The regional capital has blossomed into an exciting, sophisticated city with international allure thanks to a beautification programme that created a car-free central zone dedicated to retail, gastronomy, boutique hotels and cultural pursuits. While the parks, museums, portside boulevards and wonderful historical architecture complete the formula that has transformed Málaga from a Mediterranean backwater to one of the hottest tips on Trip Advisor. Estepona’s exciting plans mean it could soon follow in Málaga’s footsteps.
Many are the local residents and international visitors to the Costa del Sol who have also come to discover and fall in love with Málaga. The Estepona town hall, which already achieved a highly praised beautification of the town in difficult financial times, is now drawing inspiration from the provincial capital’s example. The need for an ambitious strategic plan for Estepona is becoming more and more evident as the town takes over the prime position in property development previously held by Marbella.
Town planning issues and land shortages within the municipal boundaries of Marbella are pushing much new development towards Estepona, where frontline, second line and hill development land is still available. However, the town hall is not content with allowing large quantities of standard homes to be built here over the coming years and is creating a plan aimed at guiding such development more upmarket. This is seen as being more beneficial to Estepona in the longer run and will also produce a critical mass of higher end residents and homeowners who in turn will attract more upmarket services such fine dining restaurants, beach clubs, spas and shops to the area.
Shopping in Estepona
Already the historic centre is blossoming thanks to the beautification programme instituted by mayor José García María Urbano. Its pedestrian streets and quaint squares filling up with charming cafés, shops and eateries. If it’s up to the mayor and his team, though, more quality shopping will be added sooner rather than later, and while some would immediately point to the creation of an American style shopping mall, it is in no way certain if Estepona has at this point got the capacity to support one.
Moreover, experience from across the world and the region shows that if not carefully thought out such modern shopping centres draw life out of the town centre and into peripheral areas, often ultimately bringing in familiar global brands in favour of local independent businesses. For this reason the authorities are looking into following the highly successful example of Málaga’s Calle Larios and applying it to the Calle Real in the heart of Estepona. The plan involves creating a car-free zone in the centre where quality shops, restaurants and cafés can flourish – a development which would further the already positive improvements seen in the town in recent years.
Inmo Andalucía is the property specialist in and around Estepona. If you have discovered this delightful up-and-coming town and would like to know more about its residential areas, Estepona properties and investment opportunities, please contact us.
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