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Land development infrastructure

Overview

When raw land is even modestly improved, the price per square meter can increase substantially on a percentage basis. The construction of a simple access road to an ocean view property can double or even triple the value of that property. New electrical and water infrastructure also has an excellent ROI.

Relatively inexpensive property improvements such as "clearing" and "cleaning" are important and can dramatically improve the "curbside appeal" of a desirable property and therefore the resale price of essentially "raw acreage". Planting significant numbers of fruit trees, creating small ponds within rivers, and constructing a distinctive "entrance" to a property with some well tended landscaping can generate a high payback.

Water and Electricity Requirements

Putting in electricity to the lot line is very useful for the resale of the land to a developer as well as adding great value to the property. It is apparent to most developers that electricity is sometime difficult to install especially in the interior of the country. There is an important
learning curve of how to solicit and apply for electric rights.

Water is another vital asset to appreciating land values. Having a good water reserve and infrastructure plan for a development will significantly increase and firm up the final selling price.

Assurance of adequate water is always a much greater risk than installing an electrical grid. Drilling a new well can be expensive and the flow results are never predictable. Therefore, we have carefully cherry picked all of our properties making sure there are abundant water sources, easy electric access as well as good accessibility
 
Main Access and Arterial Roads

The "main access road" is typically the "last mile from a municipally well maintained paved road such as the road to El Valle or the Lajitas road.

By an "arterial road" we mean any roads within a development typically to a vantage point with an ocean vista.

By far the main value to a property is derived from the "main access" road. The better this access road, in terms of twists and turns, width, and length of well-paved surface, the more value is added. Women, the main decision
maker typically for such a property, are particularly conscious of well-paved and well-planned roadways.
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Landscaping and Planting Opportunities

Dollar for dollar, careful landscaping can add a great deal of value to a property if sufficient time is available to let the plantings mature. Small plantings become attractive trees in a few years and can enrich a barren piece of land.

Fruit trees in particular can add considerable value for the average baby boomer client.

A location for a "flower and tree nursery" should be considered seriously for each the properties in the portfolio. This approach is used by Altos Del Maria. They make various plants and trees available to their clients at a
reduced cost and the entire project is improved by client labor (typically through a hired gardener). Therefore we have mimicked this approach and have organized a "vivero" with more than 1,000 new plants, fruit trees and palms.




 
Entrance Way Opportunities

A "sense of arrival" is important to optimize the value of the portfolio
properties. Some of the best projects, such as Coronado, Altos Del Maria,
Punta Barco, Las Nubes, and Vista Mar all have a formal entrance way with a
small office for a security guard.

The actual architecture need not be elaborate but careful attention to
detail is critical and will be noticed by the discerning potential client.
The detail includes the surrounding plantings, signage, color schemes,
materials used, quality of finishes and the road surface.

It is recommended that a consistent image is presented at every development
site at least 6 months before it is put on the market for resale.

It may be desirable and cost effective to utilize a "two-phase"approach.
The first phase would include the construction of an entrance with appropriate plantings but without a "security guard office" as this feature is not yet required. When the property finally goes on sale, the second phase "security guard office" could be constructed on existing footings for this purpose as an integrated element to the entrance. Our architects have designed for us an exclusive gate design which we have already implemented in Pedasi and will shortly also be built in Coronado
Heights and El Espinito.

 



Property Occupation, Signage, Fencing and Cleanup

Property “occupation” is an important concept in Panamanian law. Every development property had an “occupation program” which ranged from someone actually living on the property, to workers showing up on a daily basis to clean the land, to grazing cattle.

Each property also has a large sign indicating ownership including with a telephone number for private or public enquiry purposes.

Each property currently has a customized “clean-up” and/or “clearing” program as required. Some properties appear to need minimum work in either of these categories. Others need substantial efforts and as a consequence may not be great candidates for early development.

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