Contractor from La Mancha who bought a town in Zamora: "Tourism project cannot be realized without help"

Contractor from La Mancha who bought a town in Zamora: “Tourism project cannot be realized without help”

“I will do my best with my own resources, but there is either support or it will eventually become a country home for my family and friends,” says Óscar Torres.

Oscar Torres GallegoConstruction businessman, property developer and rural tourism operator from La Mancha, The new owner of the town of Castro, is located in the municipality of Fonfría. This 42-year-old entrepreneur from Toledo, purchase process Old town built by Iberduero (today Iberdrola) Accommodating the workers involved in the construction of the Castro waterfall is making an old dream come true. Buying a village or small town where a rural tourism project could be tailored was an illusion he shared with his eldest son. didn’t even happen Castile la Mancha nor in the north Spain, as I originally thought. An unexpected offer from the Zamora group opened the eyes of this businessman who wanted to turn the town into a rural tourism complex. Arribes del Duero Natural Parkalso declared a Biosphere Reserve.

What brings you to Zamora as much as buying an abandoned town?

He was behind a project with these features for a while. I am a builder and supporter, also devoted myself to the tourism industry and one of my dreams was to buy a village or an abandoned village in the Castilla-La Mancha region or in the north of Spain, although in reality it is any region. it was worth it as long as it adapted what i was looking for.

My oldest son and I are passionate about it, and the town of Castro has a mobile app where sales are skyrocketing. I immediately contacted the sales person and went to the town of Castro the next day. I was going through and reviewing everything, doing a mental study of the possibilities this might have. As soon as I met him, I fell in love and automatically pointed to the operation.

What feelings did you have when you visited for the first time?

I kind of imagined what I could find with the photos I saw. The possibilities of this town and its surroundings are endless.

I came to town the day after seeing the ad and fell in love.

In what sense?

The natural environment is wonderful, next to Portugal, with all the opportunities opened. This is a natural park (Arribes del Duero), Biosphere Reserve (Iberian Plateau), protection zone for birds. I think this area should be evaluated. The town is impressive, constructively magnificent, with stone walls one meter wide, it must have been a great study.

What is your project in town really?

My approach is a tourist complex with a rural hotel where you can offer hiking, horseback, bike or quad routes. I want to zip line to cross Duero and take advantage of resources like Arribes Sect Origin to build a small winery. The area has great opportunities for excursions through the Natural Park, which is also a Biosphere Reserve. And if we get permission in agreement with the Duero Hydrographic Confederation, sea sports can be promoted by taking advantage of the wonderful Duero river that runs through the canyons, for example canoeing in the Arribes as there is already something in the area, and in the Portuguese part. The possibilities associated with rural tourism are enormous.

The purchase was eventually closed at 300,000 euros, but there is still a lot of work ahead that will require significant investments. How will you channel it?

In principle, I will initiate and initiate the certification, project and licensing processes with my own means. Cleaning and closing the town is a priority so that it is no longer destroyed. Also, once I have definitive ownership of these properties, the responsibility is mine and I don’t want to risk an accident or anyone getting in there. And from there I need the help of public administration because otherwise it is not possible.

I am from La Mancha and they help us a lot with such projects in our autonomous community.

The rehabilitation of the town is big work. Have you evaluated the investment?

Between 3 and 5 million euros. I hope public administrations will respond to your concerns about depopulation with facts. If they’re selling us the need to support the inner regions they call hollow Spain, they’re going to have to help the entrepreneurs we’ve bet on. I did it by buying the town, now they have to help me, this is not possible without public help. I am from La Mancha and they help us a lot with such projects in our autonomous community. I’m dedicated to this, especially in Toledo, helping us to protect and restore old buildings that threaten to be in ruins and drive tourism.

Have you ever had any contact with public administrations?

We have contacted Junta de Castilla y León via email and will see if we can get a response. From now on, I would like to see all the support possibilities in Diputación de Zamora to support myself and run a project that I am sure will promote the whole region.

Well, does the viability of your tourism project depend on this support from the administrations?

If we do not get help from public administrations and less than these features, it is not possible for us to run a tourism project. I will go as far as I can with my own means, but I need institutions to support me. It’s clear. Either they help me or the town of Castro will eventually become a country house for me, my family and friends. It can’t be anything else.

Either they help me or the town of Castro will eventually become a country house for me, my family and friends.

What will the first steps be?

First, we formalized the notarized contract of sale and purchase, which will be in about 20 days. And from then on, the first thing to do would be to fence off, clean up and start drawing a topographical map to organize the project and start asking for subsidies with the license in hand. There are also companies that contact me to contribute funds or tourism companies that want to participate and collaborate. But I insist, everything is subsidized because otherwise it is not possible.

An operation that was closed with 300.000 Euros

The sale of the town of Castro, which was put up for sale for 260 thousand euros, was finally closed. 300.000 Euros. It is the sum paid by Toledo businessman Óscar Torres Gallego. The real estate company that put the town of Zamora up for sale has confirmed that it has received offers from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Brazil and the UK. “Investors from more than twenty countries of the world contacted us” Romuald Rodríguez, spokesperson for the company representing the owners, explained.

they came to take Offers up to 600.000 Euro, but the real estate company tried to match the initial price suggested by the Toledo businessman, who submitted one of the first suitable buyout offers. As this newspaper previously reported, offers were also received from a private university. Ukraine settle in the area. Finally, Óscar Torres became the CEO of Iniciativas Faos, which has been operating in the construction industry for more than 20 years.

The town, until this last transaction, is a A family of Galician descent who bought it from Iberdrola at the beginning of the 20th century. The family, who set their heart on tourism, saw how their plans were interrupted by the 2008 crisis and the projects to turn this village into a tourism resort were interrupted. He then decided to launch the town of 44 houses, five of which are independent. It also has a bar, a church and a school with several classrooms. There is also a former Civil Guard barracks, swimming pool and sports fields.

In 2017, the town of Castro went on sale for 1,750,000 euros.. It later rose to 6.5m euros in 2019 after the owners claimed they had received offers from Russians and Arabs interested in the stunningly scenic complex.

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