The Plaza shopping centre in Playa del Inglés (San Bartolomé de Tirajana), have come to an agreement with the local town hall, formally requesting a partial reopening of its facilities, which would allow up to 87 of its commercial spaces to to start up again, although initially only around 30 will do so.

However, the car park, which has 300 spaces, intended for private individuals and companies, many of whom are not associated with the shopping centre, will not reopen for at least a year, which has led to dissatisfaction among those affected.

The Plaza made their request because the local government issued an order to close its facilities in February 2022 after discovering that, despite the complex not having electricity following a serious fire in one of its premises in January 2021, several nightlife venues continued to operate using power generators.

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Around 30 of the shops are expected to reopen immediately, with another 40 reopening gradually in the weeks and months that follow. The investment needed to make this happen will be more than  €400,000, and they requested an additional €85,000 for this purpose.

The secretary-administrator of the property owners’ association notes that many of the premises have been closed for three years due to the pandemic and the fire, and justifies the request on the basis that the renovation works will replace and restore the first phase of the damaged facilities, which includes the ground floor and basements 1 and 2 where the commercial spaces are located, work that has already been fully completed.

In the same request, the administrator informed the local council that they have already made progress with the Directorate General of Energy of the Canary Islands government to allow for partial reopening. Currently, the electrical installations for lighting, emergency, and fire protection in common areas are being inspected to comply with a provisional start-up authorisation granted by the Energy department, which has notified the main supplier, Endesa.

Once these inspections are complete, and favourable reports are issued by the Authorised Control Body (OCA) and responsible parties for the fire protection system installations, scheduled for inspection this week, the Plaza will request partial activation of the facilities from the department for Energy.

The only remaining issue, as requested by the Canary Islands government, is the reopening of the car park which is pending the completion of renovation works for electrical and fire protection systems. The property owners’ association have agreed to finance these works through contributions and to carry them out “immediately” after the commercial area reopens. Meanwhile, they request that only the garage remain closed off, and the Energy department has required that its access be blocked.

The property owners’ association emphasised the benefits of reopening the Plaza, including improvement of the area’s appearance, which is currently neglected and in decline, the provision of new offerings for tourists, an increase in safety due to higher foot traffic, and a boost to the local economy through the gradual reopening of 87 commercial spaces and the resumption of around 50 employment contracts that have been suspended or in ERTE for the past three years.

The plan is to reopen around 30 shops immediately, with another 40 reopening gradually after some renovations.