Work begins on huge Mexican resort

A milestone was reached this week
for the largest single real estate development in all of Mexico, as men and
machinery converged to break ground at Liberty Cove.Phase One of the $50
billion development has been in the planning, entitlement and
pre-construction stages for the past five years. Efforts by Rockingham
Asset Management, master developers of Liberty Cove, culminated in the
initial construction of the project’s main thoroughfare, which will
transect nearly eight miles of property from the main road to the shores of
the Sea of Cortez, where fifteen miles of uninterrupted oceanfront define
this unique development.

“It truly is an exciting day for us,” exclaimed Craig Ricketts,
Chairman and CEO of Rockingham. “This is going to be the most significant
development south of the US border and beginning construction on our main
road opens an important chapter in our development story. Liberty Cove is
currently enjoying a lot of ‘firsts’, but few are as significant as
receiving our grading permit and actually breaking ground.”
  Liberty Cove, located north of Puerto Libertad in Sonora, Mexico, is
the largest single land development south of the United States and is an
easy drive from the major metropolitan centers of Los Angeles, San Diego,
Phoenix and Tucson. At 46,500 acres, with fifteen miles of unobstructed
coastline and three distinct mountain ranges, it will become Mexico’s
largest destination resort community. Developers believe that at build out,
Liberty Cove will exceed the success of resort destinations such as Cancun
and Cabo San Lucas, in large part due to the extensive master planning
efforts that are preceding any vertical development.
  Rockingham is planning the most environmentally responsible project of
its size in the world. Leading technologies are being engaged to realize
optimal savings in every area of infrastructure development, including
energy production and consumption, waste management, potable and
non-potable water and vehicular traffic. Rockingham is planning every
aspect of the project to achieve as near a ‘zero-carbon footprint’ as
possible. Major aspects of development are progressing with an eye to
compliance to LEED and other green-certification protocols.
  Ricketts added, “We are literally leaving no stone unturned in talking
to the most creative minds on the globe for the purpose of identifying
viable methods and technologies to set this project apart from any other.
We clearly have an advantage in our comprehensive master planning approach
and in our close working relationship with the Mexican government, which is
thoroughly dedicated to correct environmental practices. Working together
(Mexico and Liberty Cove), we will become the standard by which other
projects are measured.”
  Phase One of Liberty Cove consists of a ranch lot program (to be
launched at the end of 2007), a beach club, boutique seaside commercial
village, a signature golf course and associated facilities, a saddle club
with extended equestrian facilities, including competition grade polo
grounds, a boutique hotel, tennis club, condominiums, an on-site medical
facility and a safari club designed to take advantage of the varying
topography as well as the burgeoning interest in adventure travel and
eco-tourism. All facilities are being entirely master planned to American
and European standards, by GMA of Newport Beach, CA, master planner.
  The Costera, Mexico’s federally funded coastal highway, is currently
under construction and is on schedule to be completed through Liberty Cove
by the end of 2008. The project is easily accessible by well-paved and
well-maintained roads from Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Tucson and
  Subsequent phases of Liberty Cove will include world-class marinas
capable of servicing all types of marine craft, including mega-yachts and
cruise ships; every type of residential product suitable to resort living
and hospitality venues that span the size and function of Las Vegas-type
accommodations to European styled boutique hotels. Touted as ‘the Monaco of
the Americas’, Liberty Cove will also sport a multi-lane roadway that
snakes through a terraced resort village to the water’s edge, similar to
the Le Mans courses of Europe and designed to capture the world-wide
interest in auto racing.
  Liberty Cove has retained Davy Jones, internationally known race car
driver to design a number of racing facilities, including a track capable
of featuring both open-wheel and NASCAR style racing. Jones’ career wins
include Le Mans, Indianapolis and Monte Carlo.
  Rockingham’s close support from all levels of the Mexican government is
reflected in the conceptual design of several key plan components. These
include the utilization of green technologies throughout the project (such
as solar and marine energy solutions) and by virtue of the size and
location of the development will be unique to Liberty Cove. Rockingham is
in discussions with providers of technologies used to accomplish the
following development goals: harness tidal energy from the Sea through
marine turbines; effecting the remediation of CO2 emissions, coupled with
the re-capture and re-use of energy from a nearby local power plant (with a
Mexican partner); and housing the hemisphere’s largest manufacturing
facility for the production of electric cars and electric watercraft, both
non-polluting essentials to the environmental complexion of Liberty Cove.
  Additional excitement from the Calderon cabinet has encouraged the
planning of a world-class athletic training and competition complex, which
will provide athletic opportunities in every sport for young people,
ranging from soccer to track and field, aquatics, equestrian and extreme
sport competition. When completed, this complex alone will make the
community a ‘must see and experience’ for international travelers, media
and residents of Liberty Cove.
  Liberty Cove is working with the local, regional and federal
governments to prepare for the enormous economic and social impacts a
project of this scope and size will have on the area. Rockingham formed
Amigos en Libertad over three years ago to engage the local community in
dialogue concurrent with the development process. A new fire truck was
donated to the village of Puerto Libertad by Amigos and plans are currently
underway for a community-wide beautification program, in keeping with the
progressive new environmental initiatives of President Felipe Calderon.