You can’t change the direction of the wind, but you can always adjust the sails to reach your destination. This is the philosophy of architect Noam Schwartz and his team at Hacienda El Dorado SA, who together with Costa Rican-born architect Pedro Abdalla of Abdalla Architects, have been working hard for the past six years on their design and construction of Golfito Marina Village and Resort in Golfito, Costa Rica, an exciting future blue flag development slated to be one of the top marinas in the world.
The site is set to open to the public in October with 50 out of 132 total slips complete and one giga yacht berth to start. Sea-faring visitors will be welcomed by a Fisherman’s Village with a seven-star yacht transport office, customs and immigration, tackle and sport fishing shop, 4000 sqft warehouse and all the extravagant amenities afforded by a first-class marina. Those with purchased slips will be able to enjoy their own private yacht club.
For the land lubbers, the Marina Village will feature a beautiful reception area with conference facilities, wedding area, business centre, stunning jungle landscaping and an imported pristine white sand beach. In true luxury form, there will be a multitude of exceptional restaurants, including a floating eatery and night club called La Isla, as well as stunning luxury accommodations for those who want to more thoroughly enjoy the locally caught and produced fare on offer at the marina’s resort.
Schwartz is a highly credited architect with hundreds of projects under his belt all over North and Central America and this is not his first foray into developing properties in Costa Rica. As he advances in age and experience, he says he has become more in search of diversity from his usual projects and so is enjoying the challenges and successes he has had in Costa Rica.
His main projects in Costa Rica have been in Manuel Antonio and Quepos, where he designed whole communities and all aspects that they entailed, from road works to utilities and beyond. He is well aware of the difficulties of attempting such a large undertaking as a world-class marina in this land of big development bureaucracy.
In an serendipitous circumstance, this marina development was offered to him second hand, having been begun eight years before and traded at an airport while the two parties were waiting to board their flights in San Jose. Written down on a napkin and shaking hands was all it took for the project to be transferred into Schwartz’s capable care and he says he has been lovingly working on it ever since.
Old development becomes new again
The current Golfito Marina Village development stems from an earlier incarnation and grew into a bigger project when Schwartz took it over, but the economy’s downturn in 2009 quickly stifled the momentum by making it difficult to get a permit. Schwartz says that if he knew how hard it was going to be to recover this momentum, he may not have begun in the first place. Nevertheless, he says it helps that he and his team had a head start on construction, just before the recession hit Costa Rica.
Thanks to Schwartz’s previous successes in real estate, the development team were able to sustain the project until last year, when the economy began to recover and construction began again at full tilt.
The difficulties with the project don’t end there, however. Schwartz says that the architecture of the whole project can be described as a logistical “nightmare” in which they are attempting to preserve the theme of Golfito as the former home of the United Fruit Company and the associated colonial aesthetic that remains in the historical buildings in the area. The style is a little old-fashioned, says Schwartz, and so he is including contemporary touches to bring the project into a more modern and luxurious style. It is the bringing together of these ideas that is the challenge, but one that he and his team are ready to tackle.
So far, a few of the opulent residences and marina slips have been sold but the excitement surrounding the project is only beginning to build. What Costa Rica has to look forward to, says Schwartz, is a tremendous boost to the Southern Zone. Thought of as a left-over from corporate colonialization, with many of the buildings, services and utilities an afterthought in this historic pop-up community of Golfito, the emergence of this world-class project has people now wanting to develop properties, shopping centres and hotels in town and in the surrounding areas.
The lifeless international airport project in Sierpe had developers reluctant to build until completion, but the intrepid Schwartz and his team have decided to take the plunge and blaze the trail, knowing that this project will attract more business to Costa Rica’s south pacific.
As pioneers in what will surely be the new Golfito, Schwartz recognizes that he will always attract arrow fire from those following behind. Regardless, he feels assured that he is past the hardest part, already perceiving that people in the property development community are discussing the future of the region in a positive light.
The total completion of the project is scheduled for three years from the opening date in October but Schwartz is certain that we can all look forward to something new and wonderful to enjoy about Golfito, just in time for the high season. With the tourism of Costa Rica’s Southern Zone seeing record low numbers this year, this new wind blowing through Golfito could be just what was needed to catch the sails of success for property development in the region in years to come.
if you are interested in more information about investing in the area, please contact Osa Tropical Properties and we can bring you closer to achieving your dreams of owning a piece of paradise.
Stay posted for more information on the opening date of Golfito Marina Village on their blog at http://golfitomarinavillage.com/blog.