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MEXICO CITY-What started as a partnership on a $500-million resort development has blossomed into a $3-billion multi-project plan for Washington, DC-based Federal Development and Grupo del Blanco, a construction company based here. The two companies have formed Federal Development Mexico, which will serve as the master developer on various real estate development opportunities in the country.

John Infantino, CEO of Federal, tells GlobeSt.com that the venture started with the planning for the five-phase, $500-million golf and resort community in Real del Monte, just north of Mexico City. The project will consist of 1,464 single-story houses and 144 condos amidst a Troon Golf-managed course, as well as a 1,000-foot-long, 120-foot-wide ski slope and lift, two hotels and a full-service spa. “While we were doing our due diligence, we decided there really is additional opportunity in and around Mexico City, which has 23 million people, it really is a vibrant city,” Infantino says.

He says the resort’s first phase will be complete by early 2009. “Then we’re really going to get aggressive, and pursue other projects. By the time we’re done with the initial five years, I think this will be a $3-billion opportunity for both companies,” Infantino says.

Mexico’s market benefits from a baby boomer trend, and not much impact from the mortgage problems of other countries, he says. “There’s been some optimism, but it’s slowed, which is good because then it’s not a bubble like it is in other markets. There’s a relatively low crime rate in certain areas, and the market has many diverse areas, with beaches, cities and mountains. Also, we’re already on the border with projects in Corpus Christi and El Paso, TX, so it was just natural for us to step across the border,” Infantino says.

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