High-Density Residential Options

Recently, several high-profile international companies have selected Panama for their regional offices.

These relative newcomers, such as Estée Lauder and Liberty Latin America are creating hundreds of jobs for Panamanians and expats alike. In addition to the jobs, these forward-thinking companies also are bringing cutting-edge services to all of Panama and beyond.

For example, Liberty Latin America is a telecommunications company with operations in over 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Digital video and entertainment, broadband internet, telephone and enterprise-grade connectivity are only part of the commercial and residential offerings by Liberty.

Liberty Latin America (LLA) recently announced their decision to relocate their regional headquarters to Panama. Kerry Scott (middle), Senior Vice President for People and Culture is moving to Panama and will spearhead operations. Balan Nair, Executive President of LLA explained how Panamanians will be the first in Latin American to receive 5G internet capabilities.

Liberty Latin America is currently headquartered in Denver, Colorado, but it operates a sub-sea and terrestrial fiber optic cable network that connects over 40 markets in Latin America. While senior executives and leadership have been moving to Panama over the last few weeks, there will be an additional 500 jobs created here once Liberty Latin America is fully staffed.

Estée Lauder will have 250 new employees in Panama once they are at full capacity in their Regional Headquarters in Costa del Este. These employees will join other international workers from companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, Adidas, and Dell.

If a company locates to Costa del Este, they’ll receive automatic government concessions, including tax rebates and the ability to forgo the requirement of employing 90% Panamanian workers.

Many of these new employees will garner a high salary and benefits from these international employers. Some will have trailing spouses and families, but others will be alone and require smaller residences. The good news is that Costa del Este has amenity-filled residences ranging from small studios to condominiums with 4,000 square feet, maids’ quarters, and private entrances.

Costa del Este is the hub for international businesses located in Panama City. It is a relatively new suburb, but one that is rapidly turning into a delightful residential option for many employees moving to Panama. All electrical and cable wires are buried, there is a beautiful Central Park, bike and pedestrian lanes, and dozens of retail and restaurants options, most within walking distance from the residential skyscrapers facing the Pacific Ocean and Panama Bay.

There are specialty grocery and wine shops, an upscale shopping mall, a Westin, and JW Marriott hotel. There’s also a Johns Hopkins-affiliated international hospital slated to open next year. The location is perfect for residents needing quick access to Tocumen International Airport, which is only 15 minutes away via high-speed corridor. Two excellent international schools are located nearby among amenities like dry cleaners, gyms, bike shops, and florists.

There are several Athanasiou shops in Panama, including in Costa del Este. The high-end retail-restaurant boasts specialty olive oils, red wine vinegar, and coffees—all locally grown and processed. If that isn’t enough to bring you in, you might want to consider the desserts and bistro offerings.

With so many employees moving to Panama and specifically Costa del Este, it is sometimes difficult to find the perfect residential property, simply because of inventory fluctuations. Currently, however, there are some great options for both the investor and the resident.

Because many of the employees will be stationed temporarily in Panama, rentals are in high demand. Parkside is a 50-story residential high-rise, with 42 residential floors consisting of units ranging from 1,000 to 1,400 square feet. These one- and two-bedroom units are ready for occupancy, but inventory is low. Amenities include a running track, sports court, infinity pool, children’s play area, open terraces, and a grand ballroom. This property is perfect for renting to the expat executive as there is on-site property management, with the possibility of a rapid return-on-investment.

Matisse is more directed to the wealthy Panamanian and international executive, with only two apartments on each residential floor. The complex rises 52-stories and maintains 24-hour security, multiple social areas, and assigned parking. The Occupancy Permit was just received in mid-2019 so these amazing homes are ready for occupancy.

Casa Bianca is a relatively new concept in Costa del Este, since the residences are built in a modern colonial style with three and four stories. Casa Bianca is geared more toward families.

Arcadia and Casa Bianca broke ground in recent months, which means the units are not currently available for rent or occupancy, but it does mean there is attractive pre-construction pricing. Arcadia is perfect for international employees with its impressive list of upscale amenities, open floor plan and smaller one- and two-bedroom units. As soon as this 46-story building is completed, there will be individuals seeking rental options at Arcadia.

Casa Bianca is a new concept for Costa del Este and it has been one of the most talked about new residential projects in the area. As opposed to a modern striking high-rise building, Casa Bianca will have ten unique residences in three- and four-story buildings. This type of residence is designed in a modern colonial style with balconies, green space, and arches. Pools and social areas will be perfect for young families.

Generation Tower is designed for tourists, executives, conferences attendees and, to a lesser extent, individuals looking for a permanent residence. Still in the planning stages, Generation Tower residences are being offered at amazing prices until ground is broken. The property is especially attractive to investors as a Condo Hotel for short- or long-term residences. It will provide all the features of hotel living, with a price point perfect for long-term living.

Santa Maria is one of the most upscale areas of Panama City, with its gated community, luxury hotel, and exclusive 18-hole Nicklaus-designed golf club. Adjacent to Costa del Este, La Vista on the Green residences are stunning and located just minutes from Panama’s international airport. While inventory is low, there are some residential units still available in this 30-floor complex. Multiple pools, sweeping views, and 24-hour security are just some of the amenities offered here.

The Santa Maria, a luxury hotel steps away from the LaVista on the Green residences. The 18-hole Nicklaus Golf Club is only for use by property owners and guests of The Santa Maria Hotel.

I am always encouraged by how happy new international employees are once they settle into life in Panama. On Glassdoor, a website dedicated to having employees post about their employers, the overall rating for working in Panama routinely ranked higher than all other Central and North American employers, with the exception of high-demand and high-compensation, companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft.

One employee at Adidas Panama, posted recently that “Adidas is a good company. It is cool to work here. They develop their employees. The work environment is good, people are nice and I absolutely love the Panamanian attitude.” A Dell employee in Panama wrote “I love all the opportunities I am receiving. They support the individual and provide a wonderful working environment.”

Betzalel Kenigsztein, COO of Liberty Latin America, said, “Selecting Panama City as the location for our Operations Center reinforces our strategy to drive operational efficiencies across our platform to support our organic growth over the coming years. We look forward to leveraging Panama´s economic stability and its profile as a logistics hub in the region with great physical and digital connectivity to continue to deliver innovative products and services to our customers.”

The Arcadia project has broken ground, but fortunately for investors, pre-construction pricing is still in available with developer financing.

Kerry Scott, SVP for Liberty Latin America, will lead the staffing for the new Panama regional headquarters and will personally move to Panama City. She has lived and worked various positions in London, Qatar, the Netherlands, Denver, and the United Arab Emirates. “Having visited Panama on numerous occasions, I have always been impressed by the people I have met, its great infrastructure, and importantly, its connectivity across Latin America and the rest of the world. I am looking forward to calling Panama home,” said Scott. “This will be an exciting new challenge to further expand LLA’s presence, foster a positive culture that drives business performance, and create moments that matter for our customers.”

Sounds like the Panama I know: a place with great growth and investment potential. I’d love to discuss investment and real estate possibilities with you!