By Ellen Zoe Golden Photo courtesy FMDG
The Flamingo Marina Development Group (MFDG), which is comprised of Costa Rica investors, residents and an experienced and well-financed United States real estate developer, has been granted the concession to build the long-awaited Flamingo Marina in Playa Portrero. The Municipality of Santa Cruz made the decision for the concession based on a proposal from the group that includes: Dr. Sam Shaheen, President of Shaheen Development a family-owned, real estate development company in Michigan; Costa Rica’s Frank Arata and his son Max, both of Liberia; and Joaquin Gamboa of Sardinal; along with a group of consultants including architects, attorneys, engineers.
This concession agreement grants the MFDG the right to operate and manage the Flamingo Marina for 35 years.
“The group working to re-establish the Marina is committed to a high-quality, environmentally friendly, and sustainable project that is open and committed to improving the quality of life for all in Guanacaste,” explained Max Arata.
The Flamingo Marina, with an estimated $35 million estimated investment, will contain wet and dry boat slips, commercial retail spaces, a hotel and governmental offices. The construction, and the subsequent completed businesses, are expected to generate many direct and indirect jobs on-site and to the surrounding communities.
For now, the group is working on the design phase of the project, and with permits, construction set to begin in mid-2019. Arata said they believe estimate completion of phase one of the Marina will be 2021.
“A project of this magnitude will bring new job opportunities for the people of Flamingo and surrounding communities,” said Arata. “It will also provide the boating community with world-class facilities such as fuel dock and a waste disposal service, helping to mitigate ongoing spills or pollution of the environment. Flamingo and the area are dependent on Marina activities, but with the infrastructure to support it. As a result, the community has not prospered in the way as if the current Marina were functional. Additionally, the ‘vacant’ Marina basin is a reminder of what was. This project will bring economic vitality and employment and more of a vision of what will be.”