San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Grand Caribbean Resort Planned for Limón

Construction on a $40 million, five-star Grand Caribbean resort in the eastern province of Limón is slated to begin in 2008 – the first large-scale tourism project built in the area.

The resort, which will include a marina, 250-room hotel, 27-hole golf course and clubhouse, as well as at least 200 condominiums and villas, is proposed by ECI Ltd., the same company building the $55 million Gran Pacífica resort now under construction in Nicaragua, according to the weekly El Financiero.

U.S. citizen Mike Cobb, president of ECI Ltd., bought the 1,200-hectare property for Grand Caribbean – 16 kilometers north of the port city of Limón, next to the MatinaRiver mouth – last month. The land previously belonged to Warren Stetson, heir of the Stetson hat fortune.

ECI has not yet begun the process of obtaining the necessary building permits, El Financiero reported. Cobb said he plans to invest significant funds in environmental protections at both the Costa Rican and Nicaraguan projects.

Two Costa Rican companies, Gálvez & Volio Asociados and Zürcher Arquitectos S.A., are participating in the design and construction of the Nicaraguan project and may work on the Limón site as well, accordingly to the weekly.

Cobb told The Nica Times last month that he thinks of his development efforts in Nicaragua as “a mission from God,” since the resort will “change the way that Americans think of Nicaragua” and create sustainable jobs. The businessman, 31, is a Pennsylvania native and the founder of Belize’s first private mortgage bank.

A major U.S. hotel chain has agreed to manage the hotel, an hour southwest of the city of Managua, once it’s built. Though the name of that chain has not been officially released, Cobb said a Marriott executive has met with investors (NT, Feb. 3).


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