Looking for a home – Vol. 36#2

August 24th, 2010
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Despite the worldwide financial crisis, the real estate market in Panama, while it has levelled off from the boom situation of recent years, remains active. Foreign buyers are still arriving in considerable numbers to look for homes and properties.

For homes, there are many developments to choose from. In Panama City, apartments constitute a buyers’ market and there are interesting offers of houses in the Old Quarter and outer city environs. The Pacific beaches area to the west of the city is developing fast. The Azuero Peninsula is getting its share of attention and further west, Bocas del Toro and Chiriqui remain popular for retirees and second home buyers. In Chiriqui, formerly known for its mountain properties, the coastal area around Horconcitos and Boca Chica has entered the limelight.

On the following pages, we offer a resumé of some of the projects under way.

El Alcázar de Coronado

El Alcázar in CoronadoSituated in the beach community of Coronado, the pioneer resort of Panama’s Pacific Coast, and only 50 minutes from Panama City, is the spectacular apartment building El Alcazar with luxury amenities which are hard to beat. It’s four wings, North, South, East and West, offer residences with sizes of 160, 265 or 565 m² (1,722, 2,852 or 6,082 sq. feet).

The building overlooks the Coronado Golf Course, a challenging course designed by Tom Fazio and renowned for its beauty. It is also close to the beach and offers dramatic views of the central Cordillera.

A new project just launched is Palmeras del Golf, a gated community situated behind the golf course consisting of 300 lots starting at 800m2. The home models are extremely elegant and comfortable.

The Coronado community includes the hotel, Coronado Golf & Beach Resort, the renowned equestrian club and the hundreds of homes which, together with an infrastructure including supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, the San Fernando Clinic and an airstrip, make Coronado the most developed resort in Panama.

For more information contact Sr. I. Roberto Eisenmann III 6677-6759, Sr. Eduardo Eisenmann 6612-6764, Sr. George Smith 6678-1253, Luz Martinez 6679-7676 or visit

http://www.elalcazarcoronado.com

Altos del María

Altos del María is a private mountain community located on 12,000 acres of natural beauty in the highlands of Sorá, 96 km west of Panama City. It is a destination of choice for U.S.,Canadian and European retirees, who are seeking an exclusive country community close to the modern life of the city.

The project has two major regions (valley and highlands) with a number of subdivisions in each area which have been developed keeping the natural slope of the terrain. Some lots have creeks or are near a river and all have panoramic mountain, valley, green belt or Pacific Ocean views. Residential lots and houses already constructed are available with a range of prices to meet every need. There are a variety of home models to choose from.

Cerro Picacho at Altos del Maria

Newly developed areas are: La Vega de Montalcino, lots with excellent topography, Navarra, located in the private road to El Valle de Antón and Santo Domingo with panoramic views to the Pacific Ocean and Cerro Picacho

Altos del María is in an area with excellent temperatures between 17º and 27º C (61 – 78 F) all year. Here you can find fresh air, a variety of flowers, trees, pines, beautiful rivers, forest trails, dozens of streams, paved roads, electricity, telephone, internet, refreshing waterfalls, a heliport, 24 hour security and it is just 30 minutes from beaches and golf courses.

There are already 1,300 property owners in Altos del María.

Contact: (507) 260-4813, http://www.altosdelmaria.com

Hacienda Los Molinos

Hacienda Los MolinosHacienda Los Molinos offers some of the most exquisite scenery to be found on the mountain slopes of Boquete. Lots are scattered around a 360-foot-deep canyon with the Río Cochea running through it. A system of lakes also beautifies the area.

The project also offers views of the peak of Baru Volcano and the Pacific Ocean. Residents have access to trails through natural forests and past rivers and waterfalls.

The second phase is now open with condos and villas for under US$200,000.

A boutique hotel, Casa del Risco, with clubhouse, pool, tennis courts and other facilities makes development even more attractive.

Contact: (507) 730-8292 or toll free (from the US and Canada) at 1-877-226-6048

A home or business in the Old Quarter

Anyone looking for a home in Panama City should check out the Old Quarter, known officially as San Felipe and referred to as Casco Antiguo or Casco Viejo which is rich in history and now regarded as a national treasure. Well endowed with restaurants, bars and cafes Casco Viejo is a popular tourist area and is of easy access to the city’s financial center, the Canal Area and the Coastal Beltway on the bay which is ideal for taking excercise in the open air.

The Elizabeth Boiling Wilson project

One of the major projects in the area is Casa Newman located between the historic Plaza Cathedral and Plaza Herrera. In both plazas, important restoration projects are being carried out, including boutique hotels like Hotel Herrera. Casa Newman has ten apartments and six comercial premises on street level. Panoramic views of the city can be enjoyed from a loft here.

Compañia Inmobiliaria San Felipe, S.A. is a private company which purchases, renovates and sells properties in the old quarter in order to contribute to the recovery of Panama’s historical heritage as well as providing adequate return to its shareholders.

For information call Compañia Inmobiliaria San Felipe, S.A. at (507) 228-3808 of (507) 6781-6815. E-mail: infolist@sanfelipe.com.pa

Tierras de Cerro Punta

For a mountain home do not fail to check a small development called Tierras de Cerro Punta. Cerro Punta is the highest town in the Chiriquí highlands. The project consists of 13 lots of approximately three quarters of an acre tucked away a few minutes by road from the tiny town center. If you were to buy a lot at the top of the sloping site, your back garden would border the vast cloud forest of the Friendship International Park which stretches into neighbouring Costa Rica. No bears or other dangerous animals would wander into your yard, but you would see a lot of wildlife.

Houses at Tierras de Cerro Punta

All the lots have views of the peak of Cerro Punta and surrounding mountains. As this issue went to press two houses had already been finished. The developers will build to your specifications with quality and performance supervised by an experienced U.S. consultant resident in the area. Landscaping and maintenance will be provided.

If you contact Mr. Wilber Ramirez at 6747-7270 he will arrange transport and accommodation for an inspection visit.

Istana Properties’ Rincon Beach Estates

In 2008, International Living Magazine rated Rincon Beach Estates “one of three of the best gated communities in Latin America”. If you visit their website, or better still, take a plane to David, the capital city of Chiriqui and head off to their project, which is located on the island-studded coast of the district of Boca Chica, you will discover exactly what makes Rincon Beach Estates so special.

Rincon Beach Estates is an 80 hectare community, located in a 500 hectare property owned and developed by Istana Properties. The project has three miles of Pacific Ocean waterfront in a gorgeous location offering safe, secure tropical country living at its best with a superb equestrian center, a port store and boat launch for boating enthusiasts, facilities for fishing and water sports, and a luxurious Guest House with 5 bedrooms which can be rented by visitors or property owners.

Rincon Beach Estates by Istana Properties

A small boutique hotel, The Boca Chica Plantation Club and Resort, offers five suites with 360 degree views of the ocean, islands and mountains, and serves as the Residents Clubhouse complete with pool, restaurant and bar.

The beach and waterfront are backed by rolling hills and thousands of acres of natural forest and reforestation offering unlimited trails for hiking and horsemanship.

Rincon Beach Estates fronts on the Gulf of Chiriqui, renowned for its exceptional game fishing.

Guide services, boating, kayaking, fishing charters, whale watching, island picnicking, snorkeling, and diving activities are provided to residents and visitors by Aqua Adventures, Inc., an independent, on-site service provider.

The offerings at Rincon Beach Estates are varied. Beach-front lots range from 3,000 m² to more than 10,000 m², or about three quarters of an acre to more than two and one half acres, with beach frontage ranging from 30 to more than 100 meters( 100 to 300 feet). Interior estate and villa lots begin at 1,500 m² and all interior lots are within a few minutes walk from the beach.

Istana Properties, Inc.

P.O. Box 0832-1367 Panama, R.P.

Tel: 6613-1523 or 6625-7909

USA Tel: 512-351-7847

USA Fax: 281-520-4694

Isla Saboga..

A new opportunity for an island home is being provided by the well-known Grupo del Sol, a leader in planned communities and resort development throughout Central America. They have acquired a concession for Isla Saboga in the Pearl Islands, which, like nearly all the 200 or so islands in the archipelago, is girt with beautiful white sand beaches.

Isla Saboga is next door to Contadora, the celebrated and well-developed island which has an airstrip, golf course and other amenities including several hotels. The flight from Panama City takes about 20 minutes, but Isla Saboga will run its own ferry to and from the city for the 30-odd mile cruise over the placid Pacific among the dolphins, manta rays and whales. The ferry will be used not only by foreign homeowners, but as a bonus for the 400 inhabitants of the island.

The island is quite large as the Perlas Islands go, and will include a 250 acre nature park. Phase 1 of the $18 million master-planned development is called El Encanto and ten units had been sold as we went to press. On offer are Luxury Homes and Tree Top Villas. A clubhouse and wellness center are among other facilities (there is also the cantina in the tiny pueblo for local color).

Tree Top Villas at Isla Saboga

Grupo del Sol will welcome like-minded developers and investors who are interested in building on Isla Saboga, according to the master plan, on the15 remaining sites which range from one to 15 hectares (2.5 to 37.5 acres). These sites will include condominiums, town houses, single family estates, luxury as well as boutique hotels and a marina.

In order to encourage a range of investors, Grupo del Sol is making land available at wholesale prices and offering flexible payment plans to sub-developers. Agreements have been reached with a number of international brand name operators including the Trump Ocean Club

Together with the Mexican architectural firm, GVA and Associates and Dr. Dan Chiras of the Evergreen Institute, Grupo del Sol is developing the island with a very light footprint, limiting development to part of the coastal rim. They are shooting for a Platinum LEED certification, the ultimate goal in environmentally friendly projects.

One of their big concerns is to improve the wellbeing and quality of life of the residents.

A final and most important note: the Sabogans will not lose the use of their beaches to the new residents. All the beaches will have public use area.

For information contact 265-4845, sales@islasaboga.com

Buy a Beach

A beach in Chiriquí

On the Chiriqui coast 20 km from Horconcitos, a peninsula, which seems more like an island, juts into the Pacific. This peninsula, with six beaches and pleasantly studded with trees and vegetation, is up for sale. You can buy a lot or perhaps a beach and build anything from a bohio to a palace.

It is a beautiful place, has electricity and broadband internet access. There is a protected bay ideal for a marina… and islands just offshore.

Contract: arigaux@hotmail.com

Tucan Country Club

Elegant villa at Tucan Country ClubThis project is a haven for golf and nature afficionados, a few minutes from Panama City across the Bridge of the Americas. It is possible that golfers and residents will see plenty of wildlife at the Tucan Country Club since this magnificent course and residential development is bounded by virgin rainforest on one side and the Panama Canal on the other.

The superb par 72 championship course is the focus of the project incorporating homes, a hotel, and a clubhouse. There is a restaurant with a social area.

Tucan Country Club offers several options for homes, ranging from elegant villas through various sizes of condominiums and apartments. An important advantage that the project enjoys is its location in a section of the Canal area scheduled for development in the near future. It is also adjacent to Panama Pacifico, the mega development now under way at the former Howard Airforce base.

Stupendous views of the canal, the canal basin and the city shimmering a mere 10 minutes away, can be enjoyed from the homes and from many points on the course. Contact: sales@tucancountryclub.com.

Tel.: (507) 211-7777 / 3472

http://www.tucancountryclub.com

ACTIVENTAS, S.A.

Casa Kliemman in the Old QuarterThis real estate company with more than three decades of experience serving the industry both nationally and internationally is noted for promoting projects, especially in the Casco Antiguo section of Panama City. Real estate in this area has been boosted by its picturesque combination of Spanish ruins and colonial buildings dating back to the French attempt to build a canal. Declared a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1997, it is becoming a polished gem with new restaurants, boutique hotels and commercial galleries filling up recently restored buildings.

Activentas, SA has promoted the restoration of numerous properties in Casco Antiguo, such as Star & Herald, Casa Maralta, Santo Domingo and more recently the Casa Kliemman, which currently has apartments available.

Balconied windows give splendid views of the Bay of Panama. The interior has fine finishings with innovative and rich designs creating comfortable spaces The building has an elevator, inside patio, social area on the roof with views of Panama Bay.

Apartments have one or two bedrooms and range from 60 to 283 m². Some apartments have two floors. Prices start at $136,000.

Activentas also offers luxury apartments for rent, and properties in need of restoration in Casco Antiguo plus a wide range of investments in Panama City, beaches and mountains.

For more information contact us at (507) 213-7777 or visit http://www.activentas.com

Vida Nueva

A California-based company is making a dramatic entry into the Panamanian real estate market with a residential project on the Chiriquí coast. Its name – Vida Nueva, (translation – New Life).

It occupies 440 hectares of scenic landscape overlooking the Gulf of Chiriquí with access to a wide selection of totally isolated beaches and offers home sites of generous size and the kind of views you see photographed in National Geographic.

To locate Vida Nueva on the map, trace the Chiriquí coast to the eastern tip of the province almost at right angles to the famed island of Coiba. To get to Vida Nueva, you take a road coastwards from the Pan American Highway at the customs check point at Guabala and drive the 22Km to the tiny community of Natá de Tolé.

Ready for sale as this issue went to press were home sites on 78 hectares which comprise phase 1 of Vida Nueva and since the developers have just launched the project after getting environmental permits approved, tempting introductory prices are being offered.

Vida Nueva - in a state of natural beauty

One of the great attractions is boat access to the fishing for which the Gulf of Chiriquí is famous and for exploring the myriad islands and remote beaches. A private marina on the Rio Tinta which runs through the property is expected to launch the first boat within the next few months.

The world famous fishing grounds of the Hannibal bank and those near Coiba Island Natural Reserve are accessible to home-owners.

The countryside in this part of Panama is hilly and partly forested. The agriculture is mainly cattle and re-forestation but in large measure the land is wild, uncultivated and in a state of natural beauty. At Vida Nueva a maze of streams winds through the hills finding, their way into the mangroves and tidal rivers which are a feature of the property. Contact: Tel/fax: (507) 777-9278 / (507) 6811-8744 / (507) 6090-4164,

http://www.vidanuevapanama.com

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