The Muelle Uno shopping centre in Malaga's port celebrated its seventh birthday last November and now looks set to announce it is in profit at last for 2018. Its earnings after tax were 80,000 euros last year. In 2017 it made a 390,000-euro loss.
In terms of its effect on the city, residents and visitors alike, Muelle Uno has had a big impact since a difficult opening at the height of the financial crisis. In 2017, 10 million people visited the retail and leisure area and the figure for 2018 is expected to have increased to 10.5 million. In total 60 million visits have been made since it opened.
Management sources have cited an influx of new brands and services to the mall recently, including a Hugo Boss store, a new pharmacy and the planned opening of the first Malaga branch of Hard Rock Café.
Currently 734 people are employed at the mall and with Hard Rock 80 more jobs will be added.
Pending the final accounts, income at Muelle Uno in 2018 was seven million euros from the rents at the shops, up from 6.3 million euros in 2017. The owners of the open-air mall have to pay more than two million euros in annual fees to the Malaga port authority for the land the shops are on.
The operator, which is a company made up of Myramar, Edipsa, Unicaja Banco and Malika, are expanding the retail space with kiosks on the upper-level gardens nearer the road.
However the large, main corner unit, near the Centre Pompidou, has still to find a tenant. Known as "the golden corner", early plans for a supermarket were rejected and a temporary artistic space currently occupies the site.