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A beach at Mandarina in Nayarit. A beach at Mandarina in Nayarit.

Billion-dollar bet by One & Only Resorts

Mandarina is residential project, hotel in Riviera Nayarit

An international ultra-luxury resort operator is making a billion-dollar bet on a new oceanfront residential development in Nayarit, just north of the Pacific coast city of Puerto Vallarta.

One & Only Resorts, owned by the Dubai-based company Kerzner International Holdings Ltd., is selling private homes in the US $1 billion Mandarina project, located around 50 kilometers or less than an hour’s drive from Puerto Vallarta in the Riviera Nayarit.

It is the first time that One & Only Resorts has put its brand on a residential project. Kerzner partners RLH Properties and RSC Development pre-sold the first branded residences late last year.

A total of 55 residences make up the first phase of the project, which was designed by Arizona-based architect Rick Joy to incorporate the natural environment including jungle vegetation and cliffs which drop down to the Pacific Ocean.

Each residence is priced between US $4 million and US $12 million. There is also a 108-room One & Only hotel.

A later stage of development will add another section of residences and a second hotel as well as a beachfront polo field and an equestrian center.

“The community that these people are buying into, they realize that this is the last large tract of land,” said Ricardo Santa Cruz, CEO of RSC Development.

“It’s very difficult to replicate, if you’re interested in this part of the country.”

Santa Cruz began acquiring land for the Mandarina project in 2008. With backing from a private-equity firm in which Goldman Sachs was an investor, he eventually purchased properties owned by 58 families.

The land was placed in a new company, RLH Properties SAPIB, and in 2015 shares in the company were sold to the public.

The new development comes amid a construction boom that, since 2011, has increased the number of luxury hotel rooms in Mexico by 33%, according to lodging industry provider STR Inc.

Last month, hotel chain Hilton announced that it was planning five new properties in Mexico, including a luxury Waldorf Astoria hotel in Cancún, Quintana Roo.

One & Only has one property already in operation in Mexico, the luxury Palmilla resort in San José de los Cabos, Baja California Sur. It is also developing another property about 100 kilometers south of Puerto Vallarta called Santa María de Xala.

Source: Bloomberg (en)

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