About the property:
- beautiful historic property in downtown Montevideo
- built in 1890 in grandiose colonial style
- fully restored in 2012
- It occupies a 320 sqm (3500 sqft) plot
- Total built area of 750 sqm (8000 sqft)
- street facing 15m (50 ft) this gives the property a square-ish layout that is much more efficient compared to most properties in this area, that are deep and narrow.
- First floor: this is the main and most valuable area of the property; it was fully restored in 2009-2012, and is now "Montevideo Chic Hostel" (search the Internet for the site); a boutique hostel with 14 rooms; male and female bathrooms (each with 3 wc, 3 sinks and 3 or 4 shower cabins); and a central social/sitting area with adjacent kitchen.
- Second floor: most of it consists of a walkable roof terrace, with a beautiful 180 degree view toward the port and bay of Montevideo, this is the guest's favourite area in summer; there is also a 50 sqm independent 1 bedroom apartment ("the penthouse") also looking toward the port, and an area for barbecue and washing machines.
- Ground floor: apart from the majestic entrance hall to the first floor, the rest of the ground floor consists of 2 commercial units, about 120 sqm each, each with 5m street aspect. The two units can function independently, or together, as there is a door linking the two. Double height, so that the usable surface could be increased as needed. These units are currently rented to a group of actors, who use its large and unobstructed spaces for training, workshops and performance.
- Piedras 597; only 3 blocks from Plaza Matriz, the heart of Montevideo, with its Cathedral and Cabildo (its colonial Government House). This part of Montevideo, known as Ciudad Vieja (the Old Town) is home to nearly all its historic buildings, museums and sights. It also offers a wealth of bars, restaurants, night clubs, art galleries, shops and more.
- Ciudad Vieja became run down and dangerous in the 70s and 80s, as people moved to residential suburbs. But in recent decades it has experienced a resurgence of interest and investment, and has been steadily gentrifying. In the last few years, many improvements were made: police CCTV cameras effectively stopped all petty crime, cycle lanes and more pedestrianized stretches made the area more attractive, etc. There are still some unsavoury views, as squatters occupy some abandoned buildings, but this does not affect the safety of the area.
- Uruguay has the 2nd lowest level of violent crime in South America (after Cuba); it has a friendly culture; a progressive government (the first in South America to legalize gay marriage and the regulated sale and consumption of cannabis), and a sound legal and financial system. All this sets Uruguay apart from its less predictable neighbours, making it a more attractive location to invest.
Investment proposition: this property is particularly suitable for 3 type of investment:
- as a lifestyle investment: you may want to move to a friendly, relaxed country; you could then live in the private and attractive penthouse apartment, while ensuring an income by continuing to run the hostel and renting the spaces below
- as a capital investment: buy now, sell for profit later, taking advantage of Uruguay's strong fundamentals for growth, and the ongoing gentrification of Ciudad Vieja. The hostel has been running several years, so you can keep it going with minimal
- as a development investment: you could choose to remodel the whole building for a different purpose; for example, offices, which could then be sold or rented.