Bogota Was a Blast…Now Off to Mexico City!

By: Chris Doman ’15

It’s been a jam-packed three days for us in Bogota. Most of us arrived Saturday night, and then woke up to a full-day of site-seeing around the city on Sunday. We started with a tour of the old city, and took an incline up to Mount Monserratte, where we could see the entire city. You truly can appreciate how big Bogota is when at the top of the mountain. Bogota itself is about a 20-mile long city that has a population of over 8 million. With so many people, traffic is a huge problem in the city and can take upwards of an hour to travel only a few kilometers. We’ve been lucky to get to all of our visits on time since our awesome tour planners baked in plenty of travel time (thanks Juan, Jon, Minna, and Alex!).

View of Bogota from Mount Monserratte
View of Bogota from Mount Monserratte

From there, we went to the Museo Del Oro, which houses a large collection of gold jewelry that was extremely important to many of the indigenous groups of Colombia. The highlight of the day for me was going to the Museo Botero, which has many paintings and sculptures of the great Colombian artist, Fernando Botero. Botero is famous for (how should I put this politely) painting “fat” figures, as he once put it. Botero actually exaggerates the proportions of people and objects, which are often intended to be political satire.

Monday and Tuesday were both full of company visits, speaking with some of the most dynamic real estate development and investment firms in all of Latin America. We started off Monday speaking with Gregorio Schneider (CBS ’96), the Founder of TC Latin America Partners. His firm partners with local developers to construct for-sale apartments, which there is a huge shortage of in Bogota. Later in the day, we visited with Avenida Capital, co-founded by Michael Teich (CBS ’00). Avenida also focuses on for-sale apartments, but also partners with developers to create retail and office space across Latin America.

We spent Tuesday with Terranum Capital, founded by Jose Ignacio Robledo. Jose Ignacio spoke with us at length about Terranum’s business platform, which includes residential housing, commercial office development, and hospitality. Terranum both develops and acquires its properties, and has its own architecture arm and property management firm. Jose Ignacio was a pioneer in the real estate market in Colombia, working with government authorities to create the first REIT structure. Terranum’s REIT, PEI, was created in 2006 and is currently the only REIT on the Colombian Stock Exchange. From there, Terranum’s team showed us around its new developments, including Connecta, a mixed-use development near the airport that is setting the standard for commercial office space in the city. We concluded Tuesday with a CBS alumni reception at the newly-opened W hotel in Bogota, which was great for us to network with fellow CBSers both in and outside the real estate industry.

New Office Development at Terranum Capital's Connecta Site
New Office Development at Terranum Capital’s Connecta Site

Now we’re off to Mexico City! Catch up with you all in a few days.

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