The region of Carmelo in Uruguay
One of the most typical postcards of the West region of Uruguay is Carmelo a small town with a lot to offer.
Carmelo is located in the department of Colonia. A small town only 33 kilometers from the port of Tigre Argentina. It is a quiet place with its swing bridge that crosses the river Las Vacas.
In recent years, the area has become a fertile ground for several developments; most of them located in the outskirts of the town but also many that are transforming the heart of the town.
The geographical location of the city is halfway from Conchillas and Nueva Palmira, with its port and free trade zone. Carmelo is right in the center providing services to the region and hundreds of new jobs are being generated. Montes del Plata and the various companies operating in the port of Nueva Palmira have required a lot of staff who live in Carmelo. Since the demand for construction has increased in Carmelo, the city center of Carmelo had only 80 shops and currently it has 400 stores offering competitive prices.
The Argentineans love Carmelo as a traditional holiday destination due to its proximity. Visitors always say Carmelo is what Punta del Este was like 30 or 40 years ago. This is just starting and there is a very strong potential for growth. The proximity of the work for Carmelo Montes del Plata has impacted on vacationers who have seen the price of land rise but not so much the sales of properties.
According to a report by the Association of Developers of Colonia on the situation of investment property in Carmelo, seven new building projects are being developed during 2014. Seven others are under evaluation.
Condo-hotels, nautical resorts, modern mooring systems, shopping promenades, convention areas and many more are under way.
The projects in Carmelo have plenty of advantages. All the new units that will be completed by the end of 2014 will have barbecues, laundry services, housekeeping, garages, pools and sun terraces, among other amenities.
But what makes it special is the unique river access and exclusive mooring areas. All the area overlooks the river with wonderful views.
Yet the real investment in Carmelo is not only in the urban area, but located in the surrounding rural area in the so-called tourist farms and in the gated communities. This is what Argentinean investors are aiming at. The land is more expensive in the first five kilometers outside the city but has settled to convenient prices in the rest of the nearby region.
The man who could watch the arrival of Argentineans twenty years ago was businessman Eduardo “Pacha” Canton, who now owns several real estate projects. Canton was the one who carried out the first private neighborhood place, El Faro as well as the five star Four Seasons Resort Hotel located at km 262 of Route 21.
Investments of all Kinds
• Another investment is Golf Carmelo with18 holes that formerly belonged to the owners of the Four Seasons Resort.
• In 2010, two Argentine-Real developers bought the place and began to develop the private neighborhood with 219 plots and 12 farms. Most buyers will take it as a second residence, although there are people interested in living there all year round.
• A five-star Howard Johnson chain, which will take the form of a condo-hotel concept.
The Vineyard Developments
The wine industry is the most traditional one with 100 years presence in the area.
El Legado, a family owned winery started a project in 2008. The first vintage was in 2011 and now has two varieties: Tannat and Syrah. They produce about 2,000 bottles per year. It is the only winery in Uruguay using the system of “free vertical cord” on their vines. El Legado is one of the wineries that form part of the Wine Tours to promote wine tourism in the area.
The private neighborhood La Concordia divided into 33 lots has a different approach to wine production. It offers its residents the opportunity to make their own wine. The grapes are processed in the young winery El Legado. La Concordia has 30 acres and is located five minutes from downtown Carmelo.
Tourism and permanent Residents
At this point it becomes very clear and necessary to promote tourism as well as more residents to the region of Carmelo.
In Uruguay, the real estate activity is been taken into account to measure the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), for instance the Ministry of Tourism has spent more than a year pondering that tourism meant 3% of GDP and a year ago reported having reached 6% of GDP. But the Ministry of Tourism does not evaluate what we call residential tourism; which is the case, of many Argentineans who own a house, an apartment or farm and visit Uruguay regularly on weekends. These people invest, hire staff and spend money which flows into the Uruguayan system.