The March opening of the new Sofitel Casino Carrasco has ushered in a new wave of interest and investment in the popular Montevideo barrio, and one development group wants to transform the neighborhood’s most high-profile avenue.
A proposal is on the table for the construction of an underground parking garage that would run the length of Avenida Arocena from the Rambla and the Sofitel north to Avenida Rivera. The US$25 million project would create underground parking for 440 vehicles and convert several blocks of Arocena into a pedestrian-only sidewalk.
The City of Montevideo is currently studying the proposal from Oscar Schmidt, the founder of one of Uruguay’s leading precast concrete manufacturing companies. The businessman says the underground project would make Carrasco more attractive for merchants and pedestrians while alleviating the daily traffic and parking congestion, according to El Pais’ Andres Lopez Reilly.
The developer points to the underground parking and pedestrian combination at Barcelona’s Portal de L’Angel as the model for the Carrasco initiative which would transform the current two-lane road with narrow sidewalks into a wide pedestrian thoroughfare with lights, gardens, art exhibits, and fountains.
If the city declares the proposal a “project of interest,” a bid process could begin shortly thereafter. (Full Story in Spanish)
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