January 29, 2007

CitiGroup partners with Loreto Bay

The site "Commercial Property News" (www.cpn.com) reports that CitiGroup is now an investor in the Loreto Bay project:

Citigroup Enters Joint Venture with Developer
of $3B Green Residential Project in Mexico

January 25, 2007, By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor, Link

Citigroup Property Investors is getting involved in the development of The Villages of Loreto Bay--an environmentally-friendly residential development in Baja California Sur, Mexico--by entering a 50/50 joint venture with project developer Loreto Bay Co. The project will cost an estimated $3 billion to fully complete.

New York-headquartered Citigroup's role in the joint venture involves the providing of growth capital for Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Loreto Bay Co.'s business plan. The global investment manager put in its share of the project's Inn at Loreto Bay, amounting to $16 million, and contributed $34 million in cash to buy into Loreto Bay Co. "It is fabulous having the strength and credibility Citigroup brings to the project," Jim Grogan, Loreto Bay Co. president & CEO, told CPN. "Given the project's depth, breadth and scope, it requires significant capital, and having them as a partner is a significant boost to the development."

Situated about 700 miles from San Diego, Calif., on 8,000 acres with 3.5 miles of beachfront along the Sea of Cortes, The Villages (pictured) is currently underway and will take an estimated 12 years to reach full completion. The destination is being billed as the biggest sustainable resort community in North America, with a series of villages containing 6,000 single-family and condominium residences in a pedestrian-oriented environment. The Villages will also feature 5,000 acres of natural preserve, and organic farming and orchard sites.

The development is being built in phases; the first phase, which also includes 70,000 square feet of retail, is already finished and the second and third phases are currently underway. Loreto Bay Co. reported in November that it had already achieved $300 million in home sales.

Here's more information on CitiGroup from Wikipedia:

Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) is a major American financial services company based in New York City. According to Forbes Global 2000, it is the world's largest company and the most profitable financial services firm. Its formation was announced on April 7, 1998 through a merger of Citicorp and Travelers Group.

It was the first US company to combine banking with insurance underwriting since the Great Depression. The company has just under 300,000 employees and over 200 million customer accounts in more than 100 countries, with total assets of nearly 1.9 trillion USD. It is a primary dealer in U.S. Treasury securities and its stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

For more info, click here. I guess it's a good sign if a big bank is getting involved, but who knows? I am a customer of Citibank, where I host my main checking account; do you think they'll give me a piece of Loreto Bay? Probably not, but who cares - we have our lot. :-)

Posted by emmanuel at January 29, 2007 3:08 PM
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