The highly anticipated Riviera Maya Train project is expected to add at least $7.9 billion dollars (U.S.) to existing Mexico real estate investment plans on the Yucatan Peninsula, according to Fonatur. As head of that organization’s National Tourism Promotion Fund, Rogelio Jiménez Pons says research shows that a variety of new real estate investments are already in the planning stages, including shopping centers, warehouses, condos and other developments. The new real estate projects will be built close to the 15 train stations that are currently proposed for the new railway, which will link towns throughout the Riviera Maya and Yucatan Peninsula with destinations in the neighboring states of Campeche and Chiapas.
“There is no predetermined figure, but we estimate that investments will be just as significant as the cost that has been proposed to build the Maya train, which is between 120-150 billion pesos (up to $7.9 billion U.S. dollars)”, stated Jiménez at a recent investment summit.
He went on to say that a government trust will help determine where the most new real estate investment will occur, so enough land is set aside to ensure strong long-term growth in the regions where the Maya train will operate. According to Jiménez, about 90% of the funds required to complete the ambitious rail project are coming from the private sector, while the Mexican government will provide the remaining 10%. In fact, a number of Mexican and foreign banks, as well as global asset management companies like BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Santander and Bancomer, have already expressed a desire to invest in the new railroad project.
Although the trans-peninsular train was initially conceptualized to serve as a strictly passenger rail service, plans have evolved and now the railway is also expected to carry some freight, including fuels and other petroleum products. Jiménez says preliminary studies show that supplying the southeastern region of Mexico with these resources represents a market that is worth upwards of $665 million USD per year.
“The construction and operation of the Maya train will generate employment and economic prosperity in southeast Mexico”, Jiménez proclaimed.
In total, the new train will span approximately 830 kilometers (more than 515 miles), connecting popular destinations on the Yucatan Peninsula like Cancun and the Riviera Maya, with the towns of Bacalar and its Lake of Seven Colors, as well as the Mayan archaeological site of Calakmul in Campeche, before reaching its final stop at the ancient Mayan city of Palenque in northern Chiapas.
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