Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Santo Domingo The New Miami?
During my recent trip to DR I noticed all the new buildings being constructed in my parents’ neighborhood. Just a year ago empty lots surrounded my parents high rise apartment. Now everywhere you turn a new building is almost complete. And the crazy part? All the apartments and penthouses are sold!
So what’s going on with real estate in Santo Domingo? People have been investing here, especially in the Bella Vista neighborhood. It’s become a popular residential and vacation spot. It’s mostly foreigners investing but we all know the economic crisis is well spread around the globe. After reading the local papers, watching the local networks, and speaking with residents a popular theory is drugs and money laundering.
Now here’s the funny part. President Leonel Fernandez has said that Santo Domingo should be “the new Miami.” There’s even a huge plaza being built, with an American name nonetheless, modeled after shops on South Beach. I found the whole “new Miami” concept ironic since Miami became a world renowned hotspot after the drug trade of the 70s and 80s. (Watch Cocaine Cowboys for more info on this). Today DR has the largest drug trade it’s seen in years. Big names like Quirino Paulino have made that possible.
Now this is just a theory….it’s either that or foreigners investing in DR need to teach Americans how to manage their money and not depend on the fine print in bail out contracts to get bonuses.