The federal environmental protection agency Profepa has permanently shut down a luxury apartment development in Cancún because its developer failed to obtain the required environmental permits.
Profepa also imposed a fine of just over 1 million pesos (US $52,500) on the company known legally as Vanguard Caribe Comercializadora and ordered that the 14,160-square meter site be restored to its original coastal environment.
Work on the project known commercially as Ynfinity had already started at the site, located about 500 meters from the Nichupté Lagoon in the area known as Malecón Tajamar in Cancún’s hotel zone.
But the developers had not applied for an environmental impact permit from the Environmental Secretariat (Semarnat).
In shutting down the project, Profepa noted that the project was being built on land deemed as a coastal ecosystem where both fauna and flora species are present.
Profepa had previously ordered a temporary suspension in September while it verified whether the company had obtained the relevant permits.
However, the company continued to work despite the ruling and had finished construction of a sales building, a central building, swimming pool, workers’ dining hall and building foundations, all of which will have to be removed.
Eighty-one luxury apartment and penthouses were planned for the site and according to the company’s website, all of the two-bedroom apartments in one category had already been sold with an average price of 7.85 million pesos (US $412,000).
The development attracted controversy and criticism from the start after mangroves were cleared from the site in January 2016, a practice that has been illegal under Mexican law since 2007 but was permitted because the project was approved before that date.
Work on Ynfinity, developed in conjunction with the national tourism fund Fonatur, had continued despite several provisional suspensions as well as one that was supposedly definitive in February 2016.