Kaufman’s first project will be 500 senior units in Santa Ana
- by crv.staff
- 1:48 PM UTC
A couple of weeks ago, I posted about billionaire Henry Kaufman looking to invest in Costa Rica’s real estate market. If you missed it, you can read that post here. To follow up, our friends at A.M. Costa Rica published another story about Kaufman’s investment activities. As I said before, it’s a wonderful sign when you see a billionaire like Kaufman looking to invest in Costa Rica. The local economy and by default, local Ticos, will ultimately benefit from this investment in Costa Rica.
Source: A.M. Costa Rica staff
Henry Kaufman’s first project in Costa Rica will be a 500-unit senior living complex in Santa Ana not far from the Cruz Roja building and just four blocks from the commercial center.
Kaufman, a Wall Street legend, has been in Costa Rica hearing real estate proposals. But the $60 million senior living project is fully permited and ready to go. Associates say the ground breaking on the seven-hectare (17-acre) tract may be as soon as July.
Kaufman, 84, is anxious to become a part-time Costa Rica resident, sharing his time between here and Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he has purchased about a third of the downtown area.
Kaufman is high on Costa Rica, noting that the climate is perfect, the standard of living is high, the cost of living is low and there are no simmering social protests. But he said he believes the country is not promoting itself to the extent that it should be.
Kaufman is an expert at locating hidden value. He made millions in Wall Street by recognizing undervalued bonds. He has such a reputation that the Spanish language newspapers sought him out for his views on the economy.
He is pretty blunt. Despite his career as one of nine interdealer bond brokers on the floor of the New York Stock exchange, he is out of stocks and bonds, he told a reporter from El Financiero.
He has his reasons. At the current interest rates, the return on bonds is not worth the risk, and the current economic situation makes it impossible to know the true value of a company, he said.
Kaufman said he envisions something like the Del Webb Sun City adult living concept in Santa Ana. One of each unit’s occupants will have to be 55 or over and children will just be visitors, an associate noted.
Kaufman said in an earlier story that senior retirement communities, assisted living and even nursing care will propel the growth of Costa Rica to double digit gross national product during the next 20 years. But he also said that during his visit here he met with representatives of other projects that he will consider. He left today.
Kaufman styles himself as a visionary, but in his conversation Saturday at an Escazú home some nostalgia could be detected and a little anger at the financial managers who have damaged the U.S. economy.
They have no discipline and no responsibility, he said. Kaufman noted that when he had his own firm starting in 1958, the owners were partners. There were no corporate shields to hide behind. He is certain that interest rates are headed upwards, in part because of government spending.
Kaufman is no stranger to tough times. He grew up in Fall River, Massachusetts, which was hard hit in the Great Depression. He concedes that may be what attracted him to Tulsa where tall office buildings were standing vacant because the oil wealth had moved to Houston, Texas.
Now his eye is on Santa Ana where he hopes to duplicate his financial successes.
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