Now Here’s A Cool New Development

BY: MIKE HUNT

Something different Might want to pull out your check book for this one

 

Tres Santos, which means three saints in English, is a very ambitious residential development underway in Todos Santos. Todos Santos, for you newbies, is an hour up the new super highway on the Pacific side, towards La Paz.

Movement_Map_960_385.jpgThis is going to be a mixed use mega project, brought to us by BlackRock, a Colorado based developer. BlackRock’s infrastructure investment group has $6 billion in invested and committed assets, so their Todos Santos project should be taken seriously.

BlackRock chief executive officer Larry Fink, (ja ja ja, how do you even get a name like that? And how do you get someone to marry you with a name like that?), explains his position thusly: “Mexico is finally beginning to unlock its true potential as an economic powerhouse. Over the next few decades, capital is going to flow more effectively into Mexico, the workforce will become better trained, and it will be easier and easier to do business.”  Well, he lives in Colorado, he can be forgiven for being such a Polly Anna.

BlackRock has an office in Mexico City with about 30 people as part of its iShares exchange-traded fund business, and is looking to hire investment specialists in Mexico’s infrastructure. They also have a local office on the main drag, pretty kitty corner from Hotel California, on the corner. It is offices and a sales center complex kind of under cover, as it’s advertised outside as a bike rental business. They call it the hub, a pretty stupid name for a sales office, but then this is  not a pushy real estate development. Their entire operation is sort of undercover and deceptive. If you do stumble into the building looking for a bike to rent, and if you happen to wander into the back room, you will see a very sophisticated graphic display of what the project will look like. You will also encounter a pretty strange sales pitch; a throw back to hippie days of the 1960’s, complete with an over age flower child wearing Birkenstocks. Swear to God.

Other projects of this size, and Tres Santos itself, have encountered some opposition from local ecofreaks who don’t want to see any development along the coast, and especially anything large. So BlackRock has had the good sense to pussy foot into Todos Santos in stealth mode.

Their project probably wouldn’t need it, because it’s ecologically sound,  is well planned, and provides a beautiful environment. It is sure to be well received by buyers, but they are presenting themselves as this pious, ecologically sound alternative to the rapists of the land who might have gone before them.

They probably don’t need to do this, as anyone who can afford to buy into their development doesn’t wear Birkenstocks, and is probably pragmatic enough to buy into whatever place they want to live. Also, Todos Santos is like catnip to 50 + retirees who fancy themselves somewhat food/beverage/art oriented.

So, what is this new development, Todos Santos’ first biggie, like?

It’s pretty neat.

It’s on a chunk of land that’s long and skinny, stretching from the highway that goes to La Paz, all the way down to the beach. It follows an arroyo, (a dry river bed), from the mountains to where the arroyo drains into the ocean. Winding through it, will be a very cool bike/walking path, in an area that actually has some green trees and green vegetation. It really is a pretty piece of land.

Along the way will be homes and a few retail businesses of a friendly nature, such as a coffee house, deli, small grocery, and a wine bar.

The residences along the way vary from single family houses to condos, to apartments above the retail businesses. How cool would that be, to live above a wine bar? Very cool, not to mention handy, we think.

There will be a beach club down at the bottom of the property, so those living upstream can peddle/walk/drive down to the beach and hang out at their own private club.

The strange thing about the opposition to Tres Santos is it’s all coming from the Gringos who have homesteaded in Todos Santos and have become NIMBYs. (Not In My Neighborhood.) They want Todos Santos to remain the same as the way it was when they arrived. A town hall meeting held to clear the air on what this is and what to expect, was chock-a-block with Gringos who all opposed it, and chock-a-block with Mexicans who were all for it. This is all explained by one simple fact: The Mexicans need the jobs and the Americans don’t, and they don’t care that the Mexicans need. They just don’t want any changes to the environment they moved into.

BlackRock developers are probably more sensitive to this dichotomy than they need to be, because the Mexican authorities don’t much care what the Gringos want, they want to keep their electorate happy and provide them with jobs, so they are fast tracking the project. And the pool of American and Canadian  Tres Santos buyers don’t care about how Todos Santos used to be, they just want a nice place to live in what they think is still a very nice town.

Nevertheless, BlackRock is not taking any chances, so if you find yourself  in their sales office, toe to toe with the over age flower child in long cottone dress and Birkenstocks she’s going to stay in character no matter how you taunt her. We couldn’t shake her loose of her role.  She’s going to keep yammering away about how ecologically friendly this development is, yada, yada, yada. But go one room further into this building, and you will see a floor to ceiling glass wall where the suits who run the place are huddled. You know by looking at them that they haven’t drunk the Kool Aid of ecological correctness, that they are pragmatic business people who are going to pull off a very successful, very livable residential development that promises to be the best one in all of southern Baja. For more info look up www.tressantosbaja.com. We would give you the phone number of the hippie at the “hub” in Todos Santos but she’s not going to tell you the real deal, and you’re better off cruising the website. From $230,000.