Some time ago, a law was passed. It stated that “old rents” on flats and establishments could no longer keep their low payment, guaranteed-rents. According to the law, owners of rented houses and
establishments could increase
the rent on their property to market prices.
|Last days of Llobet in Rambles|
What has this to do with your visit to Barcelona? Quite a lot. Old establishments of the town, those which are the spirit of the city and make it different from any other city in the world are quickly disappearing to be replaced with franchise stores “vista una, vistas todas” (meaning, “when you have seen one of those stores, you have already seen all”).
After killing Rambles, the “forces of the market” are now killing traditional stores. Would Barcelonans themselves be their next goal?
Is this the end of Barcelona as we know it? Is this the birth of a new Barcelona made of franchises and cheap supermarkets?
We have already seen many traditional stores being replaced by horrible franchise stores but an important deadline is Dec. 31st this year. This is the day established to end the rent over an important number of significant stores.
Among them the music stores Llobet or Beethoven in Rambles, el Indio in carrer del Carme or Quilez in Rambla Catalunya. Hurry to visit them if you come to Barcelona before Dec. 31st.
Highly recommended article on the subject in The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/20/world/europe/historic-loss-may-follow-rise-of-rents-in-barcelona.html?_r=0