Tren Maya and Tulum Airport Spark Real Estate Growth
From the perspective of the real estate industry, thanks to the ongoing infrastructure projects by the federal government in Quintana Roo, there is a noticeable increase in private, corporate, and investment fund investments in the Mexican Caribbean. The Tren Maya, in particular, has become one of the main attractions for this private investment boom (Cancun: Tren Maya to commence trials in July with the first unit).
According to Miguel Angel Lemus Mateos, the President of the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals (AMPI) in the southern region of Mexico, which includes destinations such as Cancun, Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Chetumal, Cozumel, and even Merida in the state of Yucatan, “I believe we are privileged to have these infrastructure projects and federal investments in the southeast, such as the Tren Maya, due to the benefits that these projects will bring. Many investment funds, corporations, and individuals have set their sights and invested capital in this region.”
What impact do you think the federal government’s infrastructure projects in the southeastern part of the country, such as the Tren Maya, Tulum Airport, and the remodeling of Colosio Boulevard, will have on the real estate industry?
I believe that the past two years, in particular, have been very promising for the southeastern region of Mexico and Quintana Roo. The federal investments are visibly taking shape here, starting with Cancun, which can be considered the tourism capital of the Caribbean. The remodeling of Colosio Boulevard, with its new hydraulic concrete and expanded lanes, presents a new perspective of Cancun as a thriving city and encourages the development of adjacent real estate districts.
Secondly, the construction of a bridge over Nichupté Lagoon is another significant infrastructure project. It not only resolves the issue of a single entry and exit route for the 40,000 hotel rooms and millions of tourists visiting the Cancun hotel zone but also contributes to the overall economic benefits by attracting an investment of over 9 billion pesos. This investment creates employment opportunities and, as mentioned before, eases traffic congestion in the most crowded areas.
We also have another essential project that is of great significance and visible to all those arriving by air to this tourist destination—the new airport interchange with four new distribution lanes heading north, south, east, and west. This benefits all passengers and tourist transport services that facilitate travel for more than 30 million tourists who visited in 2022.
And let’s not forget the new Tulum airport, another vital investment to drive the economy in Quintana Roo. This airport will bring life to the Sian Kan, Mahahual, Bacalar, and Chetumal areas. The proximity of the airport, just 10-15 minutes away from Tulum and its surrounding areas, archaeological sites, and ecotourism routes, will greatly benefit the region.
What risks do you see in the face of this upcoming growth in the Mexican Caribbean due to these federal projects?
Success and development always come with inherent risks that need to be mitigated. The primary concern is the environment, which must be protected. However, it is essential not to exaggerate to the point of impeding these projects. The Tren Maya, for example, serves as a significant solution by minimizing the environmental impact caused by the numerous trucks and heavy vehicles supplying the Southeast. I believe the construction of the Tren Maya will contribute positively in that regard. I am confident that the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications, and Transportation (SICT) and the contracted companies are taking precautions to minimize the environmental impact. The most important aspect, though, is the unprecedented economic impact, development, job creation, and overall economic boost that these federal investments will bring to the country.
What real estate districts could be developed in Cancun thanks to these federal projects?
There are 22 districts and 9 regions outlined in the master urban development plan for Cancun, which is currently home to nearly 900,000 families. Vertical growth is being highly prioritized. Over time, Cancun has needed to improve its public and private infrastructure. In terms of housing options, there has been a 39% growth in the middle-income segment, 29% in the residential segment, 13% in the premium residential plus segment, and 4% in the premium segment. However, the social housing segment has experienced a slowdown due to higher interest rates and limited access to credit for workers. Nevertheless, the economic power and impact of our state are helping people progress toward the middle class rather than staying in the social housing sector.
Regarding the 22 districts, the one currently experiencing the most growth is District 2 in Benito Juarez Municipality, which includes Puerto Cancun and Bonampak Avenue. Additionally, District 7, which stretches from the boulevard Colosio towards the airport, is witnessing a series of vertical developments. These projects offer views of the Nichupté Lagoon mangrove and the hotel zone. They cater to the demand for smaller housing units, ranging from 100 to 130 square meters, with prices ranging from 2 to 4 million pesos and featuring various amenities according to each master plan being developed.
What is the current status of the Malecon Tajamar, where a major urban development was planned a few years ago?
Tajamar is an urban district with designated land uses and all the parameters required for development. However, a suspension by the Supreme Court of Justice has halted an investment worth billions of pesos that could generate employment and tax revenue for all three levels of government. Sometimes, radical environmentalists and their supporters forget about all the benefits that would come from this project. We are witnessing the suspension of a project that could be a catalyst for significant economic growth and job creation for the people of Cancun.