Real estate in Costa Rica

BLP

Regional heavyweight BLP's real estate practice distinguishes itself through its ability to advise on complex, large-scale projects. Department head Luis M Castro and key figure Anneth Jiménez recently assisted Las Catalinas Properties Holding with the financing and development of a beachfront hotel development along with several residential properties, condominiums and commercial spaces. The team also advised Edwards Lifesciences on its Costa Rican expansion, which involved the acquisition of a large high-tech medical device manufacturing facility. Eduardo Calderón and Andrea González are also key team members. Late 2018 saw Adelina Villalobos and Juan Carlos Tristán promoted to the partnership; more recently -in November 2019- the firm has opened two new offices -Tamarindo and Brasilito- in the country's coastal Guanacaste region, hiring Paul Oporta as office head and counsel for the real estate and hospitality practices.

EY Law Central America

Alejandro Antillón and Arturo Apéstegui lead the real estate team at EY Law Central America, which focuses on advising on mixed-use and long-term developments. In a recent example, the team assisted Reserva Conchal with the development and registration of a condominium project including a new W Hotel and a golf course. Along with key associates Rudy Sorto and Monserrat Alvarado, Antillón is currently also assisting RC Inmobiliaria with a large residential and commercial-use vertical condominium project in San José. June 2018 saw the departure of Jorge González and Alberto Sáenz for the newly founded Invicta Legal. However, the firm strengthened its real estate team with the arrival of hotel development expert Andrea Sandoval from Dentons Muñoz in spring 2019.

Sfera Legal

Sfera Legal's real estate department stands out for its broad service coverage. Joint department heads Robert van der PuttenRafael Cañas and José Pablo Arce assist clients with high-end hotel developments, real estate transactions and property ownership disputes. In a recent work highlight, Cañas and associate to note Roberto Castillo acted on behalf of a foreign investment group in the purchase of a distressed asset involved in an ongoing criminal case. The firm's client base includes a number of hotels and resorts, as well as Surf Simply, Grupo Zen and PDC Capital.

Consortium Legal

Consortium Legal has extensive experience in real estate due diligence processes and provides assistance to clients from highly regulated business sectors such as pharmaceuticals, fruit farming and real estate private equity. Department heads Rolando Laclé ZúñigaDavid Reuben and Juan Manuel Cordero recently acted as counsel to Walmart in the acquisition of a supermarket chain owned by Grupo Empresarial de Supermercados, which was denied by the Costa Rican antitrust authority. The team also conducted a due diligence of commercial properties within a mall for BCR Fondos.

Dentons Muñoz

Eduardo Zúñiga leads the eight-strong real estate team at Dentons Muñoz, which regularly assists LatAm Logistic Properties in matters such as negotiating lease extensions or structuring joint venture agreements; in an example of the latter, the team recently acted for the client in a case relating to the development of a logistics hub. On the transactional side, the firm assisted Hacienda Pinilla in the sale of a development to Sandos Hotels and Resorts. The practice is also often instructed to conduct real estate due diligences. Andrea Sandoval left the firm to join EY Law Central America in spring 2019.

ECIJA

ECIJA's Costa Rican offices were established in 2018 by its incorporation of Expertis' regional operations. In November of the same year, the practice experienced a further boost with the incorporation of real estate boutique Montealegre & Asociados, led by key figure Alejandro MontealegreGuillermo E Zúniga and his team are especially adept at assisting with setting up properties within the condominium regime and structuring other special property types. In a recent example, Montealegre advised the owner of the Arenal Maleku development on securing approval from the Costa Rican authorities for the horizontal master condominium, to be developed into sub-condiminiums.

Arias

Arias' real estate team advises local and international clients as well as private individuals on the sale and acquisition of properties, real estate developments and concessions rights. In a recent work highlight, new department head Carlos Camacho and associate-to-watch Catalina Chaves drafted model lease agreements for Fábrica de Calzado San Bosco's footwear retail operations. Víctor Garita, who arrived from Facio & Cañas in September 2019, brings additional expertise in real estate matters. The firm's client roster includes software innovator Wind River, travel agency Grupo Colon and technology distributor Tech Data.

Facio & Cañas

Facio & Cañas advises developers and buyers, as well as a number of private investors. The team assists with land acquisition and sales, due diligence, and obtaining permits and licences. Clients have included Ciudad-Hacienda Los Reyes and Urbanización La Laguna. The names to note are practice co-heads Sergio Solera and Carlos Valverde; however, fellow former co-lead Víctor Garita exited to join Arias.

Zürcher, Odio & Raven

Zürcher, Odio & Raven represents large and medium-sized companies in all real estate matters from structuring and negotiating to implementing transactions.

Lang & Asociados

Led by founding partner Henry LangLang & Asociados complements its corporate and labour departments with related real estate services. The firm's corporate advice for Microsoft, for instance, also included the negotiation and renewal of space leases. The team also acted for Florida developer Alegria on securing the location for the client's new eco-friendly and self-sufficient rural residential development. Other real estate matters the firm advises on include obtaining permits for new, expanding and future premises.

Lexincorp

Full-service firm Lexincorp draws on its regional presence when assisting national and international clients with real estate issues. Arnoldo André heads the two-partner team. Along with key contact Eugenio Vargas, André recently advised a confidential client on a public deed to unite a number of properties into one. The team also acted on a complex developed property purchase which included the cancellation of a guarantee trust agreement.