Having weathered the downturn, Marbella is now finding new life and a new sense of identity in the arts.

English-language newspaper Sur in English has reported that “despite not receiving government or town hall support, local people are being proactive about creating an artistic and creative hub in Marbella”.

La Calle de Notario Luis Oliver, a narrow, tree-lined street right in the heart of the town, has attracted a plethora of arts-based businesses.

Indeed, today the area is reminiscent of the early days of Manhattan’s SOHO district, where the concentration of bohemians and creatives triggered an urban regeneration which led to a huge rise in property prices.

Now-established businesses like the Black Box Teatro (Theatre) and Studio 61, an art school, are claiming enthusiastic and growing demand for their courses and services – and the nearby La Arcadia cafe is the social hub of the fledgling community.

Culture leads the way

While maybe not having a direct affect on headline real estate prices, the cultivation of culture and the arts in any town has a dual benefit: It raises the expectations of the town’s citizens, and crucially it also improves the image of the town to the outside world – and to potential property purchasers.

And of course in Marbella as we head into winter, it gives another reason for people to move to and reside in the town year-round. And one thing we do know is that where there’s demand, prices usually follow.