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Costa Rica: Capital Residents Prefer Tower Living

Article Summary:

With over $190 million spent in the building of residential towers, the boom in vertical housing continues in the capital of Costa Rica. The trend of living near the downtown area is in direct response to the serious problems of traffic congestion for residents of San Jose.

Photo Credit: El Financierocr

Original Article Text From El Financierocr via Google Translate :

Residential towers take capital

Seven years have passed since the declaration of public interest and Regeneration Program Resettlement of San Jose.

During this period, construction companies and real estate developers have found a vein to exploit: build residential towers, condominiums and apartments to capture customers who want to live in the center of the capital.

It seems that they are achieving their goal. Just one year after starting the program cantonal-driven, in large part, by the City of San Jose-the first building of residences and trade was opened in Mata Redonda: Brisas del Oeste (West Sabana).

There Edica company raised four apartment towers of 11 levels each, and 40 apartments per tower, besides shops, clubhouse, pool and parking.

Thereafter, the buildings in the residential area have not stopped.

However, this ambitious plan still has debts to pay: among them, the dense and vertical housing supply also includes the means of economic segments.

Information provided by Luis Guillermo Freer, Urbana Inspection Department of the capital, with a court date to July 30, 2012, confirms that there is a supply of 23 mega housing projects, of which 13 are already in full operation and 10 in process constructive.

To get a sense, everything that has been built, or are in work at the moment, between buildings and residential towers in the capital, equivalent to nearly seven and a half times the area of ​​the National Stadium.

The sum of all these initiatives amounted to ¢ 96,656,000.

Worth repopulate the city
It is a figure that Judko Rosenstock, president of Metropolitan Tower, is a sign that the market and citizens are responding to this trend.

Metropolitan Tower, located in Sabana Norte (next to Channel 7), has 72 residential units and is occupied by 90%.

They live mainly cosmopolitan who have lived in other cities in Europe, Rosenstock specified.

“There is a need for citizens to be able to use the city, to get everything more accessible and close to where you live. There is a current repopulate the city, “said the businessman.

The population is responding well due to their need to reduce travel times and, therefore, their expenses, said Humberto Borrero, Oasis project representative of San Jose.

This apartment complex has 201 units spread over three stages. Borrero said that the first phase has 100% placed and will be delivered in August 2013. In the second stage, sold 70%, which will be ready in February 2014.

EF sent queries to several development firms but at press time had not responded.

For Aaron Morales, technical advisor of the Costa Rican Chamber of Construction (CCC), what happens is that San Jose is ceasing to be a staging of 6:00 to 20:00 to become a place to live.

The good thing is that it has all the necessary infrastructure for the development of projects rooms and transportation options. That is, matches the criteria of sustainability planning and promoting the construction sector, said Morales.

The dream of repopulating the capital is also well seen by the specialist Eduardo Brenes urbanism.

He narrated that 20 years was raised in order to rescue the capital with a holistic approach. This means that it was necessary to break the vicious cycle of poor infrastructure conditions, insecurity, deteriorating public spaces, a degraded city with high levels of pollution and congestion.

Brenes, who was director of the Territorial Reorganization of the Greater Metropolitan Area (PRUGAM), recalled that the initiative began with the electrification underground cables to clean the spaces and facades and make way for more energy and telecommunications services.

Later followed the idea of ​​the pedestrian network and urban regeneration contained in the National Urban Development Plan.

“In 2004 starts the PRUGAM and is a key factor in promoting the concept of compact city and multifunctional,” said the expert.

A Brenes concerned that after leaving PRUGAM, the Government is assessing the Land Use Plan for the Greater Metropolitan Area (Potgam) because, if achieved reinforce the ideas of the latter plan, always building toward the periphery, existing cities see more unable to rescue, to regenerate and repopulate.

The promulgation of the decree (number 31 730-Mideplan-MIVAH) joined cantons that peripheral-Escazú, for example, showed a high urban growth, raised the price of land, reduced the number of properties and tightened environmental regulations.

That meant that people began to see other places and San Jose center was one of them.

The architect Vladimir Klouchkov, Bureau of Urban Resettlement of MSJ, says the project will populate the capital beyond housing.

It includes aspects of investment, competitiveness, quality services.

“We are first and foremost the financial capital, cultural, commercial and political, must not be confined to home because urban centers need selling activities,” he said.

It is a paradigm shift, said Klouchkov, it will take years to materialize.

“In 1992, the mayor decided to renew the Morazán Park and all objected because they believed that the downtown was dead, the same with Central Avenue and elsewhere. Finally to support traders and here are the results, “he recalled.

Components in debt
While progress was made in pedestrianization, street vending persist, excessive commercial signage and low private investment.

Eduardo Brenes’s opinion goes further. For him, other measures to repopulate fully raised San Jose, are still running. For example, there is no policy of high density housing with clear incentives for families who wish to acquire and for builders who want to raise them.

In addition, existing towers-the majority-are for groups of high and very high income.

In a quick survey knew that there apartments EF value between $ 130,000 and $ 580,000. The houses are more expensive.

Oasis of San Jose is perhaps one of the few proposals for middle-income families (between $ 1,000 and $ 3,000 per month): the minimum price of each house is $ 99,500 in areas of 96 square meters with three bedrooms.

In public areas, Aaron Morales acknowledges that no one can live in a luxury building that out there homeless, imprisoned or sidewalks invaded by vendors. This, he said, should improve.

In transport there is an outstanding balance. According to Morales, requires efficient public transport, with bus terminals on the outskirts of the capital and encourage more use of bicycles.

Today the MSJ welcomes its projections and tasks for a horizon beyond 2015. The idea is to work together with other institutions (National Institute Housing and Urban Development and the Ministry of Planning, among others) in goals, so far, not been able to materialize.

Efforts should be made to clean rivers, local urban services, energy, water and transport especially.

But overall, the figures from the Association of Engineers and Architects (CFIA) regarding sqm confirms this growth transacted.

Of the 7,148,245 meters square managed last year, 31% up to San Jose.

Properly, the city of San Jose (including the districts of the capital center, Pavas, Merced, Mata Redonda, Hospital, El Carmen, Cathedral) is second in importance only behind Alajuela. From 2010 to 2011 increased from 401,378 to 573,892 m².

Cristina Carmona, CFIA spokeswoman, explained that, regardless of the social housing during the past two years have seen for these districts a total of 950 projects.

Of these, 130 are registered under the responsibility of a company (55 firms in total) and the rest is handled by way affiliated to school staff.

Regarding residential condominium buildings, the institution has in its database a total of 19 companies participated in construction of this nature.

Some of them are Daniel Lacayo & Associates Limited Arquiva, Terraplus SA, Piasa Consultants, Construction and DEHC Proycon.

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From El Financierocr

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