How Puerto Rico Became the Palm Beach of Cryptocracy
When Sam and Jessica Jones sold their Brooklyn Heights brownstone at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, they didn’t bother looking in the surrounding New York City suburbs. As a real estate developer, Sam felt drawn to Puerto Rico, a hotbed of investor activity, where hedge fund managers, former private equity analysts and crypto billionaires are business opportunities in a tax-free virtual paradise on endless sunshine and 18 holes of golf.
“Why wouldn’t I want to live in good weather all year round, with great tax benefits and get into the ground floor of investor activity?” he says. They officially moved to Puerto Rico in October 2020. “It was like a no-brainer. Fast forward two years and we couldn’t be happier.
At the heart of where business meets pleasure in Puerto Rico, MO is Dorado Beach, a luxurious lifestyle community on an unspoiled stretch of beach just 18 miles east of San Juan. Once a citrus and coconut plantation owned by the Livingston family, oil heir Laurence Rockefeller bought Dorado in 1955 and built the Dorado Beach Hotel. The property’s long-standing celebrity legacy included a who’s who of mid-century figures, including Joan Crawford, Ava Gardner, Gerald Ford, Dwight Eisenhower, Henry Kissinger, and John F. Kennedy. When the local economy took a turn in the 1980s, Dorado was renamed Hyatt and eventually closed.
In 2012, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton reserve, revived Dorado. Situated on 1,400 acres of the former Rockefeller Estate, the reserve is an immaculate sanctuary designed to provide guests with an ultra-luxurious experience with beachfront accommodations featuring private pools, as well as Omakase dining, one of greatest Caribbean wine and wine offerings. , water sports with Olympic windsurfers and a breathtaking five-acre spa.
Residents of Dorado also have access to resort offerings, where owners mingle with guests in the outdoor gym, HIIT tennis courts, or water park. There is a sense of community overall. Think Florida for the young, fit, and attractive who spend their days playing beach volleyball, having poolside meetings, and cruising around on golf carts. It’s no wonder the region is experiencing a post-Covid boom like never before.
“This market exploded after Covid-19 with a 60-65% increase in people moving permanently to Puerto Rico and leaving places like New York, Chicago, LA, Miami and Dallas,” says Oriana Juvelier , Vice President of Sotheby’s International Realty in San Juan. “We see a lot of customers in the range of over three million. More specifically, the luxury clientele is looking for year-round summer and the great outdoors. Several areas here have seen a huge upswing, but Dorado Beach and Bahia Beach are two of the biggest and prettiest resorts that draw a specific lifestyle.
Last year, Dorado experienced its greatest real estate transaction yet, with a two-acre beachfront property changing hands for $30 million.
“The growth that’s happened here, in the last four years alone, has been staggering,” says Lee Mitner, who moved to Dorado from Los Angeles in 2018. “Not to mention the value of everything going up like a But I guess you have this very limited resource, and more and more people back home are finding out what’s going on here.
Apart from Dorado, the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort & Residences-the island’s other luxury property located in the El Yunque National Rainforest-is betting big on the boom. This summer, it debuts a collection of luxury beachfront condominiums, Ocean Drive Beachfront Residences, Phase II, which are 50 three- and four-bedroom residences designed by architectural design firm SB Architects Miami.
The St. Regis will also offer single family oceanfront residences at Atlantic Drive Estates. This two-story luxury resort features 12,000 square foot homes and bills itself as the most luxurious development in Puerto Rico. Like Dorado, Bahia Beach residents have access to St. Regis offerings, which include five-star restaurants, two miles of wide open beach, state-of-the-art fitness and tennis facilities, and concierge service.
For super-wealthy clients, Casa Estancias is a 14,000-square-foot villa built in the first phase of St. Regis Residence’s offerings, and is available to rent for $30,000 per night.
“In recent years, we have seen an increase in demand for residences in Bahia Beach,” says Julie Miller, director of sales and marketing at the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort. “Landlords can also opt into the St. Regis rental program, where the luxury management company offers short-term rental options.”
According to Juvelier, most locals are optimistic about his new neighbors and the opportunities they bring with them. More development across the island means more jobs and a new chapter of prosperity for the resilient region.
“The impact is so much bigger than you think,” she says. “In 2008, we were in difficulty. Now we’re seeing real business opportunities emerging from people moving here who are eligible for tax incentives, but they’re not just hiring nannies and housekeepers. They open law firms and hire highly qualified, multilingual local employees. They try to keep people on the island. What you see are people falling in love with Puerto Rico, building businesses and helping us enjoy it.
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