MALAGA – There has been a lot of haggling about the construction of a skyscraper in the port of Málaga. The municipality and the district council of Andalucia are both in favour. However, minister Miquel Iceta is opposed to the arrival of this 116 metre high landmark building in the city.
The final decision on the tower, the Torre del Puerto, will be taken in the Spanish Council of Ministers. According to Culture Minister Iceta, the arrival of the skyscraper would mean “a plundering of Málaga’s heritage. This would be due to the profound influence of the structure on the historic centre of the city”. In the 1980s, the historic centre of Málaga received the monument status of ‘Bien de Interés Cultural’ (BIC).
Not everyone is happy with an iconic luxury hotel
To stop the construction of the Torre del Puerto, the minister has prepared a report with a number of counterarguments. If the Council of Ministers is going to take a decision, this report will only be leading and not binding. The skyscraper’s destination is a 27-storey luxury hotel built on the platform of the Levante seawall. The building plans have kept people busy ever since the project was announced in 2015. The city council and port authorities want to see the tower built, but opinions among the local population are divided.
If the Council of Ministers gives the go-ahead, the Torre del Puerto will be the tallest structure on the Costa del Sol. The project involves an investment of €200 million from the royal family of Qatar. The municipality of Málaga immediately gave approval for the construction and the urban adjustments that are necessary for this. For example, the buildable land must be expanded from the platform on which the tower will stand.
Top project or irreversible image change?
Mayor Francisco de la Torre (PP) sees the skyscraper as the crowning achievement of the tourist transformation of his city. More recently, de la Torre said that he saw more advantages than disadvantages in the arrival of the building. Furthermore, in his opinion, it would not detract from the value of the historic centre of the city. However, the Ministry of Culture clearly does not agree with this. And foresees an ‘irreversible change in the image of the city, which is currently still determined by the historic centre and the direct connection to the sea’.
If it is decided in the Council of Ministers to cancel construction, a further decision will have to be fought in court. Both the mayor of Málaga and the chairman of the Port Authorities have already indicated that they will follow this path if necessary. The date on which the Council of Ministers will take a decision on the Torre del Puerto is not yet known.