“What don’t you like about this place?” I asked Peter Huss, owner of the beautiful Punta Duarte Gardens project.
A 30-second pause was all I needed for an answer. And after two days touring the property, I can understand the feeling.
In 2004, after traveling 20,000 kilometers over the course of three months (“We kept going down the path less taken,” Huss said), they bought 12 hectares of land overlooking the beautiful Playa Morillo. When they saw it, Gaby Huss remembers saying, “This looks like Hawaii. Here we’re going to stay.”
The next year, they began construction on their house and started to buy the surrounding land. They constantly asked one Panamanian landowner when he was going to sell, until he finally said, “Today” and they purchased his 50 hectares. They didn’t stop until 2006 when they had all the land they hold now: all 170 hectares (80 of which are co-owned by Georg Prosliowetz).
Photo by Peter Huss
What Peter and Gaby have in mind for this little piece of Panama isn’t your average housing development. They want to build a neighborhood. They want customized lots that cater specifically to the wants and needs of the client. Having lived there for several years now, they and their full-time carpenter know the land very well and can help make sure that a particular lot is well-suited to the buyer.
Peter and Gaby both came from stressful managerial jobs in Germany, and they don’t wish to re-create that sort of environment and lifestyle. It’s not about developers and investment groups and a master plan: it’s about neighbors and the home.
Twelve lots have already been purchased, and there are five homes under construction or completed. The smallest lot is 4,000 square meters and prices start at $20 per square meter, getting more expensive as you get closer to the one and half kilometers of beachfront along Playa Morillo, Playa Duarte, and Rocky Beach. Financing options will be considered.
As they wait for their community to build around them, Gaby and Peter are enjoying life at a slower pace — and the gentle cool breezes that never seem to turn into the strong winds you get elsewhere in Panama.
I watched the sun set over the ocean — one of the only places in Panama where you can do that — and noticed that there were no bugs taking advantage of my bare ankles. Apparently, bug bites aren’t something you have to worry about around here. Seems almost too good to be true; but, then again, this entire area is like that. You close your eyes, listen to the waves lap at the sand on one of Panama’s best surf beaches, and imagine the people who are yet to come: smiling, relaxing, and truly enjoying life at Punta Duarte.
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