Big Plans & Big Promises

From my beachfront room I can see work progressing on a house that a famous tennis star is building. It’s just steps from the beach –and steps from the golf course. He’ll come here to relax off season.

Close by, another lot of over an acre with ocean and golf frontage lists for $1.7 million. I visited stunning spec homes built to the highest standards and with the best of materials. Prices ranged from $400,000 to $800,000.

But it’s not all jet-set inventory in this place. The entry point for a condo is $127,000. Town homes with golf frontage and more than 2,100 square feet start from less than $300,000. Villa lots run from the $80,000s.

 

I checked out a 1,500-square-foot condo with outside space that included a hot tub for $256,000.

Condo fees are reasonable – especially for a resort with this level of planned amenities.

I’m talking about the Dominican Republic – and a developer that thinks big. He plans on turning this place into one of the island’s finest country clubs.

 

The developer bought an existing hotel here. And a total of 1,500 acres with two kilometers of Caribbean beachfront. He rebranded and improved the existing hotel.

His plans call for: A new luxury hotel, a school, a 200 + slip marina, a hospital, commercial areas that include cafes and supermarkets, golf course, new beach clubs, condos, villas and townhouses. All within the grounds of the resort.

Big plans and big promises are a dime a dozen on my beat. Worthless paper and air. In this case, though, the developer is steaming ahead. He is building the golf course…not waiting until he has sold enough lots to pay for it. It’s well advanced and looks great.

He has built roads and infrastructure to areas where lots and condos will be sold. The roads are made of cobble stones, bordered with tasteful curbing and brightly colored flowers, and dotted with expensive sculptures.

This isn’t the developer’s first project, either. His group owns 10 resorts in the Dominican Republic alone. They sell vacation packages through their own tour operators in Europe and Canada. They fly their guests on their own charter planes. They even own a company that makes the golf carts used to get round their resorts.

On my beat I look for places we can buy early and wait for something to happen that will push values higher. In this case…the developer delivering on his promises could be such an event. He’s almost like a one-man Path of Progress.

Meantime, the rental yields from a condo or townhouse here could be strong. Already the hotel has a room shortage for six months of the year. Demand for overflow space is growing.

As I write, I’m negotiating a special deal on lots in the resort for our readers…while I wait for the green light from our attorney. (He’s currently reviewing the project’s paperwork.)

We’ll launch the deal at the International Real Estate Investment Forum this June 7-9, 2012. If you’re in the room, you can take advantage of the special terms I’ll negotiate…along with other exciting off-market deals not available to the general public. You can take advantage of the Early Bird discount for the next six days.

Ronan McMahon