Estepona está mejor
When Estepona’s town hall recently unveiled its new advertising campaign for the regeneration drive, I was disappointed by the design but thought the slogan was spot on: Estepona really is better.
The mayor, Jose María García Urbano, is certainly a man of action. He has pushed through huge infrastructure improvements, from the regeneration and pedestrianisation of much of the old town to even more ambitious projects, like the just-approved Grand Boulevard and the new theatre, currently under construction.
The changes have visibly made a difference and, more importantly, brought tourists (both from Spain and overseas) back to Estepona, breathing new life in to what was, for many years, a sunny but economically depressed seaside town.
I remember only too well the construction of the public underground car park on the seafront, which dragged on for years, affecting the town’s image and so many local businesses. Today, with hindsight, it was an important building block for the town’s resurgence.
It’s not all roses, of course. There are still plenty of empty commercial premises, but we’re already seeing more than those proverbial green shoots; Estepona’s recovery is well under way. Let’s hope it brings jobs for the town’s people, too.
With one of the biggest and best-preserved historic centres on the coast, a fantastic promenade, and wide, clean beaches, Estepona has always been a great place to live. I live in the old town myself and, since the improvements began, have noticed how proud my neighbours have become of their property and the street itself, which feels like a real community.
The town hall lets the residents of each street decide the colour of the flower pots that now adorn every corner and also holds a party, once work is finished, attended by residents and the mayor. Our street opted for traditional terracotta, but some went further… One of the most popular spots for tourists taking photos is just opposite my office, where the pots are a shocking purple!
Our decision to set up a business in Estepona was an easy choice, because we really like living here. We never really did business here until, post-improvements, tourists and locals suddenly started to drop in to our office asking about buying homes in the old town. Now, there’s a steady stream of British, French, German, and Scandinavian clients looking to live in the historic centre.
Many of our Spanish friends who were born here and now live in the suburbs are planning to return, too. Everyone says the same thing: it’s so to live in a town where almost everything you need is within walking distance, where your kids can walk to school, and where you can enjoy a drink with friends, and simply stroll home afterwards.
Living in Estepona may not be for everyone, of course. But we enjoy local life and the ease of having everything on your doorstep, including excellent meat from Francisco, our butcher, and delicious local produce like in-season strawberries (try Sonia’s shop on Calle San Miguel).
If you haven’t been to Estepona recently or have never visited the town, come and take a look for yourself, because Estepona está mucho mejor.
By Adam Neale | Property News | May 12th, 2014