Memories of La Cala Resort, Mijas Costa

Memories of Project Managing La Cala Resort 35 years on

La Cala Resort is celebrating its 35th anniversary this summer and MDCI is celebrating its 25th anniversary, but did you know that the two are inextricably linked?

Although they were founded 10 years apart, La Cala Golf Resort is actually the reason why MDCI was born. That’s because, they asked Mark Lawson and his team to Project Manage their expansion in luxury dwelling construction and delivery of their prestigious Golf Resort in 1999. Prior to that, Mark was working exclusively for Marriott, but Marriott was happy for him to set up a company and take on other clients, so MDCI was born.

On this anniversary year for both companies, we asked Mark Lawson to tell us more about this important project in the company’s history.

Can you tell us about how you supported La Cala Resort in 1999?

We were brought in by La Cala Golf Resort as project managers to ensure that the whole process was organised, transparent, ethical and targeted. We managed the design teams, the bidding and construction activities throughout, to ensure all seven projects were delivered to their customers on time and on budget. Overall, we delivered 168 luxury townhouses, 168 luxury apartments plus luxury golf-side villas. Find out more about our La Cala Golf Resort Project

This was an important project for MDCI because the first project contracted led to six subsequent projects which kept us very busy. It was a fantastic accolade to us and our team to be chosen and then work on so many other projects with the La Cala Resort team. In addition to the work we did for Marriott this was crucial in building our reputation, which has set us in such good stead for the last 25 years.

What difficulties did you face?

Construction in Southern Spain is well known for unexpected challenges and they were numerous. We faced everything from constructor defaults to shortage of supplies and labour issues along the way. However, rather than list the width and depth of the traps we encountered, I like to focus on the fact that we overcame them all, without missing deadlines or exceeding the budget. That’s testament to the MDCI Team and of course a massive benefit to our clients!

How did you overcome them? 

There are numerous ways to keep a project on track. The first is having a plan and implementing it – which is rather harder than it sounds. There’s a combination of skills and processes needed throughout a project, including close supervision of progress against established milestones, with agreed penalties in place if these milestones are missed.

It’s also vital to always have a “plan B ready to roll”, and be confident in negotiating with suppliers and understanding how to motivate them and make their jobs easier through good organization, clear communication and established goals, timelines and budgets, to avoid confusion or issues on both sides.

Of course these are really just the tip of the iceberg, especially in the case of complex and large projects such as La Cala Resort, but give you an idea on how we’re able to deal with the inevitable difficulties which come with building in Spain

Find out more on our website, or contact us to find out how we can help you

Do you have any reflections on La Cala Resort on its 35th anniversary?

I’d like to wish all the team a very happy anniversary! 35 years is a long time to be in business and it really stands up against the newer arrivals, and well deserves its reputations as one of the premier Golf and Hotel Resorts on the Costa del Sol – if not in Spain.

Since we supported them, there have been a whole range of additions and improvements, which has allowed it to keep its reputation for excellence. They’ve added a Spa, a 4 Star Hotel, expanded the Golf Club and its facilities and added many new luxury homes. It now boasts three championship golf courses, a 107-room hotel, Spain’s leading Hydrotherapy Health Spa, four restaurants and multiple bars. That really is a fantastic achievement and I’d like to congratulate them on their vision and staying ahead of the game for so many years.

Its beautifully tranquil and well appointed and when I visit, I feel very grateful for having been able to contribute to so many of the original projects developed there.

Our work with La Cala Resort was the start of MDCI and 25 years on we can look back proudly to having supported 93 Clients with 113 Projects (more than 10,500 units) with $1.3bn+ in project value. Over that time, we’ve saved our clients €150 Million and counting and La Cala Resort really set us up for success, and we’re very grateful.

Why people choose MDCI?

Our unending commitment to providing a top-quality service, with a highly personal approach. We take great care to protect the Client at every stage of the project and put processes in place which brings our projects in on time and on budget. But don’t take our word for it! Here are just a few comments from real clients –

Mark is a real stickler for quality, budget and being on time (to the point of being ruthless)”

“He will keep you from being ripped off”

“The specs changed but his deadlines did not”

“You will have to look far and wide to find anyone better”

“Does not overlook the obvious – covers all the bases”

“MDCI are qualified experts, not only working to a level normal in Spain, but holding themselves and others to higher standards like those in the US and UK”

“The team follow their systems and processes to a “T” and that leads to project success”

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