Events took an ugly turn in the Live! Resorts Madrid saga when the company overseeing the project threatened legal action against Madrid’s regional government.
US casino operator the Cordish Companies said it will sue the Partido Popular-led Community of Madrid government for rejecting the company’s amended proposal to build the E2.2bn integrated resort project.
The decision, reported by Spanish media on 21 July, marked the second time that Madrid officials had rejected Cordish’s proposals and cast further doubt whether the project will ever make it past the planning stages.
Initially welcoming the plans at the end of last year, the Community of Madrid government turned down the project in March after questioning its economic viability, citing that E340m was needed for infrastructure, including new roads to be build around the resort.
The following day after last month’s rejection, Cordish issued a statement expressing irritation of having caught wind of the decision from leaked reports in the media rather than directly from Madrid’s government.
Cordish also lamented that it had discovered “very serious irregularities” in the application process regarding “professional secrecy” of intellectual and industrial property.
The Maryland-based real estate developer now intends to “vigorously pursue the exercise of all legal actions that may be in defense of their legitimate interests against the regional government and the responsible persons concerned.”
Madrid government responded to Cordish’s threat by saying it understood the company’s disappointment, but maintained that the government was well within its rights to reject the company’s proposal.
Cordish’s proposal to build Live! Resorts Madrid near the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport in Torres de la Alameda, Madrid, was reportedly 500 pages in length.
The 225-acre project was also said to have met all the requirements for a Integral Development Centre license, which allows tax breaks and other advantages for projects that offer cultural and sports facilities.
Cordish claimed that the entertainment complex would attract five million visitors a year, along with creating 56,000 jobs and E4-6bn in revenue into the region within the first five years.
Although Cordish admitted that gaming would make up the main source of revenue, gaming facilities were expected to account for only 10-15 percent of the total project area.