Cristiano Ronaldo’s property sale in Madrid hits a snag

Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the world’s highest-paid athletes, is looking to sell one of his many properties – a luxury apartment in Madrid’s Canalejas district. However, the sale has been put on hold due to the property’s unique status.

Located in a luxury complex adjacent to the Puerta del Sol and incorporating the five-star Hotel Four Seasons, the apartment was purchased by Ronaldo in 2019 for €3.5 million. The sale was initially agreed upon in December 2023, with the property being transferred from Ronaldo’s personal ownership to his real estate company, ‘lusa Domum Septem Unipessoal LDA’.

However, the sale was halted on January 5th of this year due to an unexpected complication: the building housing the apartment is classified as a Bien de Interés Cultural (BIC), a heritage site under Spanish law. This designation imposes restrictions on property transactions, requiring specific procedures and approvals.

According to sources cited by Spanish media outlet ‘EPE’, Ronaldo’s team has notified the Subdirección General de Gestión y Coordinación de Bienes Culturales, a department within the Ministry of Culture and Sport, about the sale. However, no response has been received yet.

To proceed with the sale, Ronaldo must formally notify three entities: the Ministry of Culture and Sport, the Madrid City Council, and the Community of Madrid. This notification process allows these authorities to assess the potential sale and exercise their right of first refusal, if applicable.

The BIC designation stems from the building’s historical significance. In 2013, the association Madrid Ciudadanía y Patrimonio fought for the preservation of the complex, which comprises six buildings, including two declared BICs in 1977: the former Banco Hispano Americano and the historic headquarters of the Banco Español de Crédito.

In order to facilitate the development of the Hotel Four Seasons, the Community of Madrid approved a plan to empty the buildings’ interiors while preserving their exterior facades and architectural elements. This involved a unique approach to BIC designation, as the protection was reduced to specific sections rather than encompassing the entire structure.

The building’s height was increased by three floors, extending above the original façade of the Banco Hispano Americano, which now serves as the entrance to the Galería Canalejas shopping arcade. These nine additional floors house the 22 private apartments, including Ronaldo’s on the eighth floor.

While Ronaldo’s apartment itself is not protected due to its new construction, the sale is still subject to the BIC regulations governing the overall complex. The outcome of this situation will depend on the response and actions of the relevant authorities.

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