Even in its earliest days, when it was little more than a series of sketches on paper, Sierra Blanca Tower promised to be Malaga’s most pioneering residential project. As Sierra Blanca Estates celebrate the tower’s topping out this week, it feels like a pivotal moment of change for the city.
The 21-storey building brings a new level of luxury residence that Malaga hasn’t seen before. We don’t just mean its prices, though with the residences now achieving up to €12,000 per sq metre, they too are unprecedented. But this project is bringing a new calibre of amenities to residents, providing the kind of five-star, hotel-style experience that wealthy buyers are used to in the likes of London and New York but haven’t associated before with Spain.
Located at Malaga Towers complex, Sierra Blanca’s residential project also stands out as a high-rise building on a largely low-build seafront, and it dominates the landscape on the western side of the city, which, until recently, wasn’t a focus for high-net-worth buyers. But the transformation of Malaga’s historic centre and port in recent years, which have turned the city into one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations in Spain, has seen a natural knock-on effect on West Malaga. And Sierra Blanca Tower has been the area’s catalyst for change.
As Malaga ramps up its bid to become the host city for Expo 2027, the city continues to take giant steps in how its project should transcend in the public opinion of citizens halfway around the world. In this sense, it is understandable how the city has added to its promotional campaign two great international ambassadors of Spanish culture and sport such as Antonio Banderas – who is also the sponsor of Sierra Blanca Tower – and Rafael Nadal at its helm, this project proves that there is a huge appetite for super-prime living in the Andalucian capital.
That demand isn’t just about having a premium address purely for investment purposes either. It’s about having a place to live where owners can enjoy the immense culture and enviable lifestyle that Malagueños have known all along.
The new Puerto de San Andrés marina, backed by the Qatari sovereign fund, is taking shape close to Sierra Blanca Tower and set to house 500 super-yachts. Within a short walk of the main Maria Zambrano train station and close to the historic centre, this revamped area of the waterfront will be seamlessly integrated into the city and provide a major new tourist attraction.
The same Qatari fund is also behind the 27-storey Hotel Torre del Puerto, which will turn Malaga’s port into a must-visit destination in the way the landmark W hotel has in Barcelona. It is 30 years since the Catalan capital embraced its coastline for the first time, in preparation to host the 1992 Olympics, and it has gone on to become one of Europe’s most desirable and entrepreneurial cities. Lisbon, in recent years, has done the same, becoming another highly sought-after city on the sea for tech start-ups, digital nomads and high-net-worth investors. Now it’s Malaga’s turn and the high-rollers are already moving in.
Google’s decision to open its cyber-security centre in the port has sparked other tech giants, including Vodafone, TDK and Dekra, to open offices in the city dubbed Spain’s Silicon Valley. Citigroup is tempting young investment bankers to its new seaside HQ. And United Airlines’ new direct flight route between New York and Malaga, starting next May, is further evidence of the Spanish city’s global appeal.
Malaga is upping the ante on the education and sports side too. Alfonso X El Sabio is among the prestigious private universities pitching to build new campuses in the west of the city, and Malaga’s Martin Carpena Arena, also close to the first Sierra Blanca Estates project in the capital of Costa del Sol, is set to be a high-profile tennis destination, having hosted 2022’s Davis Cup final and already lined up for next year.
Sierra Blanca Estates, whose families and business have grown up on this coast, always had confidence that Malaga could do it. Now all eyes are on the city’s Expo 2027 bid which, if successful, will allow millions more people to see first-hand what Malaga is all about.
By Zoe Hall