The developers of the Dorado Beach property, PRISA Group, broke ground on the second phase of construction of the “Ritz-Carlton Reserve Residences,” a $72 million project that seeks to position Puerto Rico as world-class destination for upscale living and tourism.
During a walk-through of the property, developers said the new construction includes two lavish communities. The West Beach: a Ritz-Carlton Reserve Residence luxury condominium comprises 14 oceanfront units located in two three-and four-floor structures. These residences ranging in price from $2.5 million to $7.5 million will be the first in the world to carry the Ritz-Carlton Reserve name. Two units have already been optioned.
The project also includes another residential area to be known as “East Beach: a Ritz-Carlton Reserve Residence” that will include eight “golf townhouse” units and two single-family sprawling beachfront mansions.
“Eleven of the first 13 units included the first phase have already been optioned,” said PRISA Group CEO Federico “Friedel” Stubbe. “And in the second phase, two of the most expensive units are under contract so we know this important project will continue to be successful.”
Ultimately, the realization of the project that is slated to open in December rested on “working together,” he said.
“Puerto Rico can compete favorably and successfully to attract foreign capital in the area of tourism and thus significantly increase the employment base and welfare of our people,” he said, of the project that will create 292 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase.
The residential areas are part of a greater mixed project that includes a sprawling 130-room resort that will bring the Dorado Beach hotel back to life five years after it was shuttered. The property will be the second in the Ritz-Carlton Reserve’s exclusive portfolio worldwide, joining Phulay Bay in Krabi, Southern Thailand.
FirstBank de Puerto Rico put up financing for the second phase of the project with a guarantee from the Government Development Bank’s Tourism Development Fund. All told, the project will have a price tag of $342 million.
During Thursday’s walk-through, Gov. Luis Fortuño spent time with the construction workers on the site, noting the immediate benefits the project has had on the economy.
“We’re celebrating the creation of more than 1,000 jobs to develop this hotel, and almost 1,000 additional ones that we’ll see once its in operation,” Fortuño said. “But perhaps most importantly, were celebrating the success of the families that are benefiting from these new opportunities.”
According to the government, Puerto Rico’s tourism sector has seen a steady growth since 2009 with the development of 29 hotel projects, including 23 new hotels and six expansions.
These projects represented the creation of 1,705 jobs, the addition of 1,888 hotel rooms and an investment of $791.1 million. Nine additional hotel projects will be completed this year, including an expansion and eight new hotels that will add 1,273 new rooms to the existing inventory with an associated investment of $414.6 million.