City Center, a major development project in León. City Center, a major development project in León.

León project to proceed despite environmentalists’ opposition

Offices, apartments, commercial space and two hotels are part of City Center in the Guanajuato city

Environmental concerns and accusations of governmental irregularities have plagued an ambitious development project in León, Guanajuato, but authorities have declared that nothing is amiss.

Mexico Retail Properties is building a sprawling residential and commercial development in northern León in an area adjacent to the Cárcamos park. It has been dubbed “the most avant-garde project in the Bajío region.”

The first stage represents an investment of 2 billion pesos (US $105 million), and includes a 14-floor office building, a 183-apartment tower, cinemas and other entertainment venues, a shopping mall and several restaurants.

Topping off the project, called City Center, are two hotels — one a five-star property with 300 rooms and the other a 120-room facility aimed at business travelers.

Environmentalists have protested the project and denounced a number of irregularities in the permits issued by the municipal government.

An organization called Salvemos el Humedal de Los Cárcamos (Save the Cárcamos wetlands) has documented what its members described as ecocide and accused municipal and state officials of indifference.

Municipal environmental official Jorge Cabrera González has countered by declaring that the City Center project is legal and “the project is a go.”

Source: El Financiero (sp)

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