Great Mexican Investments

The thought of Spring Break brings different visions to us all. As some of the experienced Puerto Peñasco veterans vie for positioning in the establishments with the best visual candy, many of us are looking for escape. This town is growing at an astounding rate, and busy weekends are becoming in many cases challenging at best. With almost 60 projects in some stage of development in the Peñasco area, this trend will certainly continue. It is this element that has many investors looking farther south for that piece of paradise that called so many of us to Mexico in the first place.    


There are many communities south of Puerto Peñasco that are drawing attention. Most of these developments will show great returns for those who do their homework. From the Mayan Palace to Desemboque, to Puerto Lobos and on to Puerto Libertad potential investors travel in search of their dreams. Many variables weigh in the decision-making equation as to which property is best for whom.   


A community that is arguably leading the pack is Santo Tomas. Though the communities mentioned before will all likely develop in the future, Santo Tomas is happening now. Santo Tomás is a unique beachfront community located about an hour south of Puerto Peñasco along the projected route of the new coastal highway. Santo Tomás provides all of the comforts of modern day living while assuring a peaceful and secluded setting away from the pressures of other tourist venues. Las Dunas is the first phase of Santo Tomás, a dramatic combination of 3,360 acres of beautiful Sonoran desert, with 2½ miles of the most pristine swimmer friendly beaches in the state of Sonora. This beautiful setting is located on the edge of a fertile agricultural area where grapes, olives, citrus fruit & most of the country’s asparagus are grown. The original tract of land that was named Santo Tomas was purchased by the Crewse-Reyna family in 1960. This tract, which consisted on 1500 hectares (approximately 3600 acres), was available for purchase from the federal government by virtue of a land grant that was given to Francisco Reyna Sotelo, patriarch of the Reyna clan who had participated successfully in the Mexican Revolution in the early part of the 20th century. These land rights were transferred to his daughter, Paulina Reyna Crewse and her husband, Otho (Bob) Crewse, and exercised by them in 1960 to acquire the parcel described above. 

During the 1960’s, Bob Crewse began to develop the land as a cattle ranch until his death in 1969. By 1971, Paulina had divested herself of the cattle and started the initial tourist development of the site which today bears the name Las Dunas. A restaurant, grocery store and a few rental cabins were the key amenities in this small “resort” which primarily served customers from Caborca and the surrounding region. After several marginal years of operation, Santo Tomas as a business went dormant in 1980. Although it didn’t take off as a successful enterprise during this period, it did develop a bit of a following and a reputation because of its natural beauty and seclusion. Over the next 16 years, development of the site remained at a standstill, although plans were in the works to develop it to its true potential. In 1996, Paulina and Bob’s children, together with a few other partners, began the efforts that today are starting to bear fruit as Las Dunas de Santo Tomas and Santo Tomas in general. This group formed a Mexican landholding corporation which today holds fee simple title to the property with no liens or encumbrances. Today there are about 20 homes completed and many more in the planning stage in section one. More than two-thirds of the121 custom building lots in the first 2 phases have been purchased. The average size is 11,384 sq. ft., the smallest is 9,600 sq. ft. Section two consists of 9 oversized beachfront lots ranging from 14,000 to 15,000 sq. ft., and 11 hilltop estate lots which range from 16,000 to 28,000 sq. ft. Section two was just made available for purchase, and believe it or not the beachfront lots start out at $350,000. This is a big difference to the pricing in Puerto Penasco which are hovering around a million dollars for beachfront in most any community. This is really special since the lots in Santo Tomas have underground electricity, drinkable water, and a banktrust available on every lot. This fact cannot be said about any lot in the Puerto Peñasco community or anywhere else for hundreds of miles. The Estrella Las Dunas Condominium project on the north end of Las Dunas is now under construction at Santo Tomas. In the area of the old beach club, this attractive, secluded low-rise complex is taking shape on the most pristine beaches the Sea of Cortez has to offer. 

Featuring 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units, each Estrella Condo includes a private patio or balcony facing the sea. Numerous amenities will be integrated into the condo area. These include a resort-sized pool, heated spa, outdoor barbeque facilities, outdoor bar and an amphitheater/beachclub facility for events. The adjoining Fitness/Recreation Center will offer several fully equipped exercise areas together with specialized areas for spa services. The lounge in the Center will provide a place to play games, have a drink, have a bite to eat or simply relax while enjoying the spectacular views of the Sea of Cortez.  Located just one hour south of Rocky Point, Santo Tomas is the absolute getaway from the crowds. With a wide variety of lots priced from below $35,000 and the Estrella Condos available from just over $200,000 the Santo Tomas experience is worth taking a look at. Water and electric utilities provided to the front line of each lot are included in the lot price. 

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