In the News from Panama

Greek Firm Buys Stake in Panama Resort Project

A subsidiary of Greece-based investment firm Grivalia Properties has purchased a 60 percent stake in Pearl Island, the Panama project billed as “the largest private island development in the Pacific.”

Grivalia Hospitality will pay €27 million to buy out the stake owned by Dolphin Capital Investors, the company developing the 1,440-acre island. Panama-based Grupo Eleta reportedly owns the remainder of the project.

Located about 40 nautical miles from Panama City, Pearl is being developed as a luxury resort, with 30 kilometers of waterfront and Ritz Carlton committed to building a 50-acre hotel complex, with 80 rooms and 120 residential units. Seventy percent of the island will be maintained as a nature reserve, according to promotional materials for the island.

Future plans include up to four more luxury hotels and a 500-berth marina, according to Dolphin’s Web site.

Publically-traded Dolphin, which was primarily focused on Greece, Cyprus and the Mediterranean, expanded into Latin America and the Caribbean in 2007 and 2008 with the purchase of Pearl and Playa Grande in the Dominican Republic. “The reasoning was to diversify our holdings from economic and political fluctuations in one single region,” managing partner Pierre Charalambides told the Miami Herald in 2015.

Of course, the timing was terrible and progress has been slow on the ambitious project. The basic infrastructure work reportedly has been completed on the island, including 26 kilometers of roads, an oceanfront restaurant and beach club, a runway, and complex of about 30 homes.

Statement from Grivalia offered no new information on progress or the plans for the development.

Pearl is part of the Los Perlas Archipelago, a collection of more than 200 island. A ferry to the islands leaves from Punta Pacifica, below the Trump Ocean Club.