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The City Marina of Port Vell, Spain, is taking shape.

According to owners Salamanca Group, the first berths at Marina Port Vell, Barcelona's new mega yacht marina, will be delivered this spring. Port Vell is expected to have 167 fully serviced berths by the end of 2014, making it Europe's first city center mega yacht marina.

Barcelona's deep-water harbor, located in the former fishing village of Barceloneta, was designed for the 1992 Olympics as a marina. Salamanca Group, a London-based Merchant Bank and Operational Risks company, purchased the site in 2010 and spent €30 million ($41 million) transforming it into a new, ultra-high-tech facility with the added advantage of a desirable lifestyle in the heart of Catalonia's capital.

"Despite being surrounded by beautiful beaches and crystal blue seas, Barcelona has the beauty and year-round facilities of a lively, world-class community," says Uri Nachoom, VP of Salamanca Marina. "The Balearic Islands are just a few hours away by boat, and the Riviera is just one day away. You couldn't ask for a better situation for the sailing world." qatar property

Nachoom claims that the project is on schedule and that construction is nearing completion.

"On Spanish Quay, construction of our 430 by 11 meter drivable pontoon is complete, allowing the marina to be the home port for yachts up to 160 meters," he says. Russia, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States were among the first investors.

The Salamanca Group estimates that Marina Port Vell will boost the local economy by up to €300 million per year, and the difference is already visible in the region. While Barceloneta is in a prime position in Barcelona, bordering both the Gothic Old Town and the sea, its working-class origins are evident in the tall, narrow buildings divided into primarily old, small apartments, many of which lack lifts. Property buyers have long favored the high-ceilinged, airy apartments and Gaudi elegance of the Eixample neighborhood, which is fifteen minutes walk to the north.

That's changing now, according to Lucas Fox agent Alex Vaughan. "The W Hotel, with its iconic sail-shaped architecture, opened in Barceloneta in 2009, kicking off the transformation of this side of town," Vaughan says. "Due to its central location and proximity to the beach, foreign buyers have discovered that Barceloneta is ideal for part-time living. The construction of Marina Port Vell is expected to pique people's interest."

While there are no residential properties for sale in the Marina Port Vell, apartments in Barceloneta with views of the yachts start at €150,000 for small studios and go up to €1,000,000 for a large unrenovated apartment of 230 square meters. Starting at €260,000, new one- and two-bedroom apartments with underground parking, a rarity in Barceloneta, are available.

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