Paramount silences critics with foundation stone ceremony in Murcia
The foundation stone laying ceremony took place for Murcia’s Paramount Theme Park on the 31 May. Attended by project officials, local authorities and expectant press, the formality kick starts the countdown to the Park’s official opening in 2015.
Chris Mercer, Director of real estate agent Mercers which is headquartered in Camposol Golf, just ten minutes from the Paramount site, commented, “The cynics have been out in force on this project highlighting the global recession and Spanish housing market problems as reasons why the Theme Park would never happen, but so far they’ve been proved wrong. This Paramount-branded endeavour promises to be the first of its kind built in Europe and the most modern to be opened in Spain embracing the latest in 3D technology and environmental awareness. I expect the stone laying ceremony to bring calm and confidence to both investors in the Park itself, and to real estate investors hoping to benefit from the equivalent of buying a home right next to Walt Disney World Florida before they started building – the potential is immense.”
Executive Vice President for Licensing at Paramount Pictures, Michael Bartok, assumed the honour of burying a time capsule box and placing the first stone. He also took the opportunity to confirm that work would start in earnest in October this year after the summer heat had faded and special urban and planning permissions had been received from Alhama de Murcia. In the meantime, the various attractions that make up the Park and Lifestyle Centre are being commissioned out to expert designers. Bartok said, "While Paramount is not a financial investor, we are committed to our globally recognized brand," and assured he was delighted with the development of the project and next steps.
Other senior figures in attendance included Pedro Alberto Cruz, Minister of Culture Tourism and Sport for the Region of Murcia, Ramón Luis Valcárcel, President of the Region of Murcia, Jesus Samper, President for Murcia’s Flagship Projects (PREMURSA), Antonio Sevilla, Minister of Public Works for Murcia, Joaquin Bascuñana, the Government Delegate for the Region, Manuel Campos Sanchez, Minister of the Presidency of the Region of Murcia, José Ballesta, Regional University Minister and Fernando Alfonso Ceron, Mayor of Alhama.
Samper was quick to quell any fears over finding investment in this tricky economic climate saying that there were sufficient funds to commence build and a financial cushion to continue whilst suitable investors were sought. He said “today is a happy day for all" and reiterated that there was "no going back" for the project. The team is attending meetings locally and globally to secure investment including an upcoming meeting in the United States.
President Ramón Luis Valcárcel expressed his Government's support to a project that is taking shape. He said it “was born with some original sin” referring to the Park’s perceived lack of credibility but added that these investments need time to develop. "The reality is that this great project has been conceived and developed in record time. That distrust, as of today, must become trust. It is very difficult for anyone outside project to trust if the Spanish themselves have little confidence.”
Officially presented in October last year in Madrid, the Paramount Theme Park requires an investment of more than one billion euros but will create no less than 22,600 construction and operational jobs and hopes to attract upwards of three million visitors each year from around the world. The Theme Park will be divided into four areas to include two themed hotels whilst the LifeStyle Centre will count seven hotels, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shopping mall, casino and a business district with modern office space, an auditorium and convention centre. PREMURSA has been granted the license to construct and operate the Theme Park, exclusively in Spain, for an extendable 30 year period. The economic impact of the project could make up 2% of the Region’s GDP in forthcoming years. The Theme Park and first phase of the LifeStyle Centre is expected to be open to the public by mid 2015.
Mercers has property for sale within minutes of the Theme Park and priced from as little as 50,000 euros for a two bedroom house (approx £40,346 GBP).
For further information, visit spanishproperty.co.uk.