Sunshine-Invest and Planificarq
The first stop for many investors looking to build properties in the Dominican Republic is the offices of Sunshine-Invest Real Estate and Construction Co. and Planificarq Architects. While each company operates independently, the two regularly work together closely, as Planificarq serves as the chief architect on the majority of projects built and listed by Sunshine-Invest, says Bodo Hellberg, president of Sunshine-Invest. Eris Espinal, the director of Planificarq, used to be Sunshine-Invest’s in-house designer before establishing his own company. “We have a very good relationship,” Hellberg says.
Sunshine-Invest and Planificarq also work together on the development and construction of properties, and assist clients with choosing interiors and fixtures for their properties. “We spend a lot of time with our clients,” Hellberg adds.
Most of the companies’ clients are investors who are interested in developing residential properties in the Dominican Republic. “I help them with planning and share with them my knowledge of the market,” Hellberg says. “I have a good name with investors.”
Other services include completion of paperwork and permits and construction supervision. “Our clients do not need to be in the country when we build their house,” Sunshine-Invest says. “Everybody gets a personal website with almost daily updated photos so they can see the progress of the construction work.”
The companies work with a number of subcontractors on their projects to handle construction, plumbing, electrical and other services. Sunshine-Invest represents all trades in the Dominican Republic construction industry, from civil engineers, designers, project managers and foremen to the crewmen responsible for maintaining its work sites. Sunshine-Invest prides itself on the quality of all its work, the company says.
“We work together very well,” Espinal says. “We’ve developed a number of relationships. We get nice results.”
Sunshine-Invest has more than 10 years of experience building private homes, luxury villas, condominium complexes and private roads. “We specialize not only in the upscale estate market but also include luxury villas, ocean view condominiums and beach front apartments, plus lots for building in every conceivable size,” the company says.
“Our goal is to provide the best service and all the necessary information to ensure that our clients can be reassured that they have a reliable local partner.”
Sunshine-Invest offers existing properties for sale as well as custom-built homes and condo properties. The company prides itself on fast, quality construction. For example, the company says it needs about three months to build a 3,200-square-foot villa, including painting, furnishing, landscaping and a pool. Also, a condominium complex with six units and pool could be completed and ready for occupancy within seven months.
Planificarq works to give its clients the best looking projects possible. To do this, the latest architectural technology often is employed, Espinal says. “We try to make innovative designs,” he explains. “We use 3-D imaging programs to show the client how the project will look before we start. That gets our clients very excited.”
Espinal’s designs seek to integrate interior spaces to give the appearance of openness, as opposed to making occupants feel they’re in tightly enclosed spaces.
“People who come here because of the climate don’t want to feel like they’re trapped in one room,” he says.
Investment Hot Spot
The climate, in addition to price and location, makes the Dominican Republic a good place for investors to build properties, Sunshine-Invest says. On top of that, the barriers to entry for foreign investors are almost nonexistent, with no restrictions for non-Dominicans to invest in real estate and obtain a property title, according to the company.
“Either buying an existing property or building [a] home in the Dominican Republic is easy to achieve if [customers] have all the right information and get the correct advice,” the company adds.