The concept of Zagaleta arose in 1989 when the company acquired in a public auction the property of the Saudi millionaire Adnan Khashoggi: A mansion, which now fulfils the function of the club house or ‘Casa Club’, and the adjoining parcel that included a hunting ground. The initial idea was to build 3,000 homes, but the ideologue of the operation, Enrique Pérez Flores (now the honorary president of the company), proposed only 420 so that the low urban density became his hallmark. For now only 230* homes have been built. Its owners also have services as exclusive as a private heliport, an equestrian club, two golf courses and a lake. They flee from ostentation and pursue discretion; That is why his director general, Jacobo Cestino, says that privacy is the “genetic code” of the Zagaleta.
The profile of a typical neighbor of La Zagaleta is that of men between 50 and 60 years, northern European businessmen and CEOs of major brands such as Lord Stanley Fink, the British Conservative Party’s extreasurer. All of them have in common their high purchasing power and their desire not to have any public exposure. So it is rumored that many personalities have been rejected as residents of this exclusive community, something the director categorically denies. They have also had to disprove the company that Russian president Valdimir Putin is built a residence in the Zagaleta or has purchased a parcel. It is true that the heiress of the Onassis Empire, Athina, is an external neighbour of the Zagaleta, because it possesses a mansion right next to this urbanization.
The houses must have 2 floors, covered with Arabian tile and no tennis courts are allowed, then begins a process of control where the liquidity, profitability and guarantees of the candidate are verified. Like the process of asking for a mortgage, but in a millionaire version. Cestino explains that they review the origin of the money thanks to the contacts of the President and the members of the board of directors in European financial institutions and if they are not sure they do not sell. The Zagaleta is a double paradise: for its residents and for the architects, who can design mansions without budgetary limitations. They only have to meet certain requirements as not to surpass the two height plants, to have cover of Arab tiles and not to include tennis court.
Most of the mansions already built have an area of between 3,000 and 10,000 square meters and have immense basements with garages with capacity for five vehicles, cinemas and views of the coast of Africa and Gibraltar. Maintaining a residence of this type usually has a cost of about 70,000 euros annually and the community share is usually around 5,000 euros a year, a quantity “not very high” in the opinion of Jacobo Cestino, taking into account the luxury of urbanization.