Inside Coldwell Banker Unique's New Art-Infused Madrid Headquarters


Madrid often conjures images of flamenco shows, tapas, and bullfighting. Yet beyond these familiar tourist icons lies a hidden depth that has continued to lure art lovers, history buffs, foodies and the world’s wealthiest citizens to the Spanish capital. In Madrid, you can stroll the renowned "Golden Triangle of Art," a trio of world-class museums within close distance.. Explore timeworn architectural landmarks, including the world's oldest restaurant and a surprising Egyptian temple. Delight in a thriving culinary scene that has placed the city at the forefront of Europe's gastronomy. This exceptional quality of life, coupled with Spain's "golden visa" residency-for-investment program, has ignited a renaissance in the country's housing market, attracting billions in foreign investment. The program served as a catalyst for cities like Madrid, propelling them out of the Great Recession and into a vibrant new era. However, with the program's phaseout this year, a new window of opportunity for international buying has opened for the city.

Against this backdrop comes the triumphant arrival of a new Coldwell Banker Unique office in one of Madrid's most fashionable and prestigious districts, Barrio de Salamanca. The building's striking brutalist facade, clad in black marble from Calatorao, red travertine from Almeria and green onyx from Iran arranged on top of each other without the need for cement, seemingly defies artistic possibility. Its very presence echoes the city's renaissance.


"The original idea was to turn this space into a luxury shoe store on an exclusive corner," reveals Partner and Managing Director, Ximena Alborta. "However, the shoe store project did not come to fruition and the store remained closed for more than 30 years."  

Alborta – alongside Partner Manuel Rodríguez Aseijas who is a former art collector – stepped in to rescue this architectural wonder. The pair envisioned a new life for the space, where the best of Madrid’s art, architecture, history, and real estate come together in rich tapestry. 

Recently, I ventured inside the inspiring museum-worthy setting to meet face-to-face with Alborta and Aseijas and welcome their 10-agent team to the Coldwell Banker network. Below is an excerpt of a conversation we had during my visit. 

Kaitlin McMurdo: What has it meant for you to open up an office in the Barrio de Salamanca?

Ximena Alborta: Opening up an office in the Barrio de Salamanca with the best luxury real estate global brand, Coldwell Banker, is a different, better and special experience. Salamanca district embodies the elegance and exclusivity that are part of the Coldwell Banker brand architecture and we cannot imagine a better landing for Coldwell Banker in Madrid than the Salamanca District.

Kaitlin McMurdo: Can you tell us a little about the history of this unique space, and explain how it reflects your brand, philosophy and vision for Madrid luxury real estate?

Ximena Alborta: In 1987, renowned architect Francisco Alonso de Santos, a disciple of the iconic Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza, gave birth to an exceptional Brutalist architectural work and exclusive corner where elegance and design merge. 

Manuel Rodríguez Aseijas: We felt that the visual narrative of this emblematic jewel perfectly embraces the Coldwell Banker Unique proposition of outstanding real estate luxury properties and exceptional customer service.


Kaitlin McMurdo: As I look around the office, I couldn't help but notice the incredible art everywhere, which really speaks to Manual’s background as an art collector. Does his passion for aesthetics influence the types of properties you represent?

Manuel Rodríguez Aseijas: Art is at the end of the day about feelings, moods and emotions of the viewer. And that ́s what luxury real estate is about. When you combine your inclination to art with luxury real properties, there is a common ground that represents eventually the inclination to beauty and experimenting with unique and special moments.

Kaitlin McMurdo: Your initial listings showcase several extraordinary properties. Can you elaborate on your strategy for attracting both local and international clientele with this caliber of listings?

Ximena Alborta: One of the competitive advantages of the Coldwell Banker brand and the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® program, in particular, is the global network. Our leverage on the international Coldwell Banker platform gives us a strong marketing promise to our clients, who value our internationality and global expertise as a critical success factor and position our listed properties on a higher and different dimension than our competitors.


Kaitlin McMurdo: We spoke earlier about the influx of investment from Mexico and Argentina. How do you plan to capitalize on this new wave of international buyers?

Ximena Alborta: We are building a strong network with the most important agencies from those countries. Our master franchise in Barcelona is playing a fundamental role that strengthens business for both parties - Latin America and Madrid, and we are already getting extraordinary results of that collaboration.

Kaitlin McMurdo: With Madrid being the economic and real estate capital of Spain, what’s your view of the current market conditions in the city?

Manuel Rodríguez Aseijas: Madrid is having a moment, a melting pot of talent, cultures and backgrounds from all over the world, especially Latin America. As the Spanish capital, Madrid offers friendly new tax laws, strong citizen security, and a thriving hospitality scene. These factors, along with its status as one of Europe's most diverse and open-minded metropolises, are attracting the attention of wealthy buyers.

Kaitlin McMurdo: Can you share which Madrid neighborhoods have the greatest opportunity for international luxury buyers right now, in terms of price, quality of listings, lifestyle, etc.?

Ximena Alborta: Madrid is more than the luxurious and majestic Salamanca district. Salamanca, with stately facades and designer boutiques is undoubtedly one of the most upscale of Madrid ́s 21 districts.Beyond Salamanca, Retiro is the best neighborhood for nature and art walks. Centro is the beating heart of artistic and bohemian culture, with labyrinthine streets dotted with whimsical cafes, restaurants and vintage shops.

Manuel Rodríguez Aseijas: Chueca is the out and proud Madrid ́s rainbow flag neighborhood that never sleeps.Chamberí is probably the best neighborhood for immersing among locals, with a mix of elegant architecture, family-run shops and modern establishments and cultural attractions. Chamartín is the most residential and landscaped district of the city center of Madrid, it has the state-of-the-art Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, a global icon in the world of sports.

Kaitlin McMurdo: Looking ahead, what are your long-term growth objectives for your Coldwell Banker Unique?

Ximena Alborta: We are committed to consolidate Coldwell Banker as “the luxury brand” for real estate in Madrid and the preferred option for international customers. Creating a company culture of exceptional service is our landmark and our international leverage will be the distinguished asset of our operations.

Kaitlin McMurdo: As first-time brokers, what was the most important lesson you’ve learned so far?

Ximena Alborta: Coldwell Banker brand is strong, and that ́s always a competitive advantage.

Manuel Rodríguez Aseijas: On top of that, businesses are always about talent. Acquire, develop and retain the best talent is our most important challenge and people will always make the difference.

Kaitlin McMurdo: How are you leveraging the reputation and resources of the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury® program to gain recognition and attract high-net-worth individuals?

Ximena Alborta: We are working with Coldwell Banker as an international brand, with special marketing plans for unique properties that need to be positioned in a global market, given their special characteristics. We create specific marketing programs for our most prominent properties and leverage the Coldwell Banker state-of-the-art technology and global network.


Kaitlin McMurdo: How do you plan to maintain a boutique agency feel while scaling your team?

Manuel Rodríguez Aseijas: Our advisors are a critical competitive advantage. One of the hallmarks of our “boutique” culture is the emphasis on personalized service. We hire advisors who are passionate about helping our customers to find the way to their dream home. That's our ultimate commitment.

Kaitlin McMurdo: What are your hopes for the future as you grow your franchise in Madrid?

Ximena Alborta: The hard work is always a large part of an entrepreneur's life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. We love to think, as Abraham Lincoln pointed out, that the best way to predict the future is to create it. That ́s our hope: To create the future of real estate in Madrid together with the best global luxury real estate brand: Coldwell Banker.

Exploring Coldwell Banker Unique's Global Luxury Listings in Madrid

6 Beds
6 Baths
$6,003,400 USD 

Imagine waking up to these breathtaking views every morning. This stunning country estate, known as a "Cigarral," offers an idyllic retreat – complete with a pool – near Spain's historic town of Toledo.

4 Beds
3 Baths
$1,736,700 USD 

Occupying about 2,055 square feet of space, this renovated apartment is a showcase of Spanish modernist design right in the heart of Madrid's city center.


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