Crazy Season in Coronado
It is always the same!
Starting in August/September and rapidly gaining speed thereafter, new projects and businesses rush to complete construction before the “big tourist rush” in December.
This year, with the new Rio Hato International Airport expected to be functioning by December, there is an even greater urgency and sense of expectation than average. As a result there are many more and much larger projects/businesses currently in the final countdown stages.
In the relatively small town of Coronado, more than 1000 employees (most of whom are construction workers) pass through the security gates every day. Many of them work a six day week which is rather par for the course in Panama. The “Boulevard” in Coronado has become the latest area for new residential projects. Meanwhile new businesses keep popping up at a furious rate at the Coronado entrance and along the InterAmerican highway nearby.
One significant residential project inside Coronado on the Boulevard that has fascinated me (because of size and speed of development) is Punta Paraiso. Phase One of this relatively large project (for Coronado) has just been completed with about 100 townhouses all pre-sold. There are no “for sale” signs at the entrance.
Phase Two (a slightly larger phase than Phase One) has just completed a very significant leveling, drainage and roadway infrastructure phase. As of last week, house building started in earnest with rough plumbing sprouting up from perhaps 20 adjacent sites.
Interestingly, this project has decided to use a “poured wall” construction approach which is not yet very common in the Coronado area. This approach is optimal when a developer is constructing a large number of relatively similar or even identical units. It would appear that once everything is running smoothly (and the weather is cooperating which has not been the case recently) the complete walls for one house can be poured every single day. The following day the steel forms are stripped off and erected at the next site. The poured walls contain a heavy gauge steel mesh making these walls extremely sturdy. Of course all window openings and doorways are preset for perfect sizing and “squareness”. The poured wall approach solves most of the smoothing or parging problems associated with standard cement block construction (inside and outside). This is a production line approach of the first order ensuring increased quality control in my opinion although it required very good coordination. At this rate of production the last house should be poured sometime in early january with the roofing only a few days behind. (I will post additional information as this project develops.
There are many other new projects on the Boulevard including “Coronado Escapes”, Palmaras, and about 5 or 6 smaller projects including many new private residences. An interesting recent development is that several new “Coronado” projects (including Punta Paraiso) are actually building on Gorgona land outside the original Coronado boundaries. Access is still controlled through the Coronado security gates.