The news that everybody dreaded but was probably inevitable came yesterday with confirmation that the UK’s 2nd richest businessmen David and Simon Reuben have purchased 3 miles of prime beachfront land in the Port des Torrent-Cala Bassa-Cala Conta area for around £25m (less than the price of a Mayfair townhouse!).
Press reports state that they plan to develop the land even though the existing license has expired. This news has been met with universal horror on the island with many shocked at the prospect of this unspoiled land being converted into a concrete jungle full of even more so-called VIPs (if that’s possible).
Private equity vultures have been rumoured to be circling for a while in many parts of the island especially since Ibiza has succumbed to the VIP culture in recent years which has proven a massive market for Ushuaia, Hard Rock Hotel, Blue Marlin, Lio and Pacha to name but a few. New addition ‘Heart Ibiza’ has recently opened, this joint venture by world renowned chef Ferran Adria and Cirque du Soleil promises to crank up the top end even further. You just have to walk around the Ibiza Nueva marina next to Lio to see the money coming into the island. A Stella McCartney boutique nestles next to the Superyachts with elderly owners and leggy east European blondes which adorn all the moorings, forget San Tropez and Monte Carlo, there’s only 1 place the super rich want to be over the summer
Taking all this into account it’s should come as no surprise that there are people ready to cash in. The existing controversial property development promoted by Rafa Nadal near to Cala Conta is an example of the demand for luxury housing in gated communities. These easily fetched prices of 1 to 5 million euros which makes the reported £25M price paid by the Reuben Brothers look like a bargain
Those of us on the island and the millions of Ibiza lovers worldwide can only hope that Sant Josep council remain strong and only allow development in existing areas and steadfastly protect the green belt and coastal land that is cherished by so many but this council has had a chequered history in this respect and strange decisions can be made especially when huge sums of money are involved.