Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New buildings on Isla

For years we had heard that there is a moratorium on the island regarding new buildings and remodels. No hotel can be taller than three stories and no third story on private houses. A pretty good idea, if you ask me. Keeps the profile low, we won't start looking like the hotel zone in Cancun and it maintains a kind of uniformity throughout the island. Right. So what is this???

This is just one of the four monstrosities being built or recently built on the island. It is located on the west, bay, side of the island. Just before you get to Garrofon Park. I count five stories on this one. But guess what I found out? The ground floor does not count IF there is no habitation involved with it. So deduct the ground floor from this one because it will just be the lobby, restaurant, pool, etc. I still count four stories left. I bet they paid a pretty peso to get some kind of special dispensation to allow for that fourth story. But that's just a guess. Politics and corruption could not be playing a role here. Not on the Isla!
Just to show how big this thing is, this is the view from the other side of the island!

But they are not alone. This new one is being built on Sac Bajo, the finger of land that juts out on the west side of the island. Same thing here. Four stories plus the ground floor. There are also two smaller, but equally tall new condos that have been built right on the shore of North Beach. I wonder, where do they think all the tourists are going to come from to fill these things? And, let me assure you, rooms in them are not cheap. Close to $200 or more per night. Oh for the days of a sleepy little fishing village when a good room was only $20 a night.
The "smart" contractors on the island evidently know about this loophole with the ground floor not counting. Take my neighbor's new green house, for example. By all accounts, he has a three story house. But nope. The ground floor is a parking garage and storage area. So it doesn't count! Sure helps to lift you up to get a better view for yourself when all is said and done.
I hope this building nonsense stops soon but I am not holding my breath. It is changing the whole flavor of this island. And, in my opinion, not in a good way.


el oso said...

I sympathize with your remarks. My wife and I first visited Isla 24 years ago. The population was 2500now 15,000. The only tourists were bacpackers and Texans. We we made our home here there were only a dozen or lesss gringos. We loved the island then and tolerate it now. We still enjoy being in mexico and have no plans to stay away. I want my old Isla but I have to be realistic. NYC is not like it used to be, nor is Las vegas. Everything changes.

wayne said...

We first came to the island as daytrippers almost 28 years ago. Lots and lots of changes. Some for the good, some for the bad. Life goes on I guess.

John W said...

In San Miguel, more than 600 houses are under construction! Some involve blatant disregard for building codes. A high rise condominium got approved, not as far as anyone knows because of bribes being paid, but because a small select group of cronies decide these things. One mega project was approved last year during our former mayor's term of office. Turns out he's one of the owners of the project.

You scooped me on the building boom, Wayne. Look for my post on this topic in a few days.