Abandoned Punta del Este Hotel Sells For $10 Million

Patrick Archer foreign investment, hotels & casinos, real estate, uruguay

An abandoned high-rise on Punta del Este’s main drag will be reincarnated thanks to an investor group led by local architect Vito Atijas.

Marcelo Gallardo of El Pais says the 17-story property which many locals and visitors remember as the Melia Hotel Punta del Este was purchased for US$10 million. The sale includes the hotel and the adjacent commercial properties on the 17,000 square foot parcel.

Since closing its doors over a decade ago, the hotel has remained vacant on a high-profile corner of 27th Street and Golero Avenue, one of the main thoroughfares for traffic and tourists during High Season. Despite the prime location, Gallardo says the hotel lost “dozens of millions of dollars” and was considered one of the worst run hotels in town. The new owners led by Atijas plan to gut the hotel and convert the units into one and two-bedroom condominiums while luring some high-end tenants like Banco Santander to the ground floor.

Architect Vito Atijas says the new units will range in size from 430-680 square feet, and the idea is to market aggressively to middle class Argentines and Brazilians who want to own a piece of the Uruguayan summer playground. The continued migration of upper-class residents further north up the coast is creating an opportunity to recycle aging in-town properties like the Melia and repackage them for the new wave of middle class buyers, a trend we spotted last year. (Full Story in Spanish)

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