One Eighty is ready to invest in the city
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
Whether or not the American company One Eighty decides to build a retirement community in San Miguel now depends on what support the state government can show.
Dan Madsen, CEO and chairman of One Eighty, visited San Miguel de Allende to formally announce the company’s intentions to build a retirement community in the city, which was selected, said Madsen, because of its rich culture and safety and because it could be a platform for future development in Mexico.
The local government has demonstrated its support since April, when Mayor Mauricio Trejo visited a One Eighty facility in Seattle. At a press conference, it was announced that 95 percent of the support needed has already been secured; the other five percent depends on support from the state government (permits). Once they have that support, the land can be purchased and construction can begin.
Madsen made it clear that for the construction of the retirement community they will use materials from the region as well as regional architectural style, respecting the urban image of the city and building regulations. After the project is done it should generate from 50 to 80 permanent jobs. The center for retirees, said Trejo, is not for receiving visitors in their last days of life, but rather it is a place where people can start living a new life. That opinion was supported by Madsen, who said in addition that they provide to their clients a life of quality through hospitality so they can gain independence.
Mayor Trejo added that after the land is purchased One Eighty will have a deadline for starting construction, which could be three months, as well as for its conclusion, which must be before October 9, 2015, in order to be inaugurated by the current public administration.
Since its beginnings in 1976 the company has developed communities that look and function more like resorts or cruise ships than like traditional retirement communities, and their trained personnel come from the hospitality industry: resorts, hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, tour companies and gyms.
A few months ago, the local government said that the complex would have 400 units for retirees, who on average are over 60 years of age, and that the services of the company are targeted to people with high buying power.