Monthly Archives

November 2019

‘Portafolio’ premió este jueves el talento de los empresarios


Aníbal Roa, president of the Organización Roa Flor Huila, received the Life and Business Work award.

Under the slogan ‘Transforming the country deserves great recognition’, Portafolio, the leading newspaper in economics and business, of EL TIEMPO Casa Editorial, made a deserved recognition of the talent and perseverance of Colombian entrepreneurs and innovators in the 25th edition of its annual awards ceremony that took place on Thursday night in Bogotá.

The 13 distinctions awarded by the newspaper reached the hands of representatives of large companies and organizations, but also those of a teacher and a student, whom the jury considered the most outstanding in the country in 2019.

Carlos Enrique Cavalier, president of Alquería, was distinguished as the business leader of 2019, while Juan Raúl Vélez, co-founder and president of Cueros Vélez, was awarded the Business Life award.

In turn, the statuette to Life and Business Work was received by Aníbal Roa Villamil, creator, with his brother, more than 50 years ago, of one of the largest rice companies in the country.

But there was also a special recognition for those people who with their effort, work and dedication make a great contribution to society. This distinction went to Rosaura Hinestroza, founder of La Chocoanita, and Ginna Alejandra Jiménez, creator of Compraagro.

The teacher of the year award went to Lina María Echeverri, from the Universidad del Rosario, while the award for best university student went to Ana María Corrales, from the Universidad de los Andes.

Each year, Portafolio also highlights business management and its impact on society, highlighting its contribution to the communities, the quality of customer service, its level of innovation and even the effort to make Colombian products known abroad.

Thus, on Thursday night, the award in the innovation category went to Compañía Nutresa and the award for the best customer service to Samsung.

While the Export Effort award was received by representatives of the Aldor firm, a candy producing company with a presence in 65 countries, 22 of which are located in Africa, 13 in the Middle East and 4 in Asia.

The awards also went to the Acción Contra el Hambre and Natura foundations, which were awarded in the category of contribution to the community and in the category of environmental protection, while in the category of corporate social responsibility, the distinction went to the company Trash Busters .

Developer nabs $24M to build Brickell condo


Habitat Group obtained a $24 million construction loan for the first tower of the Smart Brickell condo project in Miami.

Miami-based Ocean Bank awarded the mortgage on the 1.23-acre development site at 229, 239 and 243 S.W. 9th St. Featuring 50 condos, 50 hotel rooms and 10,000 square feet of retail, the project broke ground in March and is on track for completion in 2021. It is sold out.

Habitat Group plans to break ground on the second tower of Smart Brickell, which will be the same size as the first tower, in early 2020.

“Receiving this loan for the construction of our first Smart Brickell tower is a testament to the project’s continuing success,” said Santiago Vanegas, president of Habitat Group. “Following the rapid sellout of Smart Brickell Tower 1, Smart Brickell Tower 2 is already 80% sold. We are looking forward to breaking ground on Tower 2 and continuing this construction momentum.”

The condos will range from 558 to 1,117 square feet. Prices range from $300,000 to $600,000. Owners will be able to rent their units up to 50 times a year on home-sharing services like Airbnb. They could also lease their condos to the developer to join the hotel pool.

Cervera Real Estate is the exclusive broker.

The third tower is also planned with 97 multifamily units and 30,000 square feet of retail.

The 25-story Smart Brickell was designed by Gensler. Amenities will include two pools, a spa, a fitness center, a business center and a rooftop lounge.

Habitat moves forward with West Brickell condo, hotel project


Habitat Group is moving forward with the construction of a large condo and hotel project in Brickell after scoring a $24 million loan.

Habitat secured the construction loan from Miami-based Ocean Bank to build Smart Brickell’s Tower 1 at 239 Southwest 9th Street in Miami’s West Brickell neighborhood. The tower will have 50 hotel rooms and 50 condos and is planned for completion in 2021.

Smart Brickell is a three-building condo and hotel project that will offer owners the ability to rent their units out 50 times a year. In all, the project will have nearly 300 units and about 12,000 square feet of commercial space for a cafe, restaurant and retail. Tower 2 is expected to break ground in early 2020.

Santiago Vanegas, CEO and president of Habitat Group, said Smart Brickell Tower 1 is already sold out, while Smart Brickell Tower 2 is about 80 percent sold.

Miami-based Cervera Real Estate is handling sales for Smart Brickell. Hernando Carrillo is the architect. Condo prices range from $300,000 to $600,000.

Habitat Group is focusing on West Brickell. The company recently paid $6.1 million for a site at 1200 Southwest Second Avenue where it’s planning to build Brickell 12, a 96-key hotel project. The company’s other projects include the Brickell Lux and Millux Hotel, according to its website.

With just over $4 billion in assets, Ocean Bank is an active construction lender in South Florida. Last year, the community bank provided an $85 million construction for Melo Group’s Art Plaza Apartment. This comes at a time when many banks in South Florida are backing away from construction lending due to heightened regulatory scrutiny.