IDEAS TO BUILD ON

Mexico 2014 | REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Alejandro Allende, President of Grupo Copri, on responsibly satisfying demand across the construction spectrum.

Alejandro Allende
BIOGRAPHY
Alejandro Allende studied Industrial Engineering at Anáhuac University. From 1984 to 1988 worked at Constructora Coraza, and in 1989 he founded ATCO Construction Company, which he also directed. In 1997 he established Grupo Copri, and has held the position of President since then.

What types of project will you be undertaking over the coming years?

We have set aggressive growth plans for the next five years, similar to those accomplished in past years. Essentially, we will continue to implement process management across our four key businesses, which are residential (units Above $200K), middle income housing (units below $200k), commercial developments (shopping centers and office complexes), and infrastructure (construction and operation of highways and bridges).

What are a few of the your notable projects completed to date?

The history of Grupo Copri features a number of significant projects, a few of which I will comment on by business line. In the residential category, I would mention Cumbres de Santa Fe, a high-scale residential complex set in over 170 acres of woods in the prestigious area of Santa Fe, Mexico City. This development featured over 400 housing lots averaging at 6,000 square feet and over 1,000 apartments averaging at 3,000 square feet. It also has a park and clubhouse with tennis courts, a soccer pitch, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, gym, and restaurant, among other amenities.

In terms of middle-income housing, we might consider Parque Jardin project, a mixed-use development at the heart of Mexico City, located 15 minutes from the corporate and commercial area of Polanco. This development features 2,000 apartments averaging at 700 square feet and a shopping center anchored with a supermarket, cinema and gym. Then turning to commercial developments I would highlight our Garden Santa Fe project, an underground mall at the heart of the city center of Santa Fe. The first project of its kind in Latin America, it offers a huge public parking structure highly demanded in the area, in addition to a lifestyle shopping center with high emphasis on food, entertainment, and services, as well as a three-acre park at street level. This multi-awarded architectural project takes the form of a naturally ventilated and illuminated building meeting numerous environmental standards, including the largest green roof in Latin America. And finally in terms of infrastructural schemes we might consider Supervia Poniente, an urban toll road with a 30-year concession of about 8 kilometers in length that connects the west and the south of Mexico City. The toll road is comprised of 1 kilometer of bridges, 2.5 kilometers of tunnels and 2 kilometers of elevated roads.

What are the commercial prospects for the four business segments?

Because our four businesses participate in key strategic growth industries in the country, we see great potential for them. Overall, we are positive regarding Mexico's growth prospects, and expect this to generate healthy demand across all business lines. Moreover, Grupo Copri is, and will remain, an important contributor to the broader economic development of the country. We will contribute to a better future by participating in the construction of infrastructure, housing, and commercial developments that enhance the lives of its population.

To what extent has your company left its hallmark on the city?

There is no doubt that Garden Santa Fe has already become an urban icon. Its greatest challenge was to reconcile the interests of the city government that sold the land with the specific demand the area had seen. The area was greatly in need of public parking, commercial services, and a well-designed and maintained green area. In terms of what the scheme has achieved we believe that Garden Santa Fe will become a role model to be replicated in other major urban areas of Mexico City, and throughout the country.

What is your philosophy in terms of working with the public and private sectors?

We believe that collaboration between the private and public sectors to strengthening public policy that promotes planned growth and development is key to success. We also believe that the recycling of urban land and the urbanization of areas in close proximity to areas of employment leads to more affordable housing prices.

Finally, how do you assess the future of your sector?

We are greatly optimistic regarding the potential of Mexico's construction sector. Moreover, the structural reforms implemented by the government to date should generate significant domestic and foreign investments. These investments in turn will translate into higher residential, commercial, and infrastructural demand.