The American presence in Marbella is certainly more noticeable these days. It started with Michelle Obama’s holiday at the Hotel Villa Padierna in 2010. Welcomed with an overwhelming reception of local and international residents alike, she ambled the small streets of the Old Town. Six years later, an American accent is far from a surprise and much of the investment into Southern Spain comes from US Funds – helping to propel the market into recovery and growth.
US Equity Fund, Real Capital Solutions, began to analyse the potential of Marbella in 2011. Within 2 years they had transformed a distressed and completely neglected beachside development of apartments into a stunning resort with rooftop infinity pool and an unparalleled view of the Mediterranean. With 3 more very successful renovation projects under their belt, Real Capital Solutions has now moved into new-build developments.
“Our vision always was to build,” explains managing partner, Peter Wells. “But, as with any boom-and-bust market, timing is imperative. We are accustomed to this cyclical nature with our U.S. developments and thanks to thorough analysis and careful, good quality construction, we have experienced a lot of success in the US, since 1984.”
The connection between the Spanish real estate market and America is not only economic. In fact, the first US settlers in areas such as Florida, were heavily influenced by Spanish architecture. These colonial structures still exist and sit in harmony with sleek modern buildings. And now Spain turns the tables as a new trend of contemporary, minimalistic property begins to dominate the Marbella coastline, somewhat reminiscent of modern Florida.
Peter is quick to comment, “It is very much our goal to energise the local property market with contemporary designs and excellent construction standards. But “contemporary” can sometimes mean “cold” and this is something that we make great effort to avoid. The form of the building inside and out should be comfortable and practical. Southern Spain, in particular has many examples of magnificent architecture – we look to complement this with our new developments, rather than replace it. We have learned that buildings should be innovative but they should also enhance rather than detract from their surroundings.”
Real Capital Solutions launched 18 villas in September of 2016, close to Puerto Banús. This development site is named Arboleda, meaning grove, in recognition of the expansive woodland area that sits to the south of the site. Whilst the properties are contemporary and include the latest technologies, inspiration was taken from traditional Spain with the villas united as a neighhourhood, Moorish-styled internal patios, large balconies and fragrant gardens with typical species such as orange trees.
The Real Capital Solutions’ approach is always to build to excellent standards and never at the detriment of the native environment. Functional communal areas and lush, mature gardens also play a key part in this.
Blending the modern with the traditional is not unusual in the United States where neighbourhoods have grown organically. This is plainly apparent in New York, for example, where skyscrapers sit comfortably close to the elegant brownstone row houses and tenement renovations. Also, the Hamptons – which shares a certain affinity with Marbella – presents every kind of villa from the traditional Colonial to the ultra-contemporary.
True to Peter’s description of Real Capital Solutions’ site-specific developments are their coming Costa del Sol releases. In addition to the Arboleda villas, early 2017 will bring 39 beach apartments in Mijas Costa and an exclusive apartment and penthouse project in Benahavís. Whilst one focuses on the community and easy access to all amenities, the other is a statement of incredible luxury, as yet unseen in Marbella. When questioned on this broad choice of development, Peter says, “we seek the best, whether that is east, central or west Marbella, high or mid-range. It is the merits of the project itself that are the deciding factors, and we would certainly be happy to expand to other areas of Spain if the right opportunity arises.”
For more information on Real Capital Solutions and the range of properties now available for sale, visit: