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Cozumel marina, where lot sales have been slow. Cozumel marina, where property sales have been slow.

Sale of properties at Cozumel marina suspended after 70% go unsold

A new development strategy will invite investors into public-private partnerships with Fonatur

The National Tourism Promotion Fund (Fonatur) announced that it has suspended the sale of properties at the Cozumel marina on the island of Cozumel, Quintana Roo, after being unable to sell nearly three-quarters of them.

Fonatur legal director Alejandro Varela Arellano said the agency will change its development plan for the marina, retaining ownership of the land while allowing investors to build businesses, including hotels, malls, residential developments and restaurants.

The change is part of a new model being pursued by Fonatur, where instead of developing and selling properties that are parts of previously planned developments, it will enter into public-private partnerships with developers. Varela said that under the new model, profits from tourism businesses will continue to create government income for decades.

“We should imagine how much money Cancún could have generated if, instead of developing the land and selling it, Fonatur had stayed on as a partner, retaining ownership of the land,” he said. “Today, Cancún is a clear example of how the value of land can change, as it’s gone up more than 800% per square meter.”

Varela added that the new development model for the Cozumel marina is the same model used in parts of Cancún and other tourism destinations in Mexico where Fonatur retains ownership of the land.

The development of the marina started in 2008, and the first properties were sold in 2011. Fonatur invested 376 million pesos in the marina, and initially projected that it could attract US $191 million in private investment and bring 36,000 international visitors and US $45 million into the country every year.

Now Fonatur sees a potential return of US $500 million.

The marina complex includes 333 berths, three hotel properties with a capacity of 576 rooms each, 469 condominium units and 55 residential lots.

Source: El Economista (sp)

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