Initially, we were successfully manufacturing fashion labels that we would sell to department stores. We later decided to create our own distribution centers and build our own stores. We started doing small-scale projects as our family was already investing in real estate and found a lack of offerings in Mexico City and the wider country; there were no good shopping centers, office buildings, or residential projects. We did our first project in Masaryk called Centro, which had the first Louis Vuitton store in Mexico. It was a great success and brought in higher-end labels and restaurants. Over the years, we have developed 67 projects in five different divisions from the ground up, including hospitality facilities, industrial parks, residential buildings, shopping malls, and office buildings.
Mexico has a large deficit of new housing. The need for new homes is much larger than the supply. Catching up with demand is a slow process, because it takes a lot of time to get new land and to convert the city. The market is huge in Mexico City, but it is not easy to develop new buildings. The regulations are quite strict and you have to know the market. The price of land has also substantially increased, meaning companies have to be efficient in terms of their value chain. It is important to develop and ensure high quality designs, no matter the segment. For each project, we do an architectural contest where we invite three different architectural firms with experience in the segment to create designs. We try to always bring new ideas into the mix. We want to make things that are beautiful and transform the neighborhood and community along with the project.
Director General, Alfredo Elías Ayub
We have been a family business for more than 30 years. We have developed high-income residential projects; however, 10 years ago, we expanded our scope to the middle-income market, as it is almost impossible to find a site that we truly like in the high-income market. We now work on more middle-income, though again unique, projects. Our largest project is called Parques Polanco, the only project in the city with nearly 1,400 apartments as well as a large park and a shopping mall. We now focus on large, mixed-use projects. We strongly believe in architectural design and work with the top architects, most of them Mexican.
Director General, Desarrollos Residenciales Turisticos
We started out as homebuilders of low-income housing. We moved from Mexico City to Querétaro to start the business because Querétaro, at the time, did not have many companies in the segment. We were able to grow steadily; however, the turning point and critical factor that went into growing in those years were strategic alliances. Since the beginning, we have been big in creating joint ventures (JVs) with international companies. When we were building these low-income housing operations, we were able to partner with a US company who at that point was entering the Mexican market and we decided to create a JV with them. We were part of that JV until 2004. Then we exited and formed a new JV, this time in the industrial real estate sector, to build Parque Industrial Querétaro. This is now the largest park in Querétaro and represents around 30% of wages reported to the social security in Querétaro, as we have over 36,000 employees at the park.
The first member of the Mariscal family to come to Mexico came in the 1700s. When Mexico began expanding its road system in the 1800s, our great-great grandfather was in charge of constructing some of these. Our grandfather’s generation founded Marhnos in 1954. The company focused on building hotels, and Marhnos built many of the original buildings in Acapulco. The most high-profile project the company worked on in its first chapter (1954-1974) was the American Embassy building in Mexico City in 1963. After this, the US became an important client for us because we built the consulates in Guadalajara, Tijuana, and Monterrey. We also built the embassies in Guatemala and El Salvador. The US government is an example of the kind of client we like to form a close and lasting relationship with.
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