The letter of intent signed between the two parties covers plansto build and operate multi-use projects including hotel, brandedresidential and commercial components. The agreement is non-bindinguntil negotiations are completed over the next 90 days.

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Initial projects over the next three years include a hotel with28 luxury living units in South Beach's fashionable "South ofFifth" area; an oceanfront hotel in Cartagena, Colombia; and ahotel along Panama City's Avenida Balboa that will be part of amajor city-led waterfront development. Hamilton, Bermuda-basedOrient-Express will manage each of the hotels.

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"Our development policy is clearly focused on high-end luxuryproperties which fit the Orient-Express customer profile andincreasingly those customers are also interested in real estateopportunities," Paul White, president and CEO of Orient-Express,stated in a release. He noted Related Group's experience as adeveloper of high-end condominiums and its innovative lifestyledevelopments.

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Jorge Perez, chairman and CEO of Miami-based Related Group, saysthe firm recognizes Orient-Express as the ideal partner to bring anew cachet to its luxury properties in South Beach, Cartagena andPanama City. "Together we can offer our customers a lifestyle thatsets new standards in class and quality," Perez said in a preparedstatement.

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Founded by Perez in 1979, Related Group is a local and nationalbuilder of luxury condos with a current development portfolioexceeding $10 billion and more than 60,000 condo and apartmentunits in major markets. Over the past year, it has established itsRelated International subsidiary in Latin America and launched itsIcon Vallarta brand in Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay and theCaribbean.

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The Miami project will be Orient-Express' eighth property in theUnited States, with projects such as El Encanto in Santa Barbara,CA, and a planned luxury hotel on West 53rd Street in New YorkCity. The company has also been a major investor in South America,including Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Palace Hotel and the luxurytrain line known as PeruRail.

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