.

The contest aims to compile the best alternatives for the distribution of space and the conceptualization of the buildings, as well as to visualize the design options for a quality public space for the city and for purposeful participation.

This contest is open to all professionals, companies or architecture and urban planning firms at a national and international level, those natural or legal persons who have more than 10 years of experience carrying out activities of design and/or construction of construction projects may participate.


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