The promoter Ricardo Arranz de Miguel is the president of the Andalusian Federation of Developers and Residential Tourism and owner of Villa Padierna Marbella Beach, the land where the construction of the five-star Four Seasons Grand Luxury hotel is planned with an investment of more than 700 million of euros. The businessman attends Málaga Hoy to explain the situation of the sector and the status of the processing of the resort.
-What is the current situation of the real estate sector on the Costa del Sol?
-What is really windy in the last year and a half is that the real estate sector on the Costa del Sol, and especially focused on the Golden Triangle (Benahavís Estepona and Marbella), is in the Best moments, both for sale and price until many of the houses and apartments have doubled; and one clear trend towards quality and single-family homes. We can say that quality is prevailing and that prices, unbelievably in a situation like the one we are experiencing, have multiplied by at least 2 as a consequence, above all, of the lack of land to be able to develop.
-What is the reason for the increase in costs?
-The price may have gone up a lot due to lack of soil as the General Plans of Marbella and Benahavís are suspended, and the The City Council that has worked best and the one with the most cranes is Estepona at this time and during the last two or three years, which has not entered into the review of any General Plan. In this sense, it has been the Consistory that has taken a much more positive attitude than the others, and many investors and clients have discovered Estepona and have gone to develop topics of all kinds.
-What stock And what demand for existing housing is there in the area?
-The stock it is very fair and there is demand but very slowlybecause we are talking about quite important products and promotions that are being carried out at the moment in which a pre-sale has already been made beforewith which there is very little left, and they have not yet been built.
– Why not build more?
-There is very little stock by urban difficulties and all legal problems that exist to make any type of partial plan or promotion, funds and people with money are also taking a lot of trouble to invest. We are talking about land that was already definitively approved, that were urbanized and in which apartments could be built. That is what is currently being done and practically everything has been finished.
-What is the profile of customers today?
-The profile is mostly Nordic, and there is still the English client without a doubt, although the area of Portugal is seeing it with much better eyes. The Nordic client for the first time is valuing Marbella as a business centerthe climate, the security and the infrastructures that we have, which have been very good until this year.
-The residential tourism conference was held in September. What issues were addressed and what were the main conclusions reached at the meeting?
-There was talk above all about what the future is going to be, the problem of infrastructures, but what was quite successful is the request from the business point of view that all the urban procedures are based on the fact that they work. At this time, we find that no matter how much the Law to Promote the Sustainability of the Territory of Andalusia (LIST) and that in some way what it does is concentrate all the laws that existed before into one, it is based on reports such as the Environment one. Right now they need sectoral reports on Roads, the Environment, Water or Beaches, that’s terrible. If all the bureaucracy that has been created is not streamlined in some way, we are going to have very few investors here and that will lead to the business collapsing.
-Supposedly the LIST is going to streamline all administrative procedures, isn’t it giving results in its first almost year of life?
-The LIST is not giving any results because what it seeks is speeding up, but if that is not achieved, we are in the same situation. And really a town hall to be able approve a Partial Plan has to wait for the environmental report strategic, you have to come from the Junta de Sevilla, then go to Malaga, which has no staff; and it takes 3 years. What do I do no matter how much I speed up later if you are already 3 years old?
-How is the energy and supply crisis affecting real estate investment?
-It is being noticed that both things are missing, and there is a lack of good professionals in construction because this profession has not been dignified, and the old ones, being out of work for so long or in crisis, practically cannot be recovered. Then there is the theme of machinery for construction, supply of materialsetc., which is getting more and more complicated.
-And in financial operations?
-People she is more scared by what is happening, as is logical and natural and with the daily news on television; and then there is another type of people who are these Nordics who for reasons such as teleworking are deciding the places where they have a higher quality of life than they normally have. Everything is going to influence a lot in negative, but maybe what we have to do is clean our house first and not blame others, and see how we can get ahead with our possibilities, and then we’ll see what happens to others.
-What are the main challenges facing the sector today?
-The streamlining of all machinery so that investors can have the security that the investment is made immediately, and that all this type of industry can be developed. If we get investors or funds to come from abroad, because the banks have already disappeared; to invest and these difficulties are encountered, at the moment in which a lawyer makes a negative report, of course he is not going to invest.
-In this sense, the LIST has been approved and it does not give results. What can be done?
-The LIST has just come out, but the few who have read it have the feeling that it is a compendium of laws that have gotten into aand what the LIST should have given you is strength the city councils so that they will make the necessary decisions with a common sense of how the municipality has to be developed and in what way.
– How do you value from the sector the processing of the new General Plan of Marbella?
–We value that at least a job is being done and they have been the first to do so, but what we have to see are the results, and how long it takes from the beginning until it is definitively approved, whether it will take 6 months, 1 year, 2 or 5. what we are seeing happens, and it is that after the allegations cause plans to be canceledThat is already the worst thing that can happen to us.
-How will the document contribute to developing urban projects in the city?
-Really we will start to see it from now onhas been an exhibition of two types of soil, but when we see what will be the development, how and in what way we will be able to give our opinion. Right now, what they are doing is just a start.
-What type of investment are you looking at now towards Marbella, the Golden Triangle and the Costa del Sol in general?
-Quality instead of quantity, and above all, apart from the fact that there is a Spanish investor, a lot from Madrid and from the north of Spainwhat has been put very fashionable are the nordic countries. They are private investors and foreign funds, there is a lot of money in the world and they are looking for opportunities like you are, and what many politicians think is that if they do not come now they will come later, it is not like that because the money disappears.
-Which are the most cutting-edge municipalities, since there is now talk that ‘Málaga is in fashion’?
-Malaga is undoubtedly an attraction of a different way of life, of people who come to work, to develop industries, and that is one of the most fashionable cities right now to come to do any type of work and industry, even to live; but from the tourist point of view the coast is different from the capital. The brand has no doubt that it is Marbellaand it has to continue as one of the best in Europe without a doubt, as a tourist and residential destination.
-Given the current crisis scenario, how can a residential destination like the Costa del Sol favor access to housing for families with fewer resources?
-It is a solution that has to come from the administration, not from the businessman, and they have to look for places where really needy people can live and share that life with their family. In an urbanization like La Zagaleta, to give an example, it is absurd to put Official Protection Housing (VPO) because if there is no bus to get on, no schools or bars, what is a person going to do living there?
– And in other areas of lower quality?
-For that there are the mayors and the city councils, to choose the zones and the sites and not to generalize with the laws. That is what the municipal administration is for, which is the one that can see this site or that and you can put it dotacional so that this type of housing can be built, as was always done with the VPO in previous times.
– At what stage is the processing of the Four Seasons hotel?
-The urban processing is absolutely finished and we are now doing the Compensation Board, which will be finished in the middle of next month, and the works will begin immediately. Everything has come for We have been working with sectoral reports for 5 years.
-To what extent will the new Marbella General Plan favor unblocking the project?
-The General Plan has nothing to do with the project because it is totally approved, and it has absolutely nothing to do with it. We had 150,000 square meters of construction, we gave up 60,000 and we are left with what we had in the past, and that is what we are going to work with because we are developing quality and not quantity.
– Have the successive crises generated a modification of the initial project?
-Noel initial project is made by Richard Meier from the beginning, and it is what is intended to be done.
-How will you contribute? resort to strengthen the city’s hotel offer?
-Madrid has always been one of the best cities in Europe, and it was not considered because it did not have five-star hotels. Right now, with the Four Seasons or with Mandarin Oriental, it is absolutely outstanding in terms of gastronomy, hotels and atmosphere. The same thing happens in Marbella, we don’t have any brand and the big brands in some way are the ones that give a cache to a destination tourist.
-The promoter announced a year ago that the works would begin in 2023, are these deadlines maintained?
-Yes the Compensation Board is approvedwithout a doubt.
– Have the corresponding building permits been requested and obtained?
-The whole project is done and the model is done a long time ago, everything has already been presented to the City Council and no license can be obtained until the Compensation Board is in place.
-In what state are the sectoral reports?
–Everything has been approvednow the only thing left for us is the Compensation Board, which is expected to be in the middle of next month, but everything else is approved and the project is done and presented at the Town Hall.
-Does the approval of the LSITA improve the processing in any way?
-Nwe decided to go for the old General Planthe current one, and has nothing to do with the LIST because before it was approved, we already had it approved.