ESJ Verde Hotel investment of $46 million is part of larger plan
SAN JUAN – The groundbreaking for the ESJ Verde Hotel has begun a new stage for the projects Isla Verde Group has on the island. While ESJ Verde reflects a $46 million investment, the construction is part of a larger, $150 million project that includes the remodeling of the ESJ Tower, now ESJ Blue, and another new construction called ESJ Noir.
Keith St. Clair, CEO of Isla Verde Group, described the project as a team effort that included collaboration with bankers, specifically Banco Popular, and the government. The Act 20/22 investor also praised Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and his administration’s disposition, saying it is sending a clear message that “Puerto Rico is open for business, and the government is here to facilitate.”
For his part, Rosselló echoed St. Clair’s sentiment and expressed that his administration’s commitment is to help investors create jobs and “not stand in their way unnecessarily.”
“Our vision is to think big. If we want to get out of the crisis in Puerto Rico, we need to think big,” the governor said.
The 120,000 square-foot Hotel ESJ Verde is expected to generate 100 new direct and indirect jobs. The new hotel will also have 107 rooms and all will include a fully equipped kitchen. St. Clair explained that ESJ Verde will be family-oriented and will include a timeshare component.
This $46 million investment is the next step of the project that started with the remodeling of ESJ Blue and is expected to last 160 days. “ESJ Verde is the second phase of a conglomerate of investments we are carrying out in Puerto Rico. Through a complete plan to stimulate economic development on the island in areas like hospitality, movies and medical tourism,” St. Clair explained.
While both ESJ Verde and the ESJ Blue are in the three- to four-star range, the third leg of the project, ESJ Noir, will be a five-star luxury hotel. It is expected the entire project will create 3,000 jobs. Once the project is completed, the average daily rate (ADR) for the ESJ Verde is expected to be just under $200, for the Blue the expectation is of about $250 and for the Noir, the ADR would be $600. Isla Verde Group is also venturing in medical tourism with a new construction in Carolina.
After questions from the press, Rosselló said the project will have institutional support, counting on the collaboration of the Economic Development Department and the Tourism Co.