4 October 2018
Salsa Real Estate plans on expanding the shopping centre by just over 4,800 square meters to modernise its facilities in an attempt to respond to the growth of online sales.
The El Ingenio shopping centre, owned by Salsa Inmobiliaria, which is a benchmark in the region, visited by more than nine million people a year, has set itself the goal of remodelling its facilities after 18 years in operation. The goal is to purpose is to modernise the facilities to face growing competition from online sales and to increase its current size by more than 4,800 square meters (10% of its current surface area) to attract new brands and consolidate existing ones.
The project will involve an investment of approximately six million euros, which will create 120 direct jobs. According to the shopping centre’s director, Leonardo Galdeano, El Ingenio is currently the largest private employer in the region with more than 700 direct employees and about 500 indirect employees. “We want to adapt to the current reality of the market. Online sales are growing by 20% per year and are considered the main enemy of trade and employment. We intend to provide new experiences for our customers, creating new leisure areas and circuits and continuing to generate wealth in Axarquía,” Mr Galdeano said.
According to Salsa Inmobiliaria, the idea is to prepare El Ingenio for the future, offering a newer and more satisfying shopping experience and incorporating complementary activities that attract people from both inside and outside the region.
In this sense, Mr Galdeano stated that half of the people who visit the shopping centre every year (4.5 million) come from outside Vélez-Málaga and Torre del Mar, creating synergies and providing a major boost to the local economy, as those visitors also tend to interact with other areas of the city.
“This is a firm commitment towards sustainable economic growth and to continue generating employment based on people, local commerce and innovation,” Salsa announced.
With the planned six-million-euro investment, the company’s goal is to carry out a thorough modernisation of the mall, which will allow the centre to accommodate new establishments and build the necessary extensions to existing stores. According to Mr Galdeano, “the world leader Inditex, owner of Zara, closed 99 stores last year that did not comply with their new requirement for surface areas and modernisation.”
The city council is currently processing a modification to elements of the General Land-Use Plan (PGOU) to allow the centre to increase its commercial area by 4,860 square meters, occupying mainly two areas in the immediate region, the first next to the service station, and at the opposite end, at the main entrance, where one of the centre’s chimneys is located. The matter, ruled on by the Urbanism informative commission, was approved by the representatives of the PSOE, while the rest of the political groups, PP, PA, GIPMTM, IU and the non-attached mayor, abstained.
The mayor, Antonio Moreno, explained that his group is gathering the necessary information on the project to inform the political groups and the merchant’s associations of Vélez and Torre del Mar, which have come out against the project. Salsa Inmobiliaria has set itself the goal of completing the renovation by 2020, the shopping centre’s 20th anniversary.
Original Story: Diário Sur – Agustín Peláez
Photo: A. Peláez
Translation: Richard Turner