Valparaíso’s iconic Port Station is being renovated for the 21st century with an expansion project aiming to breathe new life into the “spectacular” heritage site.
Located at the point between the port city’s waterfront tourist area and Sotomayor Square, with its monument featuring a statue of Chilean naval hero Arturo Prat, the station is one of the city’s most photographed landmarks, as it has been since its construction in 1937.
The US$50 million of private sector funding, from property firm Inmobilaria Nuevo Mundo, represents the largest real estate investment Valparaíso has seen in the last 20 years.
The project will renovate the historic station and expand it to include offices, shops, a modern hotel with a seafront restaurant, a gym, business center and extra parking services.
Valparaíso’s mayor, Jorge Castro, said in Chilean newspaper El Mercurio that the project will inject more life into the city, located about two hours’ bus ride from the capital of Santiago. He expects that this project should lead to more investment in the Unesco World Heritage city.
Cristián Boetsch, president of Inmobilario Nuevo Mundo’s holding company Boetsch Group, said in El Mercurio that “The project site is spectacular, with great potential.”
Sebastián Boetsch, in charge of real estate for the company, added: “We fell in love with this project. Its location in a central point of the city is by far the greatest value. Valparaíso is in need of fresh air and we believe we can be an engine for development of the port of Valparaíso.”
The works are scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2012.