• Vacant since 2007, the Edificio Espana (Spain Building) still stands looking mighty.

Vacant since 2007, the Edificio Espana (Spain Building) still stands looking mighty. (Photo : www.wanda-group.com)

Ahora Madrid municipal government is preventing Wanda Group to completely demolish Edificio Espana (Spain Building).

Wanda Group’s commercial plans for Madrid’s famous landmark involve the construction of a hotel, a residential complex and a shopping center.

According to the company’s official website, it is now the new owner of the 25-storey vacant building located in Madrid, Spain. Renville Invest SL, a subsidiary company of Wanda Group, purchased it from Spanish banking corporation Santander Group for 265 million euros (approximately 1.8 billion yuan) in 2014.

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El Pais reported that Wanda Group can do anything with the building, except that it should not tear down its main facade and side walls. It is a condition that is part of the acquisition deal since the building is a historic structure.

The company said that even if it demolishes the whole building, it will rebuild the facade and retain its original look. It said that the facade and side walls should be removed for safety reasons.

Ricardo Aroca, former head of the Madrid Professional Association of Architects, told El Pais that demolishing the building without including the facade and side walls is “viable and not unsafe.”

Spanish architect Cristina Guardia told China Daily: “I personally do not think a total demolition is needed. An interior restructuring could be enough to keep the facade."

An example of Neo-baroque architecture, the structure sits on a 4,655-square-meter lot near Madrid’s public park Plaza de Espana and Palacio Real de Madrid (Royal Palace of Madrid). It was constructed from 1948 to 1953 and currently the 14th tallest building in Madrid.

It has been vacant since 2007. Wanda Group’s purchase of the deteriorating property and the plans it has for it brought new hope for the building.

Headquartered in the Chaoyang District of Beijing, Wanda Group or Dalian Wanda was founded by Wang Jianlin in 1988 and has investments in commercial properties, such as luxury hotels and department stores. The company’s official website said that it earned 242.5 billion yuan ($38.8 billion) in 2014.

True to its core philosophy of "International Wanda, Centennial Business," Wanda Group has businesses in Australia, Spain, the U.S. and the U.K. It has assets valued at more than $85.6 billion. Forbes reported that as of June 2015, its chairman Wang Jianlin has a net worth of $37.1 billion.

Now the company’s plans for its latest investment in Spain might take more time to totally push through.