Locals' anger grows over squatters in well-known Torremolinos hotel

2016-08-13 10:00:00

The latest squatters’ occupation in Hotel Los Álamos, alongside the busy N-340 at the entrance to Torremolinos, is making neighbours nervous that this old, landmark tourist accommodation will once again be the target of vandals. It’s closeness to a petrol station and reports of small fires over the last few months have not helped the situation. “We’ve had to call the fire brigade several times,” explained an employee at the petrol station.
The building is the property of the Madrid government’s social security department and has been abandoned since the Summa hotels chain, which had been leasing the property from the government, went into liquidation at the beginning of 2014.
In November, the owners sealed the entrances after various police raids had ended in around twenty arrests, but these security measures haven’t stopped squatters repeatedly entering and stripping the building, including furniture, copper cables and even the front doors. Far from being peaceful occupations, the squatters have recently covered the façade in grafitti and rendered the interior of the building virtually uninhabitable. Despite the repeated thefts, the neighbours point out that there are still mattresses, curtains and other flammable materials inside and they are worried about another fire breaking out, similar to one well-reported one in April. “The petrol station is a stone’s throw from us and there could be a disaster. Idon’t understand why they don’t renovate the building and put it to some use,” a local man complained.
Previous welfare use
Several associations and political parties have presented proposals, mostly revolving around putting the building back to its earlier social use such as a welfare or pensioners’ residence. The Costa del Sol Sí Se Puede political party has asked for the building, with 122 rooms, to be transferred to Torremolinos council control and added to its social housing stock, however the town hall is powerless to do anything and the Madrid-based social security department hasn’t made any move so far, despite their provincial office in Malaga sending several reports to head office “so their property estate experts can take the appropriate action”.
The previous tenants, Summa Hoteles, went into liquidation at the start of 2014 after a supplier made a claim for non payment of 63,000 euros. In April it was claimed that the government owners wanted to auction the building.source surinenglish