How will Benidorm’s tallest building – Intempo – fare as it opens during the pandemic?

by Deborah Cater
Intempo building, Benidorm Image by Tim Rawle via flickr under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

It is hoped the Intempo skyscraper will help transform resort into the Miami of the Mediterranean. But how will it fare with the ongoing pandemic? And are Benidorm’s current visitors the right fit?

In April, InSpain reported on the opening of Benidorm’s tallest building. Intempo is easily noticeable among Benidorm’s other skyscrapers with its golden M shape glistening in the sun. Some see it as an eyesore, others as a thing of beauty.

It is true the architecture is reminiscent of the US’s Miami, but that’s the point. This building, along with Sunset Beach building and the Delfin Tower, are the key to the Poniente end of Benidorm becoming Europe’s Miami.

Tallest apartment building in EU

At 187 metres, it is the tallest apartment building in the European Union. The twin towers are linked at the top by a diamond shaped structure. The towers house Spain’s fastest lift, rising at 4.2 metres a second. That gets you to the top floor in under a minute.

The 47th floor is where a price of penthouse could set you back a cool €2million. Lower down, prices start at €257,000.

The timing could have been better

It’s been nearly two decades since the idea was first mooted for the Intempo. During that time there’s been a recession which stopped construction, and countless issues around finance.

Now it opens during a pandemic when travel and tourism are suffering. Will the Intempo survive?

According to the promoter Uniq Residential, 100 of Intempo’s 256 apartments have been pre-sold. Of those, 60% to Spaniards and the remainder to Russians, Scandinavians, Germans and Belgians. The British, however, are unlikely to be taking up the offer.

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British unlikely to be big purchasers

Although, Brits account for 40% of Benidorm’s tourist trade, they are not likely to be frequenting the Poniente end of Benidorm where Intempo stands.

 “I don’t think that Brits who have that kind of money would spend it in Benidorm,” said Michelle Baker of the YouTube channel Benidorm Forever is reported as saying in The Guardian. “It would be too incongruous.

“People with a lot of money don’t frequent Benidorm. Unless you rebrand it, you’d struggle to attract those high-ticket customers. Fast-forward 50 years and it might be a different story.”

As Baker points out, there are really two Benidorms. One is for the wealthy, on the Poniente beach where Intempo stands, and one for the less well-off, on the Levante.

However, with over half the apartments pre-sold, it is unlikely the promoters will be too concerned as to whether the British put their hands in their pockets.

Benidorm features as a superhero setting

Benidorm will feature as a setting in Batman: The World, an anthology due to be published by DC Comics in September. The award-winning Spanish graphic artist Paco Roca said he chose it because it looks like “somewhere between Las Vegas and Gotham”.

Just how pivotal a role Intempo plays, we shall have to wait and see.

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