The Malaga of the towers, the skyscrapers included in the Urban Plan a decade ago, are beginning to materialize. Buildings that will forever change the city’s skyline are heading into the clouds without many locals realizing how tall they’re going to be. One of two that developer AQ Acentor is building on the site of the former Martiricos Sunday market will be 20 meters higher than the cathedral tower. This company, which belongs to the German fund Aquila Capital, is behind the two projects which are currently at the most advanced stage. With a total investment of 255 million euros, they are beginning to establish themselves in the landscape.
These two skyscapers, located just north of downtown, will be 29 stories above the ground floor. One to the south will have commercial premises on the ground floor and 252 apartments for sale, and the other a hotel with 315 rooms from the 1st to the 13th floor and 198 rental apartments up to the 29th. Those on the top floor will be 111.53 meters above the ground.
How is a skyscraper built? More than 130 Avintia workers are employed on the project in Martiricos, which has been named AQ Urban Sky. Iván Gómez, works manager, explains that the secret of these two huge constructions is a type of “self-climbing” formwork system: based on a vertical column, it rises by itself, driven by hydraulic and mechanical systems. “It allows you to lift large amounts of material without the need for a crane,” he explained.
The core of one of Martiricos’ towers. /
The structures of the different floors are anchored to this type of self-elevating central core, so that the column is always ahead of the floors. Workers are protected by black panels. “We bring the concrete through the central column via pipes and when the work is finished, that will be where the elevators and the stairs are,” Gómez said. This is the first time the type of system they use in the North Tower has been used in Spain. “We can’t use it for the south tower, because its plan is Y-shaped, but the north tower is T-shaped, so it’s possible there,” sources at AQ Acentor explain.
This mode of construction allows you to move faster, to increase by one floor every two weeks, and makes the buildings more rigid to protect against earthquakes. However, the two skyscrapers of Martiricos are also designed to withstand the strongest winds. For this, models were made, one and a half meters high and equipped with 200 to 300 sensors, and were tested in a wind tunnel. This showed where the structure needed to be stiffest so the wind wouldn’t pull it out.
Additionally, with this working method, work on the lower floors can be completed while the self-climbing platform continues to be used for the upper floors. This is why signs have already started to be put up on the exterior of the lower floors of the south tower.
A rendering of what the towers will look like. /
AQ Acentor’s goal is for the structure of the two skyscrapers to be completed by the last quarter of this year and for the apartments in the south tower to be ready for occupancy in the second half of 2023.
“About 60% of the apartments have already been booked,” Gómez said, although no prices have yet been set for the penthouses. “It’s something we’re still considering. With the pandemic, it’s hard to be right, but they will be on sale at the end of the year,” he said.
At the moment, the most expensive apartment is on the 25th floor and has four bedrooms, a garage and a storeroom, and costs more than 600,000 euros. The two skyscrapers are built on a two-story parking lot that can accommodate 535 vehicles.
The largest international hotel chains have already shown interest in operating the hotel in the North Tower, and AQ Acentor also plans to appoint a specialist company to manage the rental properties.
However, it is in the AQ Jacarena project that the same fund is building in La Princesa, a neighborhood just west of the city center, that rental takes on a more prominent place. In this case, there are three buildings above four basement garages that can accommodate 450 vehicles. They will have 349 long-term rental apartments and these will begin to be marketed this year. Two of the buildings will be 14 stories (46.25 meters) and the other will be 23 stories (74.15 meters).
The AQ Jacarena project, in the La Princesa district of Malaga. /
The southernmost block will house 110 apartments and will be completed by the end of this year, and the other two by the middle of next year and with 90 and 140 apartments respectively.
The skyline of the Cruz del Humilladero and Carretera de Cadiz areas will also be altered by the 23-storey tower, which is built using a more conventional system. “We are building the structure of the three blocks at the same time so that we can finish them together, and the exteriors will look the same, with white and gray finishes,” said Elena Castro, who is managing the project which costs more than 85 million euros. in total.
And there are more to come. AQ Jacarena is a precursor to Malaga’s largest skyscraper project to date, on Repsol’s nearby land next to Avenida Juan XXIII, where there are plans for four buildings of 28, 30, 32 and 34 floors respectively.
Properties for sale for more than 3 million euros in towers under construction near the west beach
In addition to the projects in the Martiricos and La Princesa districts of Malaga, three other 20-storey towers are also being built in the Torre del Río district, which is on the west coast of the city, between La Térmica and the area of Nereo warehouses.
The Metrovacesa company is building the two blocks at the ends and Sierra Blanca Real Estate is building the central one.
Over the next few months, these will begin to emerge and be visible above the underground car parks, the structures of which are already in place.
Metrovacesa says its first tower, where work is currently underway at ground level, will be completed by summer 2023 and work on the second block is expected to begin next year.
Similarly, Sierra Blanca Real Estate says it expects to have the second floor of its building by March and fully completed by May next year.
The two developers have conceived them as luxury projects and offer apartments for sale for more than three million euros, although the penthouses could well be twice as expensive as that.
Sierra Blanca says he has already sold an apartment for 3.2 million euros. It was bought by a Dutch businessman.