Gerard Piqué's family investment company plans five-star hotel in Malaga

The Andalucía cinema site and (inset) FC Barcelona's Gerard Piqué. File photograph
The Andalucía cinema site and (inset) FC Barcelona's Gerard Piqué. File photograph / FRANCIS SILVA
  • The Barcelona footballer's father is a key player in the project worth a total of around 50 million euros, with the Meliá hotel chain lined up to operate the luxury property

The family investment company of FC Barcelona player Gerard Piqué has closed a deal, worth a total of around 50 million euros, to build a five-star hotel on a prime site in Malaga.

The luxury hotel will occupy the site of the old Andalucía cinema in the city after the complex agreement was signed in a notary's office in Madrid on Monday (26 July).

The trading company Inversiones y Acquisiciones de Hoteles SL, sold the land for about 20 million euros to the business holding company that is run by the footballer’s father, Joan Piqué Rovira, who will promote construction of a five-star luxury hotel, which will be operated by the Meliá chain.

With the signing of the three-way agreement, a deal exceeding 50 million euros is closed since it includes the construction of the hotel as well as the site.

Gerard Piqué created the business holding company in 2009 to diversify his investments (including real estate) under the umbrella of Kerad Holding. The company, with his father as president and the player as joint administrator, has as its objective the “acquisition, holding, and administration of all kinds of movable securities.”

Meliá Hotels, already operates several properties on the Costa del Sol.

SUR has learned that the signing before the notary lasted almost the entire day due to the complexity of the operation and the amounts involved.

The news come some 20 years after the city council approved a modification of the General Urban Planning Plan to classify the cinema, which was still working, as a public facility, but as early as 2003 its previous owners presented a project to tear it down and build a hotel.

Hotel plan rekindled after devastating fire

Soon after, in 2005, the projectors of the cinema were turned off forever, and it closed its doors on 16 February.

Many more years of haggling over the use of the site continued but on 15 March, 2014, tragedy struck when a fire devoured the cinema's interior and the building had to be urgently demolished. Just a few weeks later, the plans for the construction of a hotel on the plot were rekindled.

In 2017, the Inversiones y Acquisiciones de Hoteles bought the site ready to construct a four-star hotel – due to open in 2019 – but it never came to fruition as it required the demolition the of three residential buildings in the Callejón del Callao, that still stood despite being declared ruins in 2001.

In 2019, the demolition of these buildings was carried out, which gave way to an archaeological survey that ended up delaying the works even more when numerous remains of the old Muslim cemetery of the city appeared. This situation, together with an already delicate economic situation of the company, aggravated by the crisis caused by the pandemic, the project came to a standstill.

Now, the new developers of the project will start with the advantage that the most difficult hurdles have already been overcome, although they must finish gathering all the permits from the Ministry of Culture and the city council to start the works.