By Virginia Fernández.
Madrid boasts all the prerequisites to establish itself as a global hub. Economically speaking, growth is currently above 3%, once again putting Madrid in the international spotlight. Tourists, investors and ever more foreigners looking to move to Madrid are drawn by new areas that guarantee first-rate services and the most appealing homes.
Madrid’s central district is an interesting example. For years this area has been immersed in an urban regeneration project and while some of its streets have undergone transformations that could be compared to other cosmopolitan areas such as Brooklyn in New York and Malmö in Sweden, others have not proven so open to the idea of change.
However, we only need to cast our minds back to what Madrid used to look like at the beginning of the century to see just how much the city centre has naturally evolved and modernised over time.
Historically, the area bordered by Calle Alcalá, Carrera de San Jerónimo, Calle Sevilla and Plaza de Canalejas was the city’s financial district, referred to today as the CBD (Central Business District). The area was home to the headquarters of the main banks and insurance companies and formed the financial heart of the capital. Although, this financial district was of course later relocated to the north of the city, the area retained its business character and is today one of the city’s most vibrant commercial areas. The lion’s share of retail is concentrated around Gran Vía, Puerta del Sol, Calle Preciados and Calle Arenal.
Puerta del Sol and many of its neighbouring streets are currently undergoing a major transformation. With the increasing number of international brands moving into Sol to open flagship stores, the square is now firmly on the international retail map.
And of course, a special mention must also be given to developments such as Centro Canalejas Madrid which will provide the finishing touch to transforming the city into an unrivalled destination in Spain, bringing it in line with some of the most cosmopolitan cities around the world and converting it into a genuine global hub. Leisure, restaurants, shopping, hotels and some unique homes will turn the area into Madrid’s new city centre.