Coldwell Banker Around the World: April 2024

Nestled in the heart of Chile’s Biobío Region lies Concepción, a city that beckons with the promise of opportunity and enchantment. As Felipe Urbina, Partner at Coldwell Banker Concepción, eloquently puts it, “This is an area with tremendous potential, not only for real estate development and businesses, but also for entrepreneurship, which its people are […]

Nestled in the heart of Chile’s Biobío Region lies Concepción, a city that beckons with the promise of opportunity and enchantment. As Felipe Urbina, Partner at Coldwell Banker Concepción, eloquently puts it, “This is an area with tremendous potential, not only for real estate development and businesses, but also for entrepreneurship, which its people are capable of.” His words encapsulate the city’s dynamic spirit and burgeoning possibilities.

For Giannina Zacconi, Associate Agent at Coldwell Banker Concepción, the allure of Concepción is undeniable. “Four years ago, I moved to this beautiful city, and I’ve been enchanted by its landscapes, which are bathed in a striking and deep green color,” she shares, painting a picture of the city’s natural splendor. But it’s not just the scenery that captivates Zacconi; it’s also the vibrant cultural tapestry that defines Concepción. “I’m also captivated by its cultural and musical diversity,” she enthuses, acknowledging the city’s rich artistic heritage.

Concepción’s appeal extends beyond its cultural and economic prospects; it’s also a haven for gastronomic delights and viticultural wonders. “The gastronomy and viticulture here have also won me over,” Zacconi admits. “In the Itata Valley area, there are families that have been producing wines for generations, thanks to the unique characteristics of the soil.” Here, tradition and innovation blend seamlessly, creating a culinary landscape that delights the senses and nourishes the soul.

In Concepción, the possibilities are as vast as the horizon, and the spirit of innovation thrives amidst the city’s lush landscapes and vibrant culture. Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the hidden gems and timeless charms of Concepción, guided by Carla Cantin, partner at Coldwell Banker Concepción.

Where do you live? I live in Chile, region of Biobío, in the capital city, Concepción

What is the perfect weekend day like? My perfect scenario for any weekend would be to walk through the fields of the University of Concepción (UdeC) having a picnic. Another fantastic panorama would be to tour the vineyards of the Itata Valley where families make a living from artisanal wine making, maintaining tradition, generation after generation. Another site is to visit the different museums that the region has, such as:

– Pedro del Rio Zañartu Museum Park (Hualpén Peninsula)

– Isidora Cousiño Park (Lota)

– Devil’s Mine (Lota)

– Pinacoteca (Concepció)

Or simply stroll along the different beaches throughout the region and enjoy the good restaurants with their excellent fish and seafood.

What are the common modes of transportation there? Concepción has several transportation systems, where it is a pioneer with its bicycle lane systems in Chile. On the other hand, it has public transportation such as trains and buses. It also has a system of automobile roads where you can be on a highway to travel expeditiously through the different communes and/or cities in the region. Finally, it has an airport defined as the second largest with international departures in the country. 

Tell us about the foods your area is known for. This region of Chile, Biobío, has a varied typical gastronomy where we can highlight:

– Curanto, a traditional dish from the coastal area that consists of a mixture of seafood, meats and potatoes cooked in a hole dug in the ground and covered with Nalca leaves, letting it cook for several hours.

– Jaibas Cake is another traditional dish, which is made with shredded crab meat.

– Another traditional dish is the famous seafood empanadas.

– Asado (meat barbeque) and cazuela (a local delicacy made in earthenware pots) are other very popular dishes in Concepción.

What is your favourite meal, at home or at a restaurant? In a restaurant my favorite dish is a delicious Crab cake. While at home I like to prepare a Locos (a type of mollusk) risotto or grilled fish with salads.

Where do you recommend someone vacation in your region and why? A good place to vacation in the region is Pingueral beach, where you can rent a house or apartment and enjoy the excellent beaches in the area and good gastronomy, participate in water sports like boating. In our region we also have the Antuco volcano ski center where you can enjoy sports such as cycling and trekking in during the summer and skiing in winter. Additionally, a place very close to the region are the Chillán Hot Springs, where you can enjoy the wonderful mountains and views of the great Chillán volcano, bike rides and enjoy the ski center. A perfect ski day will be going down the sloped during the day and relax in the hot springs in the evening.

What is your favourite recreational or leisure time activity? My favorite recreation in this region is kayaking, paddleboarding in the small lagoon, and going to the ski centers to practice skiing. It is also entertaining to go hiking in the Nonguén National Park

Is there a specialty your area is known for? The Region is a hub of important economic activities with areas such as:

– Traditional Agriculture

– Artisanal fishing

– Wood pulp Industry

– Forestry Activity

– Electricity generation

Share a little known but interesting fact about the area/region: We have several little-known events that are interesting to know such as:

  1. The real name of the city: When Pedro de Valdivia founded the city on October 5, 1550, he gave it its full name: La Concepción de María Purísima del Nuevo Extremo. Of course it was too long for frequent use, remaining only as Concepción or, affectionately, “Conce”.
  2. Concepción was not founded in Concepción: Its original location was until 1751 where Penco is located today. However, a destructive earthquake and tsunami that year led to their transfer to the La Mocha valley, between the Andalién and Bío Bío rivers. For this reason, those born in Concepción received the nickname of “penquistas”, while those born in Penco remained as “pencones.”
  3. Concepción was the capital of Chile for a decade: Tired of the poor administration that the country had from Santiago, King Felipe II ordered in 1565 that the Royal Court, the highest governing body of the then Captaincy General of Chile, be taken to Concepción. Unfortunately, the monarch miscalculated the effects of having the capital in a city under continuous Mapuche siege, so he reversed his decision. In 1575 his order was carried out, to the dismay of the Penquistas and the joy of the people of Santiago.
  4. The Plaza Independencia fountain was brought from England: The beautiful water fountain that identifies our square was the work of urban planner Pascual Binimelis, who was entrusted with the task in 1853. After designing it himself, he sent the plans to a foundry in Liverpool, England, from where it was brought in pieces by boat to Talcahuano, and from there, by ox carts for two days, until reaching Concepción. It’s 10 meters high and crowned by Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, since this was the main activity of the city at the time.

5.- Concepción has the only Bismarck tower in America: Between 1869 and 1934, German colonies around the world-built monuments known as Bismarck Towers, in honor of the noble German politician and statesman. In Concepción, a tower of this type was built in 1921 on the top of Caracol Hill, becoming known as Mirador Alemán, due to the imposing view of the city it allowed. Of the 250 towers built, Concepción is the only one still standing in all of South America.

6.- Concepción has the longest bridge in Chile, called Juan Pablo Segundo.

If you were to live in any other region where we have a Coldwell Banker presence, where would it be and why? If I had to move to another region with a Coldwell Banker office, I would choose the Los Lagos region (also in Chile), because it is a very beautiful region in terms of vegetation, several diverse lakes where I can practice my favorite sport and for the unique beauty architectural.

Territory Summary:

Concepción is considered a good city to live in Chile. Thanks to its excellent quality of life, many educational opportunities and natural attributes, living in Concepción is s a truly attractive option. Concepción is both a province and a city, southwest of Santiago, in central Chile. The benefits of living in Concepción lie in the fact that it is one of the cities with the best standards in quality of life, in terms of factors such as: housing and its surroundings, health, sociocultural or the environment that characterizes it.

This city has important cultural centers such as the Biobío Theater, the Natural History Museum, the Universidad de Concepción Theater, the House of Art; Likewise, several historic bridges, parks, lagoons, and murals. While, in the tourist area, the variety of entertainment venues and bars that keep the nights in the city active stand out. It is located steps from beaches, ski centers, forests, lakes, and native cultures. Concepción is known as the cradle of Chilean rock. Several famous bands have come from there, and if you are a musician, you can find countless night spots around the city with stages and people ready to listen to you.

Key Facts:

  • Population: 1,500,000
  • Language(s) Spoken: Spanish
  • Climate: Mediterranean
  • Currency: Chilean Pesos

Industry Facts:

  • Types of Architecture: modern architecture, classical architecture, gothic architecture, baroque architecture, renaissance architecture, among others.
  • Average Sale price: $250,000 USD

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Kaitlin McMurdo has served as the Director of Global Service for Coldwell Banker since January 2020. Through her tenure, the existing global network has doubled in office and agent footprint and expanded into Chile, Paraguay and Saudi Arabia. She has also supported the global networks for Better Homes & Gardens, Corcoran, and ERA Real Estate. Prior to her current role, McMurdo worked for the premiere New York City New Development sales and marketing firm, Corcoran Sunshine, which sold over $20 billion of real estate during her time. At Corcoran Sunshine, she managed new business, cross-portfolio initiatives and creative sales initiatives for the top-selling developments in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Before joining the real estate industry, McMurdo worked primarily in corporate event planning and hospitality, combining her love of working with people and the food and beverage industry. She received her BA from American University in International Business with a minor in French language. She is very proud Philadelphia-area native (Go Birds) who has resided in New York City for 15 years, predominantly in “the World’s Borough”, Queens. In her free time she loves to cook, explore NYC, and of course, travel the world.

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