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U.S. Developer Makes First Foray Into Monterrey, Mexico

Global real estate firm Hines and investment partner California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) are teaming up to develop a mixed-use project in northeastern Mexico. The development—Punto Central—will occupy a 17-acre site in suburban Monterrey. It will be Hines’ first mixed-use development in the Monterrey area.

A Hines spokeswoman declined to peg a dollar value to the Punto Central development, which is one of many that Hines has undertaken in Mexico. It’s also unclear how much pension fund CalPERS, with nearly $180 billion in assets, will specifically invest in the deal.

The Zorrilla McLellan family owned the land for three generations, but recently sold it to HCM Holdings LP (the $100 million fund formed by Hines and CalPERS to exclusively invest in Mexican real estate). The fund has an eight-year term and a $200 million capacity, including leverage.

Punto Central is located 280 miles due south of San Antonio and nearly 600 miles north of Mexico City. The land fronts the edge of the Sierra Madre mountain range, the southernmost spur of the Rockies that stretches across central Mexico from north to south.

Condominium units, specialty retail and garden office space will be developed on the site. The first phase—expected to be done by spring 2007--will yield 80 condominium units ranging from 2,200 sq. ft. to 4,300 sq. ft. in size. Construction should begin later this spring, according to Hines.

“The opportunity to develop this landmark project is unique, given the limited amount of land available in San Pedro,” says Hines Vice President Lyman Daniels.

Hines is no stranger to the Mexican real estate market. Since 1975, the Houston-based developer has completed office, residential and industrial properties totaling more than 3 million sq. ft. on roughly 700 acres of land across Mexico. The company now has operations in eight markets throughout the country including Mexico City, Querétaro, Guadalajara, San Luis Potosí, Toluca, Acapulco, Michoacán and Monterrey.

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