Since last October, there are trucks, bulldozers and other machines that level the land, pour concrete and open trenches through which the networks of public services will pass in new streets and sidewalks.

The creation of Innovation Park advances in two parallel camps. Since last October, when work resumed after a long pause, there are trucks, excavators and other machines that level the land, dump concrete and open trenches through which the public service networks will pass in new streets and sidewalks.

But there is another game that is played on desks and in auction rooms, where they are defining the destination of the parcels of the property that until a few years ago belonged to the Argentine Federal Shooting. The bullets and the rumble have moved, closer to the river, to make way for education, technology and artificial intelligence.

Since last October, there are trucks, bulldozers and other machines that level the land, pour concrete and open trenches through which the networks of public services will pass in new streets and sidewalks.Gerardo Viercovich

Fourteen of the 32 plots have already been sold and assigned to educational institutions from the private sector and from different areas that will be able to start building their buildings from next September. Another four pieces of land were reserved for public universities and the rest will go on sale in other auctions. The next one will be on May 31.

After the removal of the Federal Tire, involved in a controversy of several years generated by the use and exploitation of the land, and the rejection of a good part of the community of the centennial club, the first auction held by the Government of the city was that of the land attached to Del Libertador Avenue, in front of the building, declared a National Historical Monument, which meant a record collection. In November 2018, the Werthein Group, together with the Buenos Aires Landmark Trust, acquired them for US$151.5 million to build residential buildings and spaces for commercial use.

The private real estate development belongs to lot A, while the building is located on lot B. declared a National Historical Monument (It will continue to be administered by the Federal Tire for a period of 75 years; the institution analyzes what project to develop, but it could be cultural, recreational and commercial) and in lot C are the plots destined for the Innovation Park. For the sales of those plots so far Another US$91 million was raised. The total collection to date is US$ 241.5 million.

The total collection to date of the Innovation Park is US$ 241.5 million
The total collection to date of the Innovation Park is US$ 241.5 millionGerardo Viercovich

The University of Buenos Aires (UBA), the National Technological University (UTN), the Torcuato Di Tella University, the Technological Institute of Buenos Aires (ITBA) and other educational entities have already secured their space within the Innovation Park. So did insurance, construction and private investment companies in the auctions where 55% of the land was sold. The government expects to complete the entire sale, although it is analyzing keeping two or three plots as a reserve in case new interested parties appear that did not join the auctions.

The land was sold in public auctions organized by Banco Ciudad and they were destined for different areas or for innovation in education, health and exponential technology (big data or artificial intelligence). The city, for these cases, offered a subsidy of between 20% and 25% of the base value of the sale of the land to encourage the participation of entities and companies. The bid, in most cases, ended up raising the figures. The money collected was used for the construction of the park and will be injected into the urbanization of Villa 31.

According to forecasts, the construction of the new buildings could start in September when the installation of the entire infrastructure is already advanced, that is, the laying of public services (water, electricity, gas, sewers) and the opening of the new streets. These works are currently taking place simultaneously, with four companies sharing the tasks and different crews of workers.

“The objective is that in February most of the commercialized plots will be,” he explained. Luis Bullrich, head of the Innovation Park Special Projects Unit of the Ministry of Economic Development. “There is more and more bidding, more interests, important players that make the price of the base go up. There were plots that had up to five actors bidding,” he added.

When the Innovation Park is operational, it could generate an economic activity close to 1,000 million dollars per year, which represents around 1% of the Gross Geographical Product (GDP) of Buenos Aires
When the Innovation Park is operational, it could generate an economic activity close to 1,000 million dollars per year, which represents around 1% of the Gross Geographical Product (GDP) of Buenos Aires

To comply with the projected times, the works are accelerated on Lot C. The perimeter of the Innovation Park will be marked by Udaondo and Lugones avenues and two streets that will open in the coming months: the continuation of Campo Salles, Bavio and Richieri.

Riccheri and Campo Salles will serve to connect the surroundings of the neighborhood with the Innovation Park. The first of them will extend between Udaondo and Campos Salles and will be the new entrance to the Federal Tire building. Campos Salles will border the grounds of the National Center for High Performance Sports (CENARD) until Lugones, while Bavio will cross the property behind the historic building, in lot B, which will continue to be controlled by the Federal Shooting. The property, according to the law that protects it, should not be intervened, although it can host different uses.

The crews are concentrating today on completing the leveling work, dividing private lots, urbanization, refurbishing public space, building sidewalks and pedestrian walkways, and fine-tuning the central axis, a linear park which will go from Bavio until shortly before Lugones. The plots where five public squares and the surroundings of the historic building will be located are also being prepared.

The land had been donated by the former City Council of Buenos Aires on December 29, 1924 as
The land had been donated by the former City Council of Buenos Aires on December 29, 1924 as “usufruct in perpetuity”Gerardo Viercovich

In January the park will be open to the public. People will be able to access the squares, the small green space near Lugones and the central corridor, as well as the streets. And in June of next year we hope to finish the public building that will house entrepreneurs, startup companies and biotechnology, a space between 1,800 and 2,000 square meters”, Bullrich advanced. There will be a selection commission that will define who can be part of this space.

When the Innovation Park is operational, they estimate in the City, it could generate a economic activity close to 1 billion dollars per year, which represents around 1% of the Gross Geographical Product (GDP) of Buenos Aires. It is projected that 18,000 university students study regularly on the premises and that a critical mass of 80,000 people will be generated among students, teachers and researchers throughout the area.

The new project promises to radically change the uses of property that since 1891 housed the Federal Shooting. The lands had been donated by the former City Council of Buenos Aires on December 29, 1924 (an ordinance enacted on January 8, 1925) as “usufruct in perpetuity.” The city government maintained, since it launched the idea of ​​the Innovation Park in 2015, that these lands belonged to the city and that the objective was to recover them for the benefit of all porteños. In compensation, the Federal Tire would be transferred to new facilities on land reclaimed from the river.

Work today is concentrated on finishing the infrastructure of public services in the Innovation Park;  in September the construction of the buildings will begin
Work today is concentrated on finishing the infrastructure of public services in the Innovation Park; in September the construction of the buildings will beginGerardo Viercovich

“The road was long and arduous, but there was always a good connection with the Federal Shot to try to find consensus. The city is close to recovering lands that were closed for decades and the Federal Tire today has a more modern building in accordance with its needs of these times”, said the Secretary of Urban Development of the City Government, Alvaro García Resta.

Since last year, the Federal Shooting Range can use the new facilities built near the Children’s Park, with a usufruct of 75 years with the option of renewal in accordance with the laws and regulations in force at that time. The main building has 16,000 m2 on a 130,000 m2 plot, located on the north side of the outlet of the Medrano stream.

This is what the property looks like today where the Federal Tire operated for decades;  the Innovation Park will house educational and technological entities and private companies
This is what the property looks like today where the Federal Tire operated for decades; the Innovation Park will house educational and technological entities and private companiesGerardo Viercovich

The new Federal Shooting Range has seven tennis courts, a semi-Olympic pool and another for boys, a soccer field, a multipurpose playground, an Olympic bowling alley with six lanes (underground), ten shooting ranges (practical shooting, rifle, big game hunting, black powder, carbine, helix, Olympic 25, FBI, Olympic 10 and centenary), and four discus throwing courts (the practice is called skeet). The amateur practice, the training of Olympic athletes and the training of the members of the City Police and the Federal Police are carried out there.

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