As the pandemic’s long-feared second wave comes crashing down on us like a mammoth breaker pounding a cracker box coastal village, some real estate shoppers are looking for values far from the densely-packed districts that are their customary areas of interest.
How far? How about Uruguay? As in the South American nation of 3.5 million inhabitants nestled between Argentina on the south and southwest, and Brazil on the north and east?
Uruguay is not exactly a hop, skip and jump from places like Miami or New York City. But it does possess myriad qualities increasingly prized in these fraught times. With many placing more and more emphasis on living in contact with nature, luxury developments encircled by green, wide-open surroundings and untrammeled environs have become more popular in today’s real estate market, serving as appealing, secure investments for foreign buyers.
Uruguay, long a magnet for Brazilian and Argentinian investors, is increasingly luring Europeans and North Americans for exactly these reasons.
Whether it is a beachfront apartment, ocean-side single-family home, a country estate built on a sprawling ranch or an elegant domicile in a private community, investors are finding more space at less expense in Uruguay, a safe place of economic, social and political stability, where foreign real estate investors are not only accepted but welcomed. Recently announced tax incentives provide incentives to invest, many aimed directly at foreign investors. Other fiscal advantages, such as a 77% reduction in the minimum requirement for real estate investment, have helped seal the deal for a good many North Americans.
Uruguay’s up-and-coming luxury residential developments include El Secreto, on the wind-damped sunset coast of Jose Ignacio in Maldonado and Las Garzas, a place of pristine beaches, exclusive amenities and spectacular flora and fauna, in Rocha. Garnering perhaps the most attention is Las Cárcavas, a high-end development situated along the Rocha coast in the state of Garzon, 15 minutes from the exclusive Uruguay summer resort destination of Punta del Este.
From the Punta del Este Airport, visitors heading toward Las Cárcavas motor along Road 10 and over the legendary circular bridge on Garzon Lagoon. Soon they enter the development that takes its name from the way rock formations are carved by the erosive force of rushing waters. Las Cárcavas features two dozen ranch lots measuring 2.5 acres each, with space for 16 bungalows. Ranches go from $580,000 to $3 million in U.S. dollars, with each turnkey, ready-for-move-in bungalow valued at approximately $1 million.
These spaces are spread across 128 acres of spectacular land on a UNESCO national biosphere reservation. Included is access to more than 250 meters of exclusive beachfront lapped by warm tropical currents flowing in from Brazil. Also incorporated is an array of high-end amenities, including a beach club on the shore of a lagoon, natural grass tennis court, grill area, fire pit, corrals and swimming pool
“Sustainability and environmental impact are two concepts getting more attention nowadays, generating lots of interest from investors,” says Fernanda Prece, commercial director of Las Cárcavas. “Even in these times of adaptation and transformation for many areas, our projections are positive given the current scenario.”
Sustainability and a fierce dedication to the environment are among guiding principles of Las Cárcavas. That’s why pre-established architectural guidelines preserving the flow of the natural landscape guide the building of new ranches. The late John Brookes, one of the world’s foremost designers of gardens and landscapes, collaborated with the Barzi Casares Studio on the development’s emerald open and communal spaces.
The land owner and developer of Las Cárcavas is Optimum Capital Partners. The entire project is under the signature of Isay Weinfeld. Prece believes those behind Las Cárcavas understand the rapidly changing nature of future residents’ needs. That is reflected in the developers’ commitment to providing, she says, “substantial advantages to an investor who knows the market, and is eager to find projects that contemplate new trends.”
Written by Jeffrey Steele for Forbes