In the News from Panama

Panama City Islands Project Enters New Phase

Ocean Reef, the one-of-a-kind man-made islands project in Panama Bay, is turning from a vision into a place to live, as more families move into homes on the first island.

“The construction of the islands has finalized,” says Victoria Levitam, the sales director for Ocean Reef. “Now the most amazing community in the region is taking form.”

Ocean Reef is easily one of the most anticipated and discussed projects in Central America, bringing island life and a world-class, 200-slip marina to the heart of the bay. The islands received international attention when they were first launched, drawing comparisons to projects in Dubai and the Caribbean.

The first island in the 19-hectare project to hit the market offered 72 custom home sites, which sold out almost immediately. Infrastructure work is almost complete on the second island, raising expectation that more Ocean Reef homes may soon hit the market.

At this point, about 15 families are living on the first island, with another 25 expected in the next year, which would represent 40 percent of the expected population of the island, Ms. Levitam says. “The island is coming to life with the families that are already enjoying an unparalleled island lifestyle in the center of the city,” she says.

Buyers are from throughout the region, including a large number of Panamanians, Ms. Levitam says. They are employing architects from Miami, Italy and South America to design their homes, within the development’s guidelines, which protect privacy and view corridors.

“People are really designing some amazing homes,” Ms. Levitam says.

Ocean Reef offers a unique eco-system for Panama—and the region. Connected to Punta Pacifica by a short, 160-meter (525-foot) bridge, the two islands are completely separate from the city and surrounded by water, but still minutes away from the heart of the city.

“These islands are a private oasis,” Ms. Levitam says. “It is a different ecosystem with low density and one-of-a-kind private residences,  unlike what you experience in the rest of the city´s best neighborhoods.”

With 24-hour security and an underground system for deliveries, the focus is on quiet and service to a high-end clientele. In many ways, the project is offering a lifestyle that can’t be found anywhere in the city, offering a mix of homes and amenities found only in top resort destinations.

The marina, which will put Panama City on the yacht community map, should be delivered within a year, Ms. Levitam says.

“You’re not going to find any other homes in the region where you can walk to your own slip,” she says.

The much-anticipated second island will offer more density and more options for home types than the first island, Ms. Levitam says. Higher density levels will attract more investors to the land and should create the opportunity for units at lower price points than the multi-million-dollar estates

This is the first time in Panama that owners will be able to get a title deed on a man-made island property in Panama Bay, Ms. Levitam notes. As the community grows, values should continue to increase, thanks to the location and the upcoming development of the world class marina and yacht club, she says.