Thursday, March 20, 2008

Punta Pacifica developers play hard-to-get with public park


Wall keeps people out of public park

The government pledged last year to tear down a wall, but no action has been taken.

Carlos Lemos/la prensa
Keep out:A developer has erected a wall around a public park to keep non-residents away from its luxury buildings.999942

A year after Ministra de Vivienda Balbina Herrera promised to tear down a wall blocking access to a public park in Punta Pacífica, it is still standing.

On March 29, 2007, Herrera said: "We demand the removal of all obstacles that hinder the full use and enjoyment of the areas that are for public use."

The wall was erected by the developers of the luxury building Pacific Point. It is estimated that the park has a value of $15 million.

"We are analyzing the situation. We do not want to make a spectacle," said José Batista, director of the Desarrollo Urbano del Ministerio de Vivienda (Mivi).

When the project, which includes the construction of four apartment towers, was approved, it was done so with the provision that the area between the buildings be kept open to the public.

When the wall was put up, President Martin Torrijos appointed a commission to look into the matter and to come up with a resolution.

But that commission has not met since last August.

Pacific Point does not seem eager to tear down the wall, either. On the project's web site, the promoters state: "Being conscious of our obligation for watching over the personal security and the Pacific Point resident’s properties, the project has been provided with a perimeter wall that is only interrupted by a security checkpoint equipped with electronic access controls, and at the same time watched by security personnel 24 hours a day."

More details in the Spanish versions:

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