Immediately upon receiving a master’s degree in urban planning from IESE Business School, Jose Gallego was assigned the task of expanding construction firm Llanera’s footprint across Latin America. At the helm of the Valencia-based construction firm since 2009, Gallego has developed its urban design, master planning, and architecture projects. With a focus on building mixed-use residential communities, Gallego takes a hands-on approach, providing oversight on concept design, spatial branding strategies, detailed planning applications, and presentations to local authorities.
Gallego excels at creating urban residential communities with mixed-use components, taking into consideration the complexity and often mismanaged urban planning schemes inherent in South American countries. In Brazil, Gallego focused on the northeastern city of Fortaleza, building three new residential communities topping 1,000 units and offering commercial retail components. In Colombia, Gallego led Entorna SAS in developing four residential projects in Barranquilla under Entorna’s Mashouse brand. Gallego is also overseeing development of three commercial retail projects in Barranquilla and Cali.
In Spain, Gallego manages Llanera’s vacation property developments on the Mediterranean coast while also creating wholly new communities in underdeveloped areas of Spain like Chiva and Catarroja. He also is chief executive officer of Unico Estates, a platform for distressed properties.
“When developing in Brazil and Colombia, resources are often very limited, so you have to be very efficient,” says Gallego. “Sometimes you have the sensation that nothing works—permits don’t arrive on time, suppliers fail. That’s when it’s most important to assemble a local team accustomed to these types of disadvantages who can help you find solutions and move the project forward.”