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THE HISTORY OF ELVIRIA DEL SOL
Olav Gausåker

It was the year 1982 when the promoter/constructor Ing. Thor Furuholmen AS got a visit in Oslo from a Real Estate Agency placed in Benalmadena on the Costa del Sol, that offered a property of 350. 000,- m2 on the Beach side in the town of Almunecar on the East side of Malaga, about 2,5 hours and 85 km from the airport, today 1,5 hours with new motor roads.

Furuholmen called me one day asking me to investigate the site and all necessary circumstances around this Plot. We were told that it could be constructed several hundreds of livings as individual houses and apartments in blocks, apart from a port for private yachts and the corresponding town houses as usual in a port like Puerto Banus. It was very difficult to confirm with the authorities the size of the construction volume and all other details that would be necessary for such a huge project.

Also the distance from Malaga Airport was considered on the negative side but on the positive side there had to be taken into consideration that this place has the very best climate in all Europe as it is the only part of Europe with a Sub-Tropic climate. On the end, we had to forget this Project, but Ing. Thor Furuholmen AS found it interesting to do something on the Costa del Sol, so they sent to Marbella two of their engineers that was living and had been working in Brasil for Furuholmen, and I was contacted by them to have a look on other plots.

One day they saw the Urbanization Cerrado de Elviria and was told that a large Plot of more than 53. 000,- m2 was on sale. As this was a consolidated Urbanization there was no problem to have all necessary information on what we could construct on that Plot. As the architect of the Urbanisation had his office almost on the urbanisation it was very easy to meet him to get ideas on what we could construct. We also got some ideas from Furuholmen in Norway.

In the meantime, we also had to create an administration structure for the project in Spain. In very short time I succeeded in creating the Spanish Company Furuholmen Iberica, S. A. where Sven Martin Kjekshus and Kristian Langberg from Brazil, and I was named Managers of the company. The architect, with well-earned reputation as the architect of the Port of Benalmadena and a lot of housing projects in Calahonda, with a Mediterranean-Ibiza issue all over. After discussing the type of construction, attached houses like in Norway, or another type, that was totally different. In the end, I signed by the Architect all the plans of this existing Project as they could not decide in Norway and we here could not advance on getting a Building Licence. After aprox. a year we got our Licence and could start on the construction.

We found alter having some offers from constructors that the only way of keeping the control of the works was acting not only as a promoter, but also as a constructor so we had to start to find a Spanish Manager/foreman to lead all the employees and help us to find sub-contractors, all from excavators to iron binders, plumbers, electricians, carpenters on aluminum and wood etc. In all we had about 100 own employees and another 100 men subcontracted at the same time.

We started with house 16, and then 14, 13 and 15. As you know to start with the concrete has to be wet and dry out slowly to be strong so I went here personally with my family on Saturdays and Sundays, watering the concrete to be sure that it would be sufficient resistant as foreseen in the construction regulations. In the meantime, we had a modeler to make a model of the whole Project and also of an individual house for our sales department in Oslo by Ing. Thor Furuholmen, AS and then they started with the sale in Norway.

For some people, it was strange with the houses forming a triangle with the staircase in the centre of the house. This made the apartments different from a Norwegian style, with some bathrooms with 5 walls and a strange layout of the living and dining-room.
On the other side, with a max. of 4 floors, ground floor + 3, there was no need to incorporate a lift.

Anyhow the regulations did not admit more than 4 floors all together. To control the construction in Spain the Spanish Architect is the responsible together with a Spanish engineer against the authorities. Anyhow, Furuholmen sent down Norwegian engineers to supervise the Works. At the same time as finishing the first houses we also built the club-house, pools and the tennis courts to be used from the beginning by the new owners.

The green zones were also accommodated around the houses finished. As you probably know, The Plot K, Elviria del Sol, is divided in three parts, K1, K2 and K3. K1 is the upper part of the plot down to the houses 5, 6, 7, 8 and 12. K2 is on the south side of the main water pipes of ACOSOL with the houses 9, 10 and 11. K3 is a private green zone, park/garden area, where it is not allowed to construct anything like housings or garages.

Calculating the occupation on the Plot K1, we found that the occupation on the K2 plot was much higher so we asked the Town Hall to change the ground floor making it halfway underground and with parking places/garages, for then to add 8 flats missing in two of the blocks, to the houses 17 and 18, to construct these two houses like house 15.

The Town Hall said definitely no keeping on to that we had about 213 parking places around the Plot, more than enough to complete with the existing Regulations, (in their eyes), for 185 flats as long as it is foreseen 1 parking place for each apartment. Then we had to change the houses 17 and 18 to a different type and they could have more square meters as we still had some more construction volume for the whole project.

As the construction went forward every house was assigned a part of the land in the land register and as we did not get the permission to change the project the houses 17 and 18 was assigned the rest of the land that did not match with the other houses in proportion. Therefore, the owners quote was adjusted some years later to have a good proportion in between all the properties. All the flats got their documentation on Finalization of the Works and the Certificate of Housing Ability.

Olav Gausaker