The biggest construction privately funded in recreational sailing on public soil in Spain, with an investment close to 60 milion euro, is taking place in Club de Mar-Mallorca. Its manager, José Luis Arrom, details in this interview the specifics of the project, which began last 20th May.
Question.– What is the maritime works biggest ongoing challenge?
Answer.- In this first stage, the exterior quay is being enlarged, both on its south side and its north side, and the width is doubled, as well as the creation of a new quay placed perpendicularly to this 90 metre quay. We are working with a construction format, pioneer in the Balearics, that consists on placing gravel columns, 2900 approximately, that once they are built, we will have the jetty poured on top of it in order to later place the cement cubes that will be the pier’s foundation. The challenge is to preserve the marine environment, avoiding having to dredge the sea bottom to execute this extension, that is why we have chosen this option, much more respectful. It is scheduled to be completed by next November.
Q.– Is the number of moorings increased?
A.- On the contrary: we reduce the number. We go from 597 to 531, but with this new mooring plan we will be able to moor 21 yachts from 50 to 170 metres in length, and up to 24 metres in beam.
Q.– Is there a lot of demand from this type of yachts?
A.- There are very few ports and marinas in the Mediterranean sea who can provide moorings for these lengths. Currently, a lot of commercial docks are being used for them all over Europe. We have a 330 metre pier, but with insuficient draught. With this extension we will have 400 metres and a draught between 5 and 8 metres. Club de Mar-Mallorca will satisfy the demand coming from megayachts by offering first-class facilities, both in technology innovation and in resources management.
Q.– The processing of a project like this is always complex. Do you have all the permits?
A.- State Ports and the Balearic Port Authority granted the full permit that covers the entire renovation project of Club de Mar Mallorca; however, we also must have a license that is both for the works and for the business activity, wich is granted by Palma’s City Hall, now being processed. We expect to have this by the end of the summer.
Q.– You demolish all the exisiting buildings and build new ones. What is the gain with this operation onshore?
A.- It is the city of Palma’s gain. The project is called “Club de Mar opens up to the city”. It is an opening and an integration in the urban space. The facility will provide more comfort, convenience and connectivity. The three buildings – two of them for a commercial use and the other for offices- will be connected through walkways at different heights.The parking area will be located in the forth unit, on the rooftop of which there will be an events venue. We change the position of all the main façades so they can all face the sea. The buildings have been designed following standards of sustainability, power efficiency and saving on natural resources. For instance, we seak a crossed ventilation and the best and most convenient materials so we can avoid unnecessary power consumptions. We will also reuse water for our vertical gardens.
Q.– When will Club de Mar-Mallorca’s renovation see the light?
A.- The estimated term is 32 months, turnkey. The conception of this project has been deeply considered, quoted and closed with the involved parties. The project manager has two engineering departments: ours and the BPA’s, as well as the quality teams, in charge of safeguarding the correct certification of all materials and building processes.
Q.– Is this project the natural step to take for an entity like Club de Mar-Mallorca?
A.- Yes. You have to consider that the initial business strategy in the early 70’s was to draw the superyachts to Mallorca from Côte d’Azur in France, the reference location for them at the time, which was conceptually very daring and risky back then. Now we face a complex project and hard to execute, considering that the current activity in the club is not being stopped, but very much in line with our original spirit.
Q.– How will this affect the economy of the island?
A.- Without a doubt, it will have an important impact socially and economically, as we estimate to create around 500 new direct and indirect jobs, which translates into a value of the facilities in 170 million euro by the end of the concessional period.
Q.– Will Club de Mar Mallorca be the best yacht club in Europe?
A.- Clearly, yes. There hasn’t been a similar project since Yacht Club Montecarlo and there are no estimations of anything like this in the long term.
Q.– Club de Mar Mallorca is, above all, a sailing club. What will this new era mean for the sports?
A.- We will be able to have more sailors both in sailing and in canoeing, as well as doubling the number of entries in our summer schools, going from 60 students per week to 120. All of this will be possible thanks to our new facilities: two large classrooms with a capacity of 100 students each, as well as a lunch and recreational area. Right now we have moved our teams to a refurbished space in the area of Ca’n Barbará, and we expect to resume the level of activity we had before the state of alarm.
Q.– This year the classics regatta will not take place due to the pandemic. Will it be resumed next year? Will the club host more regattas like this in the future?
A.- We will absolutely celebrate the Illes Balears Clàssics regatta next year. We love our classics and, given our expertise, it is a wish for the future to have a Big Boats competition. Palma would be the perfect setting for an event like this.
Q.– This year you have also decided to change your brand image for a more modern one. What is the purpose of this?
A.- We believed that, as we were developing a renovation project, the moment had come for us to bring our image up to date, respecting our entity’s origins, with 50 years of prestige, discretion, elegance and tradition.