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Philipp Pieper, Swarm

Swarm invests in Puerto Rico real estate

Wed, 04/04/2018 – 12:26

Swarm Fund, the blockchain for private equity, has announced its second Real Estate fund, the Viejo San Juan Comunidad RE Holdings Fund.

The fund, available to Swarm Fund’s accredited investors, will target redevelopment of property and other projects in the ‘Old San Juan’ section of San Juan, Puerto Rico, serving both the traditional community housed there and the new ‘crypto community’ beginning to emerge, with a focus on market-rate office space, short-term residence and other properties.

The real estate asset-backed fund, which was opened last year, is led by the management team of Stephen Inglis and Mercy Zayas, veterans of both early-stage real markets across the globe, as well as the Puerto Rican real estate market specifically for the last several years.  For previous funds the Puerto Rico team’s Stephen Inglis has worked with institutional investors such as Capstone, PineBridge, and others.

“Swarm is proud to be one of the first entities to utilize the power of blockchain and participative in projects to assist community development, especially ones in need. Puerto Rico, and the Old San Juan neighborhood specifically, can be for the blockchain what the Santa Clara Valley was for the silicon transistor,” says Philipp Pieper (pictured), CEO and co-founder of Swarm Fund. “The Viejo San Juan Comunidad RE Holdings Fund can provide a way for Puerto Rico’s community to lift itself up while exposing its economy to a global community of people that care and can actively assist through the blockchain and other decentralized mechanisms.”

The fund has targeted several properties for redevelopment that can generate current rental income. Among the properties will be a redeveloped landmark building that will serve as a business hub for the crypto and blockchain communities in Puerto Rico. The fund will acquire properties based on current cash flow, rejuvenation, and capital appreciation, following a portfolio optimisation approach.

One of the busiest cruise ship ports in the Caribbean, the harbour of Old San Juan provides a regular flow of customers and tourist arrivals to support both Airbnb rentals and the retailers that pay commercial rents. Puerto Rico also continues to be attractive to crypto-companies and other businesses because of its Act 20 and Act 22 tax incentives.

“After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico is back in business and ready to be a hub of this exciting new economy, and the hub of a new global economy. In my several decades of investing in real estate at the earliest stages, I don’t think I’ve seen a more exciting opportunity, and I look forward to how Swarm can accelerate this opportunity by exposing it to an entirely new class of investor,” says Viejo San Juan Comunidad RE Holdings Fund Manager Stephen Inglis.

Publicado por: Lynet Santiago de Periódico Metro

14 de Octubre de 2016

 

Se espera que en los próximos años la ciudad capital se convierta en un  destino de calibre mundial con el desarrollo del centro de entretenimiento District Live! y la construcción del EcoExploratorio, proyectos con gran impacto en la economía local y el sector turístico.

El centro EcoExploratorio se levantará en la parcela contigua al District Live!, la I2, en un terreno de 132,506 pies cuadrados que tendrá un estacionamiento para 180 vehículos.

“Este es un magnífico esfuerzo que está haciendo Ada Monzón para Puerto Rico, y nosotros estamos en un 200 por ciento detrás de eso, porque creemos que le va a dar mucha vida al distrito y que complementa enormemente nuestro ofrecimiento. No va a estar en el District Live!, pero va a estar justo al lado”, expuso Federico Stubbe, hijo del presidente de PRISA Group, desarrolladores del ambicioso proyecto en sociedad con Island Hospitality Partners.

Ada Monzón, fundadora y voluntaria de la junta de directores del EcoExploratorio, señaló a este diario: “Estamos en la espera de que Víctor Suárez (secretario de Estado) firme la extensión de la tierra hasta junio de 2017, para poder comenzar la campaña de recaudación de fondos para dar inicio a construcción”.

“Este es un proyecto educativo y turístico, en el que podemos ser el centro de gravedad de la ciencia, matemática, ingeniería y tecnología. Es un one stop place para el turista que pueda ver lo que Puerto Rico tiene para ofrecer en términos de la naturaleza y la ciencia”, destacó.

La meteoróloga observó que “el District Live! es un proyecto extraordinario que va a tener su vida propia en términos del entretenimiento, pero el distrito, ahora mismo, no tiene la oferta ni científica ni educativa”.

“Todos los países del mundo tienen sus museos de ciencia y de historia  natural. Lo que perseguimos como una organización sin fines de lucro es hacer historia y dejar un legado para Puerto Rico y futuras generaciones”, sostuvo.

Monzón detalló a Metro que la parcela está separada bajo un Letter of Intent hasta diciembre al EcoExploratorio (organización sin fin de lucro 501c3) para poder levantar los fondos de construcción del museo.

Esa parcela está designada por el plan maestro del Distrito para uso de museo. Suárez debe extender la tierra a junio, para poder iniciar la campaña de construcción.

“Ya nosotros tenemos el contenido desarrollado. La idea es levantar fondos para construir el exterior de una primera fase de 15-20,000 pies cuadrados, que albergue el contenido de la Isla de La Vida, Oceánica y Planeta Digital, que son exhibiciones que estan hechas y en proceso de terminar”, precisó.

Metro intentó infructuosamente conseguir una reacción de Suárez, quien también funge como director de la Autoridad del Distrito de Convenciones.

Respecto al District Live!, Stubbe lo describió como punto de entretenimiento muy innovador.

“Queremos hacer la diferencia en el sector del entretenimiento. Hacer algo nunca antes visto. Algo que les vuele la cabeza a la gente local y al  turista.  Que el turista diga que nunca ha visto esto en su vida. Nosotros nos merecemos tener el mejor lugar de entretenimiento a nivel mundial y con la mejor seguridad”, indicó.

El District Live! albergará una sala de espectáculos para hasta seis mil espectadores; salas de cine premium experience con butacas reclinables y extendibles para los pies, además de contar con un restaurante, barra y área de lounge; night club y day club para fiestas de tanto de día como de noche al estilo de Las Vegas; un coffee shop de la Hacienda San Pedro; una microdestilería diseñada por Roberto Serrallés; Kidz Zone, zona para niños; el Salsa Room, una sala para 500 espectadores para funciones teatrales y espectáculos musicales, y una tirolina o zipline de Toro Verde.

Además se construirá un hotel Marriott bajo la marca lifestyle con 170 habitaciones.
Este centro de entretenimiento también proyecta 62,000 pies cuadrados de espacio para restaurantes y barras, y una plaza central techada de sobre 44,000 pies cuadrados.

“Los puertorriqueños tienen que convivir con el turista en algo que sea único, memorable y auténtico, que refleje quiénes somos, la buena vibra de la gente de aquí, el talento de aquí, la música de aquí, nuestro café y ron…  Algo que sea bien de aquí y que refleje lo mejor de nuestra  gente. Esa es la idea”, subrayó el empresario.

Puerto Rico Welcomes One of World’s Largest Cruise Ships

By on March 20, 2016

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico welcomed Sunday one of the largest cruise ships in the world, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, which can accommodate 6,360 passengers and 2,394 crew members and is scheduled to visit the island six more times this year, for an estimated $2.3 million injection for the Puerto Rican economy.

Gov. Alejandro García Padilla spoke in front of the 100,000-ton ship that docked in Port of San Juan’s Pier 3, which was expanded with a $9.3 million investment, and announced the near-future arrival of two more mega cruise ships.

The Allure of the Seas, which has the same design as the Oasis, but is 2 inches longer, will be arriving to the island in early summer. Meanwhile, the Harmony of the Seas – which will become the world’s largest cruise ship, able to carry 6,780 passengers and 2,300 crew members – will arrive in San Juan on Dec. 28.

“We have reason to be proud, because we have worked hard for it, especially in the tourism sector,” the governor said, adding that with the upcoming cruise ships, “we consolidated our position as a world-class destination.”

Touching upon the island’s financial debacle, he said, “We are all aware of the fiscal crisis we are facing and our struggle to get the U.S. Congress to give us the tools we are justly requesting to overcome this situation. While that is happening, we have not rested for a moment in our endeavor to build a better Puerto Rico.

“The transformation of our tourism industry is a fact. While last year we broke the record with a million and a half cruise passengers, this year we fully embarked on the mega-cruise industry,” the governor said.

oasis 2

Gov. Alejandro García Padilla speaks in front of San Juan Port’s Pier 3, where Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas is docked. (Via Inter News Service)

 

Oasis of the Seas (By Paul Dickerson)

Oasis of the Seas (By Paul Dickerson)

 

 

 

 

Puerto Rico Welcomes One of World’s Largest Cruise Ships

By on March 20, 2016

SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico welcomed Sunday one of the largest cruise ships in the world, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, which can accommodate 6,360 passengers and 2,394 crew members and is scheduled to visit the island six more times this year, for an estimated $2.3 million injection for the Puerto Rican economy.

Gov. Alejandro García Padilla spoke in front of the 100,000-ton ship that docked in Port of San Juan’s Pier 3, which was expanded with a $9.3 million investment, and announced the near-future arrival of two more mega cruise ships.

The Allure of the Seas, which has the same design as the Oasis, but is 2 inches longer, will be arriving to the island in early summer. Meanwhile, the Harmony of the Seas – which will become the world’s largest cruise ship, able to carry 6,780 passengers and 2,300 crew members – will arrive in San Juan on Dec. 28.

“We have reason to be proud, because we have worked hard for it, especially in the tourism sector,” the governor said, adding that with the upcoming cruise ships, “we consolidated our position as a world-class destination.”

Touching upon the island’s financial debacle, he said, “We are all aware of the fiscal crisis we are facing and our struggle to get the U.S. Congress to give us the tools we are justly requesting to overcome this situation. While that is happening, we have not rested for a moment in our endeavor to build a better Puerto Rico.

“The transformation of our tourism industry is a fact. While last year we broke the record with a million and a half cruise passengers, this year we fully embarked on the mega-cruise industry,” the governor said.

oasis 2

Gov. Alejandro García Padilla speaks in front of San Juan Port’s Pier 3, where Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas is docked. (Via Inter News Service)

 

Oasis of the Seas (By Paul Dickerson)

Oasis of the Seas (By Paul Dickerson)

 

 

By on March 18, 2016

SAN JUAN — The Puerto Rico government and Aerostar Holdings, the private operator of the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Carolina, inaugurated on Thursday the renovated Terminal C, while announcing the construction of new Customs & Border Protection (CBP) facilities in Terminal A.

“During these past years, we have registered a significant increase in the number of passengers. These improvements were completed to address the needs of modern travelers that include a higher frequency of flights, the development of new international routes, and a better commercial offer,” said Aerostar CEO Agustín Arellano.

The renovation work at Terminal C, with 87,000 square feet, was undertaken with a $55 million investment. The terminal serves such airlines as Volaris, Copa, Avianca, Condor, Norwegian, Liat, Air Antilles, Intercaribbean and American Airlines.

Groundbreaking ceremony of the new Customs & Border Protection facilities at Terminal A

Groundbreaking ceremony of the new Customs & Border Protection facilities at Terminal A

As for the new CBP facilities in Terminal A, Arellano said work is expected to be completed by September, to the tune of $4 million. He explained these would facilitate the entry process of passengers into the U.S., while reducing the time aircraft spend on the ramp. This would provide an opportunity to expand operations, the Aerostar CEO added.

“The construction of these new facilities will certainly help us provide a more comprehensive, flexible and secure service to the millions of passengers traveling annually through our international airport,” said Víctor Suárez, Puerto Rico designate Secretary of State and interim governor at the time of the event.

The area will allow for much faster passenger traffic and provides the opportunity security checks for passengers connecting on the island to their final destination.

Robert Land, senior vice president of government affairs for JetBlue, said the new CBP facilities will increase the efficiency of operations at Terminal A, which serves the aforementioned airline’s operations at the Muñoz Marín Airport.

“As the largest airline in Puerto Rico, our goal is to continually improve the travel experience for our customers and this new facility will fulfill that purpose,” Land said, while adding that JetBlue committed many years ago to make Puerto Rico one of its six main hubs, which it calls “focus cities.”

When asked by Caribbean Business if there were new routes on the pipeline for Puerto Rico as a result of the work being undertaken at the airport, Land said that although there are none to announce as of today, “because of this project we will consider new international routes.”

He noted that given the current logistics at the airport, the airline couldn’t add more service.

“With this project completion later this year, JetBlue would begin to think about how can we add more routes,” Land said.

In addition to Suárez, Land and Arellano, Ports Authority Executive Director Ingrid Colberg, Carolina Mayor José Aponte Dalmau, Puerto Rico Tourism Co. Deputy Director Luis Daniel Muñiz, and CBP Field Operations Director Marcelino Borges participated of the event.

Aerostar has been privately operating the airport operations since 2013, when it entered into a public-private partnership with the Puerto Rico government.

“We have met what we committed to three years ago,” Arellano stressed.