The Save the Trust Platform accused the Braga City Council of wanting to sell the former soap shop complex “as soon as possible” to real estate developers to “turn it into a luxury development” and “make millions” with municipal assets.
In a statement sent to Lusa today, the group explains that the solution presented by the local authority for the former perfume and soap factory will “boost the price of student housing” and also accused the council of “refusing to listen to residents and associations.”
On Wednesday, the Braga City Council announced that it will move forward with the building’s auction, with the specifications obliging it to transform the complex into a university residence and to conserve the building’s volume.
Official: Fábrica Confiança will be a university residence in Braga
Speaking to Lusa, the municipality, which had already launched two public branches, both blocked by precautionary measures that upheld the intention of the chamber to dispose of the complex, refuted the group’s accusations, with the mayor Ricardo Rio saying that it is “nonsense. ”Conclude that the increase in supply leads to a price increase.
“The Braga City Council intends to sell Fábrica Confiança as soon as possible so that real estate developers transform the building into a luxury development”, accuses the platform.
The group also points out that the mayor, Ricardo Rio, “presented an even more surprising and damaging novelty to the interests of the Braga”, explaining that “if in the first attempt to sell Fábrica Confiança, it was only the sale of the historic building, It will now also allow the construction of a second seven-storey building (two more than in 2018) under the fallacy of creating a private “university” residence with 300 apartments and two underground parking floors ”.
For the defenders of the maintenance of the trust in the municipal sphere, “if a building of this dimension is consummated in the public place, the last potential public space for the enjoyment of the population in that already densely built city zone will disappear”.
Evaluating by private residences in other cities, the text highlights, “this type of accommodation costs between 700 and one thousand euros per month” so, concludes the platform, “the municipality is therefore selling municipal property that was paid by Braga, for a real estate developer to make millions of euros a year, creating the illusion that he is responding to the demand for student accommodation and that it is socially oriented equipment. ”
The text also states that “the project will be another impetus for the rampant rise in housing prices in Braga, which has been registered in recent years, and which remains unanswered by public entities”.
Ricardo Rio replied that this is a “completely nonsense” accusation.
“It is completely nonsense, it must be the first case where the increase in supply raises prices,” he said, noting that “there is no need to save what is saved and Trust is saved with this project.”
For the platform, the council still loses an important place to implement municipal housing policies, compensating for the price hike in this sector, while the private ones have numerous places nearby to build the venture announced, ”explains the statement.
The Save the Trust Platform also accuses the local authority of having “conducted the whole process without listening to the residents or the collectives and associations that have been fighting for the safeguarding and defense of the Confiança Factory”.
The building was designed by José da Costa Vilaça and opened in 1921, and produced perfumes and soaps until 2005, and was acquired by the municipality in 2012, after the expropriation of the deteriorating building was decided to “perpetuate the memory ”of the plant.