Rep. Ángel Matos García, spokesperson for the Popular Democratic Party in the House of Representatives, presented a measure for the Tourism Office of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce (DDEC) to begin the process of expropriation and demolition of the old Normandie hotel in San Juan.
Joint House Resolution 0089 (PCC0089) was filed on March 15, 2021. The House's website claims that it seeks to expropriate the structure "for economic reconstruction plans for the general benefit of the people of Puerto Rico as provided in Article 3 (a) of the Act of March 12, 1903, as amended, known as the General Law of Forced Expropriation; promote its demolition; and for other related purposes."
"Eight years have passed after the last attempt to sell and remodel this structure that today disfigures a tourist area of value and importance for the economy of Puerto Rico. The demands of modern tourism and the trends of the new traveler have hampered the sale of the hotel and move us to seek new forms of sustainable tourism development in accordance with the expectations of visitors," he stated.
The Normandie opened its doors on October 10, 1942, and was one of the few luxury hotels that existed in Puerto Rico during that time. There, social and political activities were carried out that made this building one of great historical and sentimental value for several generations of Puerto Ricans. However, it has been neglected for years.
"Over time, the Normandie has become a public nuisance that threatens the safety of our citizens and visitors. Therefore, it is imperative that an expropriation process be started immediately to find the best alternatives for tourism and economic development for the general benefit of the people," Matos said.