PBS – U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it plans to start awarding contracts by mid-April for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico. The agency said it will request bids on or around March 6 and that companies would have to submit “concept papers” to design and build prototypes by March 10,
Reuters – A consortium including billionaire Carlos Slim’s building unit submitted the lowest bid on Wednesday in a tender for the terminal project at Mexico City’s new $13 billion airport as the telecoms tycoon looks to edge out two rivals for the deal. A winner will be announced on Jan. 6.
Huff Post – Mexican photographer Pablo López Luz started taking aerial photographs of the U.S.-Mexico border in 2014 ― long before President-elect Donald Trump made the construction of a border wall the central promise of his campaign. One key discovery, he said, was that “most of this territory can’t even be crossed.”
Reuters – Embattled Mexican construction firm ICA on Thursday presented a proposal to build the foundation of a terminal building at Mexico City’s new airport, a tender sought by 15 other companies and consortia, Mexico’s government airport operator said.
NBC – Mexican Architect Javier Senosiain looks out over his sinuous snake’s nest of a building, providing relaxation and tranquility to those who live in the very edge of Mexico City’s urban sprawl, and reflects on over 30 years of building egg- and cocoon-like dwellings that are quite literally out of the box.
Inhabitat – One of the newest buildings to join Mexico City’s skyline is more than just an iconic landmark—the mixed-used tower is also impressively seismic-resistant and energy efficient.
Bloomberg – Three years after Mexico’s housing crisis wiped out $4 billion in stocks and bonds, the industry risks suffering another downturn. That’s because President Enrique Pena Nieto has close to doubled subsidies for low-income housing in the past two years. Moody’s Investors Service analyst Francisco Vazquez said that has encouraged developers to go on a construction spree even as a sluggish economy saps demand for new homes.
Curbed – We’ve seen shipping container restaurants, research centers, and, of course, homes of all sizes, but the RDP House, made of recycled shipping containers outside Tijuana by local architect Daniel Moreno Flores, is a vision nonetheless.
Dozen – Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has joined forces with Mexican firm Legorreta + Legorreta to form LegoRogers, which has completed a 50-story office block for BBVA Bancomer in Mexico City.
By Benjamin Bain and Andrea Navarro / Bloomberg
Mexico’s homebuilding business is staging a comeback less than three years after the industry’s biggest companies saddled investors with losses from collapsing share prices and $2.7 billion in bond defaults.
Builders are dominating the new issuance market, with Corpovael and Servicios Corporativos Javer selling shares since early December and a third company seeking to raise money later this year.
They’re among the competitors that rushed to fill the gap left by the largest three builders, which were forced to downsize following their failures in 2013.
Pent-up demand for new homes hasn’t gone away since housing policy changes by President Enrique Pena Nieto helped lead to the collapse of Urbi Desarrollos Urbanos, Desarrolladora Homex and Corp. Geo.
While Homex and Geo resumed trading last quarter following restructurings and Urbi moves to conclude a deal, it’s the smaller companies that are driving a resurgence in an industry that until recently was given up for dead by foreign investors.
“It’s a good sign that it would seem the sector is coming back to life,” said Jorge Unda, who oversees about $35 billion as chief Latin America investment officer at for BBVA in Mexico City. “The companies that were able to stay in have been more cautious.”
Sentido Comun – The housing sector, one of the most important for any economy because of the impact it has across multiple industries, such as the glass, cement and other construction materials, could have a resurgence in the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV) this year.
By Michael O’Boyle /Reuters
Mexico’s government, tarnished by a conflict-of-interest row over its links to public contractors, said it would follow new global transparency standards in awarding bids for a $13 billion airport.
President Enrique Pena Nieto told government officials and transparency advocates from around the world that he would increase efforts to shed light on public procurement practices.
The new Mexico City airport will follow the “open contracting data standard” designed by World Bank officials and transparency experts and is the first project of its size to apply the measure, he told a conference in the capital.
As a global standard, it would enable independent auditors to scrutinize better how the project is executed.
Implementing the new standard would be a “paradigm shift,” said Eduardo Bohorquez, director of watchdog Transparencia Mexicana. The measure would require information to be released on the planning, the tender process and implementation.
Public information is currently only available on the tender, and analysts complain data is incomplete.
“Let’s see what happens, but as a starting point this is good news,” Bohorquez said.
Dow Jones – The construction industry in the United States has lost more than half a million workers born in Mexico since 2007, thereby contributing to a shortage of labor that is likely to raise housing prices, according to a new analysis.
Sentido Comun – Inmobiliaria Vesta Corp., a developer, operator and owner of industrial buildings and distribution centers, plans to invest $91.7 million to build several buildings in the states of Veracruz and Puebla, as well as Tijuana in the next three years.
NYT – The Reforma Tower is a striking affair: a modern 800-foot skyscraper fused at its base with a pink Venetian-style mansion from the 1920s. It is the latest and arguably most blatant effort to counter criticism from conservationists who have complained that this city is losing its historical charm. In this case, architects have taken one of the few remaining 20th-century, European-inspired houses on the lavish Reforma avenue and slapped a high-rise behind it.
Design Boom – Architect Jorge Hernandez de la Garza has completed a large six-story apartment complex in Mexico City’s Condesa district. named the Amsterdam building that has a staggered art deco facade.
El Financiero – Corruption in the procurement process and lack of financing still stand out as the main factors restraining growth prospects and investment in the construction industry.
EFE – Three arrests have been made in connection with the construction of the Mexico City Metro’s Line 12 and arrest warrants have been issued for three other officials, the Federal District Attorney’s Office said.
El Universal – Minister of Communications and Transport Gerardo Ruiz Esparza said that to enhance transparency in bidding for public works in the construction sector, and to avoid any disagreement, each negotiation will be videotaped.