Will Playa del Paraiso create a paradigm shift in real estate and construction in San Felipe?
“Playa del Paraiso is changing the way things are done,” says Eric Garcia, Director of Sales at Playa del Paraiso, as evidence that 90% of the Playa de Paraiso has already been pre-sold despite the fact that the project won’t be completed until 2008.
In 1999 Eric came to San Felipe to sell real estate. “Like the rest of us, I got started here at El Dorado Ranch” Eric says smiling. “Their marketing genius coupled with Pat Butler’s vision has made El Dorado’s a success, and their success has made this town a success. Nobody spends the kind of money they spend to get people down here to buy real estate.”
Now eight years later, as Director of Sales & Marketing for Playa del Paraiso with an extensive background in architecture drafting and design, civil engineering and electrical contractor for 13 years, he is the eyes and the ears for the developer and is able to effectively monitor the all phases of the project.
According the Eric there are three phases to selling a development of this size; the vision phase, the construction phase and the completion phase. “In the beginning when we sold so well during the vision phase, I knew we were on the right track.” Eric continues.
The property was purchased in latter part of 2003 with pre-plans being complete a year later in late 2004 and sales of the vision beginning in 2005. With only two years into the project and a total of 207 units available, only 14 units are left. “It tells me that when people are looking for real estate down here, this is what their looking for” says Eric “and 90% was sold via the Internet.”
Playa del Paraiso is the first Condo Hotel in San Felipe. “We’re building a condominium resort with full hotel amenities,” says Eric. A condo-hotel allows someone to purchase a unit and to live there when they choose, the period of the year it’s not occupied by its owner the unit is converted back into a luxurious hotel suite.
Despite many set backs and delays, Playa del Paraiso is nearing completion of phase one, that includes the first building and the first pool. The first building to be completed is the Punta Building, which faces the north towards San Felipe and is scheduled to be complete by the end of the year.
Playa de Paraiso is an ambitious project with eight different floor plans that range from one bedroom (1044 sq. ft.) to four bedroom (2400 sq. ft.) and range from $200k to $800k. “Having beach front condo with gym, health spa and hotel amenities, gives us an advantage over our competitors.” ” says Eric. Every Unit faces the ocean on 10 aches on prime beachfront real estate beside the new marina.
“We could have put in about another 500 units and used the federal zone for recreation,” Eric points out, “but the developers made this their home they wanted it to stand out.” And stand out it will with 5 acres of open space for pool, palapa bar, spas, and playground for kids with 3 acres of beach.
The grounds were not the only area were the bar was raised. According to Eric, a normal development is put together using fairly standard formula of approx. 80% indoor living and 20% balcony/hall, but they’ve found in this climate that most of our living is outside, so Playa del Paraiso was designed with a formula of 60% living and 40% balcony/hall with unit balconies from 1000sq. ft. feet to exclusive rooftop decks
in excess of to 5000 sq. shared among the 8 penthouse units.
Currently employing more than 150 trades workers, the biggest hurdle the project had to overcome was labor. Playa del Paraiso is building with American construction methods of steel and drywall and San Felipe didn’t have qualified workers to do that kind of work. “We are the only steel building in San Felipe,” says Eric. Much of their workforce has been recruited from Mexicali with additional workers from Sandy Beach Resorts out of Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) to help with concrete and drywall.
Playa del Paraiso is the first steel construction in this part of Baja. It is designed and being built as if in California for seismic activity and will withstand an 8.1 on the Richter scale; in accordance with the Uniform Building Code (UABC), International Building Codes and Steel & Concrete Institute of the United States. “We went with steel because this part of Baja in considered in the Red Zone because of seismic activities and a fault line.” Eric points out. “Although in my eight years here, I have only experienced a single
earthquake of about 3.0.”
A concern with building near the water or on sand is avoiding liquid faction, should an earthquake occur. Playa del Paraiso addressed this issue aggressively by removing all the sea sand and replacing it with fresh gravel and sand mixture and compacted it with over 1200 pillions, 30 feet deep and 30 inches wide and then designing the foundation to this structure. “We took it a step further” Eric say proudly, “to ensure it can handle a sheer factor of 200 mile an hour winds. It would comply with Florida state design criteria.” Additionally, they went the extra step on installation for sound quality, heating and cooling systems, and installed the first fire suppression system.
Playa del Paraiso is working to raise the bar not only in development and real estate, but in the quality of life for San Felipe and its residence. Playa del Paraiso is involved in local events and festivals, provides ongoing support to local organizations, such as the San Felipe Animal Shelter and is one of the top employers providing good quality jobs.
“We want to provide a better standard of living,” says Eric “which comes in the form a paycheck.”
“San Felipe is my home. I’ve lived here for 8 years and Playa del Paraiso will be my home as well as the home to the developer and their families,” states Eric. “It’s the
American Dream, only its south of the border in San Felipe.”