FirstBank announced Tuesday it has expanded its business relationship with Grupo Minuto, LLC. by financing the restoration and remodeling of a new hotel project in Old San Juan, granting $777,000 in financing.
Grupo Minuto LLC. is a family-owned business founded in Puerto Rico in 2015 experienced in the restaurant industry and commercial business management in Venezuela. The project, with remodeling already underway, features 9,000 square feet distributed in the first two floors, plus a terrace area.
The building is located at 353 San Francisco Street, a busy street in the historic area of Old San Juan.
Hotel Boutique will have eight rooms, two of them with balconies, and a restaurant offering guests complimentary breakfast, lunch options, and Puerto Rican cuisine dinners for tourists and area residents, as well as a wine cellar. It will also offer concierge, laundry, and taxi services.
The hotel is expected to open by the end of 2017.
“Our commitment at FirstBank is to support initiatives that drive our island’s economic recovery,” said Amarilis Vázquez, vice president and business banking relationship officer at FirstBank.
“We worked with Grupo Minuto in structuring the financing of the restoration of an old building that was in disuse and transforming it into an attractive asset for tourism,” she said.
“The Old San Juan area is experimenting a significant growth and investment in both commercial and residential properties,” said Carlos Navarro, vice president of the construction department at FirstBank.
“From the beginning, we advised our client to identify the opportunities offered by this commercial investment, supporting them in their business plans for establishing the hotel,” he said.
The restoration work, which has begun under the supervision of a historic area conservation specialist, has complied with all the requirements of the Institute of Culture for such areas. Twenty full-time jobs have been created to date, and the number is expected to rise to 40 direct jobs once the hotel opens.
“FirstBank has been a key element in structuring the financing and bringing us closer to inaugurating a boutique hotel in Old San Juan that will offer personalized service to its guests,” said Freddy Andrade, chief officer of Grupo Minuto, LLC.
“Although we have conserved the building’s original design, we are integrating modern services and functionalities, including digital fingerprinting for room access, an electric generator for supplying 100 percent of the building’s load, and energy-saving air-conditioning technology or the entire building,” he said.
“We’re betting on making a big contribution to the development of commercial activity on the island,” Andrade said.