Wanda rethinks plan

BEIJING: Chinese property giant Wanda, owned by one of the country’s richest men Wang Jianlin, is reassessing plans for a historic Madrid skyscraper, it said on Thursday, amid a dispute over its redevelopment. In a statement, the real estate and entertainment firm also denied reports that Wang complained he had been treated ‘like a dog’ by the city’s government in negotiations. Wanda acquired the 25-storey Edificio Espana, built in the 1950s under the dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, in June 2014 for 265 million euros (now $288 million) and reportedly wanted to turn it into a hotel and shopping centre. But Madrid’s new anti-austerity Mayor Manuela Carmena has put investors on edge by vowing to sternly scrutinise big building projects approved by the former conservative council. According to Spanish reports, city authorities are refusing to let Wanda demolish the building’s façade before reconstructing it.