By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Yesterday, June 7th, Rio Mayor Marcelo Crivella announced that he had signed a new bill allowing Rio’s CR Flamengo football (soccer) club to transform its former headquarters at Morro da Viúva, in the neighborhood of Flamengo, into a mixed-use development, blending residential and commercial development.
The 24-story building, located at Avenia Rui Barbosa, was at one time used as housing for the Rubro-Negra‘s athletes and families. In 2012, the club leased the building to Brazilian business magnate Eike Batista who planned to turn the building into a four-star hotel.
In 2016, following Batista’s financial collapse, Flamengo officials dissolved its deal with Batista and the building has sat abandoned since.
In his announcement regarding his decision to allow the building to be developed as a mixed-use site, the Mayor indicated that he needed to think “outside the box” because the property is in such disrepair that it is in danger of collapse. Crivella also explained that “multiple use of the building will generate jobs and increase the supply of housing.”
Patrícia Amorim, Municipal Secretary of Sports, and also former CR Flamengo President added, “Mayor Crivella understands the importance of the property for residents and for the appreciation of the environment in the region.”
Following the Mayor’s announcement, current CR Flamengo President, Eduardo Bandeira de Mello, revealed that the club has received sixteen proposals to develop the site. According to De Mello, the club’s board of directors is in the final stretch of deciding who will be awarded the site, adding that a decision should be announced by July 20th.
As to how the site would eventually be developed, De Mello indicated that a mixed-use hotel/residence is a great possibility. But, ultimately, he said, “it is at the discretion of whoever wins. It can be part hotel and part residence. It can be mixed. It can be all residential. Will depend on the characteristics of the market.”