Mexican Investors Doing Real Estate Deals in Florida is Not a Surprising Trend
For those of us with longstanding ties to Mexico (I was born there), the story that appeared in Wednesday's Miami Herald was not big news; however, the fact that there are a growing number of investors in Mexico, Central America, and Latin America that are interested in investing large sums of money in Florida - particularly South Florida - may be a big surprise to some Floridians.
(You can read the May 25, 2011 story entitled "Mexican investors see Miami as safe haven for their money" and written by Alfonso Chardy of the Miami Herald online for free.)
East Coast Opportunity (ECO) Opens Offices in Miami
Given, it is news that three men from Mexico are doing business over in the Latitude Building (in the Brickell district) as executives of the East Coast Opportunity Group. Mario Alonso, Emilio Braun Burillo and Iñaki Negrete helm the Miami Office; their company LinkedIn page (still being built) has Kelly P. as their office manager for almost a year now.
ECO will be working with Mexican investors (and other foreign investors) to find and buy real estate properties that they believe to be good deals with the ability to turn a nice profit for them. They'll sell some, they'll rent some.
Mexico Has Seen Florida As An Investment Opportunity For Some Time
Mexican capital has been flowing into Florida in search of good real estate investment opportunities for some time now. Back in January 2011, for example, the South Florida Business Journal covered the saving of the 396 Alhambra Circle renovation in Coral Gables by Grupo JB, a division of Agave Group of Mexico.
Seems that it was only because the Mexican investors were able to infuse the $130 million project with funds that the development of the office tower (and garage) gained sufficient financing to be completed.
Agave Group may ring familiar to Florida real estate readers: Grupo JB, via its Agave Acquistions, bought significant office space (17 office condos) in the SBS Tower on Bayshore Drive in Coconut Grove last year.
Ties Between Florida and Mexico are Growing
The Miami Herald story focuses upon ECO as being part of a growing trend of American businesses seeking to help Mexican investors find properties here in the United States; however, the Herald's article discusses the motivation as being Mexico businessmen seeking to escape growing violence at home.
Is this true?
Maybe the truth is that Florida real estate is at Clearance Sale Prices
The reality may well be that savvy Mexico investors (remember this is the homeland of Carlos Slim) see Florida as a place where great real estate bargains await - given our bad economy and no light at the end of the tunnel (yet).
Another contributing factor that is bringing Mexican business into Florida: ease of doing business. Florida, and especially the Miami area, is well connected to Mexico and all of Latin America.
- Families share ties in Florida and Mexico (mine do).
- Businesses in Miami speak Spanish and English (e.g., both my paralegal and I are fluent in Spanish).
- Local communities, especially in South Florida, provide Latin American visitors with touches of home, from restaurants serving recipes originating in Mexico, etc., to stores that provide Mexican products for visitors who prefer their brands from home