The tallest residential building in the EU has finally been completed in Benidorm | Spain
For some, this is ugly to the eye, and for others, it is a major step on the road to transforming Benidorm into the Miami of the Mediterranean.
In any case, after 17 years of setbacks, the construction of the giant skyscraper Intempo was finally completed. With a height of 187 meters, it is the tallest residential building in the European Union. Its twin towers also feature the fastest elevator in Spain, rising at a rate of 4.2 meters per second and can reach the top floor in 52 seconds.
The Costa Blanca’s skyscrapers can rival those in Manhattan or Hong Kong, with 80 buildings more than 25 stories tall, but Intempo’s 47 stories tall keep it in the shade.
The towers at the top are connected by a diamond-shaped structure with a penthouse priced at around €2m (£1.73m) with prices for buildings elsewhere starting at €257,000.
The timing may seem disastrous, as resort towns like Benidorm have borne the brunt of sharp declines in foreign visitors. However, according to promotional firm Uniq Residential, 100 of Intempo’s 256 apartments have already been sold – about 60% to Spaniards and the rest to Russians, Scandinavians, Germans and Belgians.
However, the British, who account for 40% of visitors to Benidorm, will not move.
“I don’t think Brits with that kind of money would spend it in Benidorm,” said Michelle Baker of Benidorm Forever YouTube channel. “It would be very contradictory.
“People with a lot of money don’t frequent Benidorm. Unless you change your brand, you are going to have a hard time attracting these high-ticket clients. Fast forward 50 years and it could be a different story.”
Benidorm’s raison d’être is tourism and the pandemic has had a disastrous impact on its economy. But, as Becker points out, there are two types of Benidorm: one for the wealthy, on Poniente Beach, where Entempo stands, and one for the wealthy, in Levante.
Baker said she was impressed with the new development and dismissed the ugly allegations. “In addition to Intempo, there is the Sunset Beach Building and Delfin Tower,” she said. “The prediction is that the Poniente area is going to become Miami Benidorm…For me, these are great pieces of architecture, absolutely fantastic.”
Intempo has gone through many hands, and its current owner, SVPGlobal Fund, has paid 60 million euros for the building’s debt from Sarp, the so-called “bad bank” set up to dispose of tens of thousands of unfinished properties after Spain’s property bubble burst in 2008.
The resort features as a setting in Batman: The World, an anthology set to be published by DC Comics in September. Award-winning Spanish graphic artist Paco Roca said he chose it because, with all its skyscrapers, it looks like it’s “somewhere between Las Vegas and Gotham.”