Work progresses for the construction of a service station in Dock 1 of Puerto Madero. The excavators work piecework on the corner of Encarnación Ezcurra and Aimé Painé; It is presumed that the fuel tanks will be placed there. And in parallel, concern grows among the neighbors because they understand that a work is being carried out without consultation, with an impact that could harm the neighborhood and that also modifies a previous agreement between the Archbishopric of the City of Buenos Aires and the Puerto Madero Old Corporation.
In fact, both institutions starred in these days a counterpoint on the uses of these lands, one of the last jewels available in the area.
What do the Church and the Corporation have to do with this story? We must go back to 1993, when the Corporation -the company integrated by the National State and the Government of the City, which was in charge of the parceling, urbanization and sale of the land- donated the property to the Archbishopric of the City of Buenos Aires with a premise: that a church be built on these lands. a house for priests and a school. The construction had to be done at the "expense of the donee", that is, of the Archbishopric.
The church – it is the parish of Our Lady of Hope – and the house were built, but the school was not. The Archbishopric argues that it never had the money to do it. Thus, he delegated the work to a private company that would take usufruct of the land for the next 40 years. In addition to the school, it will build offices, premises and the service station for fuel dispensing.
Protest graffiti. Neighbors of Puerto Madero against the construction of a service station on a property where they were to build a school. Photo: Lucia Merle
Now that the work is progressing, that the neighboring organizationhas already resorted to Justice and that the situation has become visible, the Corporation presented an official letter to the Archbishopric. They informed Clarín that a meeting was even held "where the Church was asked to strictly comply with the charge of the donation and the non-execution of works that exceed that charge."
However, "and having verified the continuation of such works in the donated property, the requirement for interruption of the work was reiterated to them by formal notification."
For its part, from the Archbishopric they told this media: "We do not agree with the arguments presented, because we consider that the charge of the donation and its scope is not being breached." In previous conversations with Clarín, spokesmen for the agency explained that "adding uses is not changing the main use. We need income to sustain what the implementation of this educational project implies."
The neighborhood organization was launched last year, with two events. On the one hand, when the media reported that the Vatican was investigating irregularities in the sale and disposition of the assets of the Buenos Aires Archbishopric; One of the notes mentioned this property. And finally when they realized that on December 29, 2020 there was a public hearing to which they were not summoned, nor notified. It can be seen on YouTube, where the developer (Lomfako SA), the Buenos Aires Government and the Church participate.
Premises of the Parish of Our Lady of Hope, in Puerto Madero.
Then, they appealed to the Justice promoting an environmental protection, not only because of the impact that the service station could generate, but also with respect to its location, since it shares a plot with a school. In the amparo the neighbors mention with concern the Old Puerto Madero Corporation, they consider that it maintained a "silent inaction: as donee of a property has allowed and / or tolerated that it advances with a project violating the charge established in the deed of donation. "
With the Corporation they did not have it easy. The neighbors had to resort to the area of Urban Rights and Environment of the Ombudsman's Office of the City to access the property title and the conditions in which the Corporation donated the property to the Archbishopric.
Returning to the amparo, it is being processed in the Buenos Aires Court of First Instance in Administrative and Tax Litigation No. 14, Secretariat No. 27.
The history of the property
It is located in Dock 1 of Puerto Madero. It is a rectangular plot, comprised of Rosario Vera Peñaloza, Aimé Painé, Julieta Lanteri and Encarnación Ezcurra streets. The work is authorized by the DGROC (General Directorate of Registration of Works and Cadastres of the Secretary of Urban Development of Buenos Aires), which on the other hand also granted the environmental permits for the works to advance.