Category Archives: Construction

Border wall construction contract bids open March 6

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,

Aerial photos show difficulty of building a wall

borderHuff 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.”

Architect Javier Senosiain builds outside the box

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.

3 years after housing implosion, Mexico risks another mess

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.

Mexico’s $2.7 Billion Homebuilder Nightmare Fades as IPOs Surge

Mexico has posted 17 straight months of increases in residential construction investment.
Mexico has posted 17 straight months of increases in residential construction investment.

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.”

Mexico to follow global transparency model for new airport work

Activists say data currently available on public contracts in Mexico is incomplete.
Activists say data currently available on public contracts in Mexico is incomplete.

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.

Mansion survives in shadow of Reform high-rise

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.