Monday, May 11, 2009

Beach Buzz: Real Estate News Bits From Puerto Penasco

Beach Buzz -by La Huerita

Some buzz from the beach about resort developments in Rocky Point, Mexico.

First up on the good news front, an RPTides reader wants me to remind everyone that Las Palmas Resort has had a telephone and internet system installed for each of the condos and casas at the resort for over a year now, so if you are renting a house or condo the answer is Yes: You can bring your laptop.

Located on Sandy Beach northwest of town, Las Palmas was completed in the summer of 2005. The resort consists of twenty 3- and 4-bedroom homes stretched across the front of the beach. Behind the homes are four towers of 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom condos.

At the other end of the beachosphere, way down at Playa Encanto, the "rustic" section of development where US owners have been building for over two decades is well on its way to being fully electrified. A "rustic" development means that there are no community utilities. All of the electricity is solar generated, the water is hauled in from town, and each property has a septic system. Well, as of February 2009 approximately 60-65% of the electricity project was complete AND within Budget, so for the first time the owners at the original Playa Encanto development will not have to rely on solar power for electricity. LaJolla and Bella Vita have reportedly signed a contract for the right to use the poles and underground boxes in Playa Encanto, which will bring the community a little extra cash for such things as road repair, etc. You can find out more about Playa Encanto at http://www.playa-encanto.com

In the less positive news category, I wouldn't expect to see any real progress on the highly anticipated Marriott Penasco Bay hotel any time soon. The commitment has been made and ground was broken last year, but the developer has put a halt on new projects until the economy recovers.

The billion-dollar Penasco Bay Resort at Sandy Beach is being developed by Grupo Questro, a well-known developer from the Los Cabos, Baja area and Grupo SBR, which is the developer of Sandy Beach Resorts. Located on the far side of the Esmeralda Resort, Penasco Bay is 630-acre project designed to feature two 300-room beachfront hotels, 900 beachfront condominiums, an 18-hole golf course and resort with 1,000 homes and 1,000 more condominiums, and a convention and expo center to be built by the state of Sonora. One of those hotels is to be an upscale Marriott, originally expected to open in 2011. Marriott will brand and manage the hotel, but will not own it.

In October 2008 Eduardo Navarrese Sanchez, president of Grupo Questro, mentioned in an interview that real estate sales had collapsed in Los Cabos and Rocky Point, so they have restrained further investments and hope that the market recovers within a couple of years. He later confirmed in another interview that the Group is consolidating its efforts to finish projects already begun, but that new projects are on hold.

It would be my guess that the Puerto Penasco project is one of those on hold, but since neither SBR, Grupo Questro nor Marriott will respond to my requests for information, it's just that: a guess.

And that's the Beach Buzz for today!

About Beach Buzz: Not necessarily the news, this is a place for information, opinion, speculation, gossip, tips and other good stuff about Rocky Point, and Mexico in general. If you have something you'd like to share, I'd like to hear from you!

Contact me at lahuerita2@gmail.com

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