By Nicole Froio, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazilian business magnate Eike Batista has received federal permission to build a shopping complex and a convention venue in Marina da Glória. It is part of Parque do Flamengo, a protected area since 1965, yet with Batista’s federally approved plans, Marina da Glória will gain a 15-meter building and will have an area of 20,000 meters modified for the project.
The project was approved by the Instituto do Patrimonio Histórico e Artístico Nacional (Institute of Historical and Artistic National Patrimony – Iphan) which has assured the public that the buildings and changes will not hurt the marina’s appeal. Batista’s plans now will go through the executive power of Iphan to determine the details of the building works.
Iphan and Eike Batista alike have avoided publicizing the project and its details. Vice-Presidents of Instituto dos Arquitetos do Brasil (IAB-RJ), Pedro da Luz Moreira says the modification of the area hasn’t been discussed with the public in around three months and that the lack of transparency is suspicious.
He said: “We can’t even predict how much the project will cost. Rio has just received international merit for its scenery, and publicity is something the city needs. I am not a preservationist architect but there must be a public debate. What is there to hide?”
Batista wants the project to be concluded in time for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Though there are people who fear the project will deface the area, hotel owners are happy that the project is going ahead.
President of the Associação Brasileira da Indústria de Hotéis (Brazilian Association of the Hotel Industry – ABIH-RJ) says Batista’s ambitions will bring good things to Zona Sul (South Zone). He told O Globo: “The Riocentro conventions venue is too far away, we need something of this kind in the South Zone. Since the Port is getting bigger, we need the marina to be modernized.”
Batista’s group yesterday released a statement declaring that the project will be discussed and divulged to the public soon.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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