Real estate in Costa Rica

BLP

The powerhouse real estate and hospitality group at BLP provides one-stop-shop solutions to national and international developers involved in large-scale transactions. The 'very experienced' team’s full service includes advising on the acquisition, development, financing, sale and leasing of real estate, contract negotiations and structuring, day-to-day operations, tax planning, free trade zone matters and due diligence. Led by founding partner Luis M Castro, and backed by construction and operation contracts expert Anneth Jiménez, and development specialists Andrea González and Juan Carlos Tristán, the group represents clients in the real estate, hospitality, manufacturing and electronics sectors. With the recent opening of a new office in Las Catalinas, in addition to its presence in Los Sueños, the firm is particularly well placed to handle real estate transactions in Costa Rica's coastal areas.

Practice head(s):

Luis M Castro

Testimonials

‘The partners are very experienced. They have specialists in every area of law in house.’

‘Rapid responses. Lots of experience. They think like business people, not lawyers.’

Key clients

Las Catalinas

WeWork

Garnier & Garnier

Enjoy Group

Portafolio Inmobiliario

Guanacaste Development Corp

Gencom Group

Apple Leisure Group

Desarrolladores 506

Los Sueños Resort & Marina

Inmobiliaria Piedras Blancas

Edward Lifesciences

Coloplast

Lutron

Work highlights

  • Advised WeWork on its entry in Costa Rica, covering corporate, real estate and free trade zone matters.
  • Advised Garnier & Garnier on development of land agreements.
  • Advised the joint venture between Enjoy Group and Garnier & Garnier on the purchase of the Punta Islita Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel.

EY Law Central America

The team at EY Law Central America has ‘extensive experience‘ in real estate and hospitality matters, combining with its corporate and M&A group to form a one-stop shop to meet the needs of local and international clients. The group’s full service includes advice on the implementation and development of long-term projects and large-scale developments, due diligence processes, tax planning and exit strategies. An experienced team is led by Alejandro Antillón, who has ‘in-depth knowledge‘ of project development, and real estate financing expert Arturo Apéstegui. ‘Highly responsive and available‘ senior manager Alvaro Leiva, and managers Andrea Sandoval, who is experienced in advising on real estate transactions, and condominium regulations specialist Monserrat Alvarado are also noted. The team represents a client portfolio that spans the energy, real estate and hospitality industries. Since publication, the firm has opened a second office in Costa Rica (effective March 2022); located in the Pacific Coast province of Guanacaste, it will principally serve residential real estate and tourism / hospitality-sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Alejandro Antillón; Arturo Apestegui

Testimonials

‘Extensive experience in all aspects of real estate operations. They understand the key points of negotiations and the structuring of transactions.’

‘Alejandro Antillón provides constant support when seeking out solutions and new options.’

‘Extensive knowledge of the business in general and the ability to provide solutions. EY has the best practice in this regard.’

‘Alejandro Antillón has in-depth knowledge of the real estate sector and a great ability to find solutions.’

‘Álvaro Leiva is highly responsive and available. He has great technical skills and knowledge.’

Key clients

SunVesta

Hotelera Mirador del Valle

RC Inmobiliaria

Lagomar Shipping

First Rock Capital

Prime

Civitar Desarrolladores

Desarrolladora Alto de Palomas Oeste

Paladin Realty Partners

CasaMax Inmobiliaria

Reserva Conchal (Florida Inmobiliaria)

Sunvesta

Work highlights

  • Assisting Lagomar Shipping with the development and construction of a free trade zone regime park.
  • Advising Enjoy Hotel & Resorts on the expansion of the Mangrove Hotel at Peninsula Papagayo.
  • Advising Desarrolladora Alto de Palomas Oeste and  Prime on developing  a high-end real estate project named Panorama 180.

Sfera Legal

A 'first-class' team continues to drive Sfera Legal forward as a leader in the real estate practice area. Advising regional and multinational clients on high-value cross-border transactions, the group offers a wide range of services, ranging from implementing complex international tax structures and managing expropriation cases, to obtaining private financing and handling real estate disputes before arbitration tribunals and the courts. The team is spearheaded by founding partners Rafael Cañas and Robert van der Putten, and Jose Pablo Arce, an authority on shoreline concession zone. They are supported by development expert Ismene Arroyo and Fabiola Soler, who is experienced in real estate arbitrations, and associates Roberto Castillo, Raquel Moya and Alejandra Fernández, who regularly advise on foreign investment in the real estate sector. The group's clients include tourism, real estate, tech and medical device companies.

Practice head(s):

Rafael Cañas; Robert van der Putten; Jose Pablo Arce

Testimonials

‘Amazing response times and first-class client service – they always do what they say and in the agreed time frame. Their advice is informative and well rounded, and they are able to communicate well with clients.’

‘They put themselves out there, going above and beyond for their clients. Roberto Castillo is amazing and one of the hardest working individuals I have had the pleasure of working with. Alejandra Fernandez has exceptional follow-up skills.’

Key clients

Princess Hotels

Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort

Hotel Club del Mar

Surf Simply

Xandari Resort and Spa

Altos de Eros Hotel & Spa

Gilded Iguana Hotel

The Nomadic Hotel

Florblanca Resorts

Sirenis Hotel & Resorts

Haakon Capital

LatAm Logistic Properties

The Nosara Real Estate Agency

PDC Capital

Coldwell Banker – Surfing Nosara Real Estate

Grupo Luko

Grupo Zen

Icúbica- Desarrolladores

CR Realty

Saxum

OG Holdings

John Britt

Travis Randall

Naama Lubelski

Davide Aufieri

Outpost Nosara

Bambu Development

Work highlights

  • Assisted clients with individual real estate transactions in Guanacaste and Puntarenas.
  • Advised Saxum on the negotiations with foreign investors and the landowner of a lot in a Costa Rican free trade zone with the objective of building a logistics centre.
  • Advised Princess Hotels on the acquisition of concession rights in Papagayo for the development of an all-inclusive 456-room five-star hotel.

COLBS Estudio Legal

The real estate department at COLBS Estudio Legal provides a ‘personalised service‘ to construction companies, realtors, trustees and developers. The team assists with raising capital, processing permits and designing corporate structures to meet the needs of investors. Led by development authority Sebastián Jiménez, hospitality specialist Javier Escalante, and associate Javier Sauma Rossi, who focuses on the structuring of real estate transactions, and with additional backing from associate Margarita Sandí, the practice acts for a client roster that covers the real estate, construction, hospitality and funerals sectors. Since publication the firm has endured significant changes with Sauma Rossi departing to become an independent practitioner in October 2021; and the subsequent departure of Escalante to establish TACTIC Estudio Legal in February 2022, taking Sandí -among others- with him.

Practice head(s):

Sebastián Jiménez

Testimonials

They offer a personalised service and meet objectives in a timely manner.

Key clients

Hermosa Oceanfront Development

Lafarge Holcim

Real de Punta Leona

Zona Franca América

Condominio Agapanthus

Integra Desarrollos

Inversiones Inmobiliarias (ININ)

Parque Santo del Este

Chris Wyborny

Roterdam City Mil Diecinueve

Work highlights

  • Advised Zona Franca América on an agreement for a built-to-suit 9,000 sq m office building for Amazon.
  • Performed remapping and due diligence for Lafarge Holcim on all of its real estate assets.
  • Designed a sales strategy for Real de Punta Leona, which titled and sold second-home lots at below-market prices to repay lenders.

Consortium Legal

The real estate group at Consortium Legal advises advise national and multinational clients, with services extending to advice on due diligence processes, antitrust issues, real estate acquisitions and sales, leases, the constitution and modification of condominium regimes, obtaining concessions, and free trade zone regime matters. The ‘solid, serious and knowledgeable‘ team is led by international transaction authority Rolando Laclé Zúñiga, and expert real estate development strategists David Reuben and Juan Manuel Cordero, with key support provided by senior associates Daniel Rojas and Marcela Alfaro. The group acts for high-profile international clients including Walmart, Maersk and Cemex. Moreover, since publication the firm has opened a second office in the jurisdiction, in Guanacaste on the country's north-western Pacific coast; it will primarily service hospitality, tourism and real estate clients.

Practice head(s):

Rolando Laclé Zúñiga; David Reuben; Juan Manuel Cordero

Testimonials

‘The commitment they show to their clients makes them unique, as well as their excellent service, attention to detail and high level of technical expertise. I would like to highlight the team’s ability to quickly understand our requests and the accessibility of their lawyers.’

‘Their warmth and excellent service make clients feel welcome and very happy to work with them. Contacting Juan Manuel Cordero and David Reuben is always simple and pleasant, not only because of the level of complex, technical legal advice they can provide, but because of their excellent customer service.’

‘Consortium is a team of professionals who are solid, serious and knowledgeable, with more than proven experience, so working with all of them generates peace of mind and security that the company is in the best hands. Each of the specialists in various areas complements each other perfectly, to achieve the best results. The experience of having Consortium on our side is the best of all and that is why they are our firm.’

Key clients

Walmart de México & Centro América

APM Terminals

Maersk

Ultrapark Development Group

Cuestamoras

Cemex

Grupo Barceló

Fyffes

CEFA

Stein

Work highlights

  • Advised Walmart de México & Centro América on day-to-day real estate matters.
  • Advised Banco BAC on structuring the sale of its geo-tracking business and a joint venture agreement with the buyer.
  • Advised HPC Costa Carmel on the sale of a piece of land in Guanacaste.

Dentons Muñoz

The real estate group at Dentons Muñoz advises national and multinational clients on a wide range of matters. These include project development, construction litigation, management agreements, real estate funds, due diligence processes, hotel acquisitions, environmental regulation compliance and leasing matters. Directed by managing partner Eduardo Zúñiga, and backed by associate Pamela Contreras, who frequently advises on project structuring, the team’s client roster covers the real estate, hospitality, food, agribusiness and construction sectors, and includes household names such as Starbucks and Hilton.

Practice head(s):

Eduardo Cárdenas

Key clients

Apollo Commercial Real Estate Fund

Hacienda Pinilla

Latam Logistics

Pacifico

The Rohatyng Group – GMO Renewables.

Starbucks

Pacifico

Luxury Destinations – Tulemar Sunset Villas.

Hilton

Agricenters

Work highlights

  • Advised Latam Logistics on the negotiation of a joint venture with the Rojas Cruz family group to acquire a 50% interest in a special purpose vehicle to develop a real estate logistics park in the south of San José.
  • Advised Hacienda Pinilla on negotiations with Rythmia Health Clinic for the sale of an additional property to enhance the health clinic located within Hacienda Pinilla, and to restructure the existing debt and collateral from Rythmia to Hacienda Pinilla.

ECIJA

With 'extensive knowledge' of real estate, the Costa Rican practice of global firm ECIJA continues to assist a local and international client base, including advising on changing government regulations. The team is headed by Guillermo E. Zúñiga, who specialises in complex high-value real estate transactions, and supported by Alejandro Montealegre, an expert in the agricultural export and urban development sectors, and associate Ana Cristina Mora. The group advises on a diverse array of matters, not limited to environmental issues, the acquisitions of real estate assets, construction agreements, due diligence processes and the obtaining of finance facilities. The team's client roster extends across the agriculture, real estate, tourism and hospitality sectors. The arrival of Álvaro Quesada, who joined the firm from Aguilar Castillo Love in November 2020, further strengthened the team.

Practice head(s):

Guillermo E. Zúñiga

Testimonials

‘ECIJA is very professional and they have extensive knowledge on the subject of real estate.’

‘We receive a personalised service from ECIJA’s senior partners.’

‘They give immediate attention to important matters, with a high level of perseverance to bring matters to a successful conclusion.’

‘The team stands out for its availability (including outside of business hours when necessary), great attention to the client’s individual needs, professional support across a diverse range of matters, with a personal touch that creates a pleasant working relationship.’

Key clients

Tap Holdings

Costa Rica Dream Makers

RCI Painting

Blue Spirit Costa Rica

Recap Investments– Playa Lagarto Eco-Resort

Mar Vista

Arenal Maleku

Ladera del Mar

KMA Managment Group

Grupo Istmo De Papagayo

Playa De Las Palmitas

Arenas Del Mar Hotel

Centurion Projects and Development

Fonda Jaco

G-24

Tierra Sonada De Santa Teresa Development

Cayuga Collection

Work highlights

  • Advised Riviera Del Mar Azul (RDM) on subdividing a large portion of land as part of a development named Mar Vista.
  • Performed due diligence for Tap Holdings on certain real estate assets.
  • Advised Arenas Del Mar Hotel on restructuring the current assets and liabilities of the company.

Aguilar Castillo Love

The real estate group at Aguilar Castillo Love advises multinational clients on high-value transactions. Its services include assisting with due diligence processes, swap agreements, and the investment, financing and disposal of real estate assets. The team’s client portfolio spans the hospitality, real estate, manufacturing and retail industries. Following the departure of Álvaro Quesada Loría to ECIJA in November 2020, senior partner John Aguilar Osborne and Álvaro Aguilar are the key contacts.

Practice head(s):

John Aguilar Quesada; Álvaro Aguilar

Arias

The real estate practice at Arias advises domestic and international clients on day-to-day matters and strategies for the expansion of their presence in the region. Spearheaded by real estate development authority Carlos Camacho and regulatory expert Vicente Lines, and supported by real estate consultant Edmond Macluf and senior counsel Vivian Gazel, the team represents a client roster that covers the food and beverages, logistics, tech, real estate, telecoms and pharmaceuticals sectors. The group advises on due diligence and title verifications, leases, purchases and sales, mortgages, construction contracts, tax issues and concession rights.

Practice head(s):

Carlos Camacho; Vicente Lines

Testimonials

‘Compared to other firms, they are more agile and have more personalised service.’

Key clients

C and M Investment Group

Expeditors

Simple Clean Eatery

L3Harris

Delivery Hero

SBA Communications

Sotavento Plantanal

Yara Costa Rica

Inversiones Rokaer (The Mezerville Family)

Work highlights

  • Assisted L3Harris with the winding down of its operations in Costa Rica, including the negotiation and termination of its lease with a large real estate business.
  • Advised Delivery Hero on the due diligence of the real estate properties in Costa Rica belonging to Glovo, prior to its acquisition by the client.
  • Advised Yara on topographical issues relating to two properties, which the client intends to donate to a local NGO.

Facio & Cañas

The real estate team at Facio & Cañas provides a full service to its roster of multinational clients. It advises on such matters as real estate contracts, local and regional projects, free trade zones regimes, due diligence, and the structuring and negotiation of local and regional real estate transactions. The group’s client base covers such sectors as real estate, energy, manufacturing and hospitality. The key contacts are Carlos Oreamuno, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Manuel González Sanz and Francisco Rucavado.

Zürcher, Odio & Raven

Zürcher, Odio & Raven advises local and international clients on such matters as urban planning, liens, sales, subdivisions, acquisitions, condominiums, and the structuring and implementation of real estate transactions. Alberto Raven Odio is the key contact.

Lang & Asociados

The real estate team at Lang & Asociados works in tandem with the firm’s corporate group to assist multinational clients in the Costa Rican market. The practice’s full service includes advice on the development of contractual processes to secure required facilities, free trade zone projects, leases, land and municipal taxes, estate planning and construction contracts. Headed by foreign investment authority Henry Lang, and bolstered by associates Milena Jaikel and Juan Carlos Cersosimo, who are experts in the free trade zone regime, the group’s client roster includes international clients such as Microsoft and Mastercard.

Practice head(s):

Henry Lang

Key clients

Bill Gosling Outsourcing

Microsoft Corporation

Eurofins Scientific

Little Caesars

Medtronic

Nitinol Devices & Components/Confluent Medical Technologies

Indian Industries

United Collection Bureau

Precision Coating Company

Hillphoenix

Westat

Widener University

SecureLink

Mastercard

Builder Homesite

Sensient Technologies Corporation

Smart Fit

Biomerics

Newfire Global Partners

Mitsubishi Materials Corporation

Synter Resource Group

The Warnath Group

Skim Group

TwinEngines

Verys

Energy Freelance

Costapharm

Avantica

Pacific Barcode Label Printing Solutions

Work highlights

  • Advised Microsoft Corporation on the continuing expansion, consolidation, day-to-day issues, and operation of its centre for technical support in Costa Rica.
  • Advising Smart Fit on its plan to enter the Costa Rican market, including assisting with the permitting for opening each site.
  • Advised Bill Gosling Outsourcing on its expansion in the country, including leasing facilities.

Lexincorp

The real estate department at Lexincorp assists local and international companies with a broad range of matters, including advising on land use, finance, joint ventures, restructuring and litigation, development, leasing, finance, title searches, and sales and acquisitions. Led by founding partner Arnoldo André, and backed by senior associate Eugenio Vargas, the team represents a client roster which spans such sectors as forestry, fintech, real estate, hospitality, tourism and construction.

Practice head(s):

Arnoldo André

Testimonials

‘ They have a big team with specialised members, which is reassuring for clients.’

‘Multilingual. Easy to reach. Fast responses. Eugenio Vargas is sympathetic to clients and simplifies explanations.’

Key clients

Novelteak Costa Rica

Hotel Tamarindo Diria

Denis Paquette

Masterzon Costa Rica

Michael Favreau

Ed Edge

GIP Grupo Inmobiliario del Parque

Work highlights

  • Advised Novelteak Costa Rica in a real estate negotiation involving six different forest plantations.
  • Advised Josh Stanley on the acquisition of seven properties for a hotel complex.