Caribbean Capital Markets Update (2024)

Tim Gifford, the Managing Director, Capital Advisors Latin America of CBRE Investment Banking business speaks with Adam Greenfader, Chair of AG&T about the current state of Caribbean and LATAM capital markets in 2024. 





Caribbean Capital Markets Outlook 2024

Caribbean Capital

Caribbean Capital Markets 2024 

By Adam Greenfader, Chair of AG&T and Amanda Staerker, Luxury Development Specialist. 

AG&T recently brought together a group of leading capital experts to discuss the Caribbean capital markets outlook for 2024. The conversation was a closed door session with the names of the participants withheld in order to insure confidentiality. Some of the companies in attendance include CBRE Capital Markets Group, Sion Capital, Greystone, Glide Capital, Regions Bank , Crowdstreet, Citigroup, Ocean Bank, GG Capital Group, Driftwood Capital, Harbour Capital Partners, EnCapital, Ranger Alternative Management, Optimum Bank, and Mullen Capital. 

The U.S. Federal Reserve in 2023 embarked on one of the most aggressive tightening of monetary policies in recent history. The goal was to curtail aggregate demand. The policy was highly successful as growth slowed more than half from 4.9% in Q3 to 2.1% in Q4. While this deceleration in growth should dampen inflation, the consensus about the effects of the tight U.S. monetary policy on the Caribbean in 2024 was mixed.

The good news is that new construction deals are still getting done in the Caribbean. The bad news, is that the cost of capital is going-up. During the conversation, several recent term sheets were discussed, with the group agreeing that a typical hotel construction loan in 2024 might have an 11.5% interest rate with a 55% loan to cost. 

As rates are going up, Caribbean financial institutions also seem to be seeking stronger sponsors and guarantees. The group felt that working with known sponsors was a top priority. In other words, developers that have experience in the Caribbean region with the specific product type. More importantly, there was ample talk about creating multiple layers of capital protection. This includes full recourse loans (i.e., personal guarantees) as well robust completion guarantees and bonds. One participant was quoted as saying, “we are looking for every single type of guarantee possible today.”

Lenders seem to only want to underwrite the original cash basis of the land today and not give the sponsor any credit for the increased value.

On the hospitality side, one participant mentioned that they like to see condo-hotel projects because pre-sales can mitigate risk. In addition to demonstrating market acceptance, condo-hotel presales reduce the overall total capital requirements. The discussed presale requirements varied from 35%-65% of the total project.

As lenders seek to mitigate risk, Caribbean capital sources are taking smaller bites of the proverbial capital stack. On the debt side, hotel deals are getting done by bifurcating or dividing the loan into parts. It is common in today’s market for banks to be syndicating their loans or splitting them up with other financial institutions. One of the participants mentioned that they recently closed a 200-million dollar hospitality construction loan by dividing the loan into two parts: capital for the hotel and a separate debt instrument for the condo-hotel uses.

While there is a general slowdown of construction lending in general, mission driven developments still are attractive. Mission driven developments can be defined as projects or locations that have unique stories to tell. Below are the four of the top mission driven locations: 

1. Mexico, the group discussed how “Near-Shoring” is driving massive investment in industrial facilities from international companies such as Tesla that want to be closer to the U.S. This includes significant involvement from the Chinese. One of the participants stated, “there is 10x the amount of capital for every opportunity in Northern Mexico today”.

2. Guayana, mentioned as “the fastest growing economy in whole word”, the rush to build hospitality is palpable. Lack of supply is so limited in the capital of Georgetown for example, that older assets like the Marriott is getting ADRs upwards of $450 per night. There was caution, however, if with new supply that rates would hold into the future.

3. Costa Rica continues to provide amazing lifestyle offerings with its “blue economy” however while there is much interest to finance projects in this location, identifying truly “shovel ready projects” seemed to be a top of mind concern for some of the participants.

4. Puerto Rico was highlighted by many as being the “safest and most lucrative hospitality market in the Caribbean today.” There was a general agreement that the U.S. island of Puerto Rico currently has very low supply of inventory (tourism GDP is at 6.75%) as well some very lucrative tax incentives under act 74. “In Puerto Rico, you get a 40% tax credit that you can sell, there is no other place in the Caribbean that gives you that kind of IRR boost”, quoted a major hotel investor.

During normal times, the Caribbean region is generally a challenge. The region is highly regulated and has a low risk tolerance from traditional lending. Today, the fear caused by the 2023 bank failures and new capital regulations under the Basel III agreements, should force traditional banks to hold more cash reserves. It was suggested that there is approximately 1 trillion dollars of U.S. commercial paper that will be coming due in the next 12-24 months. There was concern from the group that if interest rates remain at current levels, many borrowers will have to make-up their interest reserves with new equity. One banker in the group, who recently underwrote their entire portfolio stated, “I am not sure how many projects will be able to come to the table with more money.” There is hope, however, for the Fed’s recent announcement of three rates cuts in 2024. 

So, while many financial institutions have put their pencils down, other groups are proceeding cautiously today in the Caribbean. There is a consensus that there will be new opportunities in the future for private capital, family offices, private debt funds, and fintech to fill the 2024 Caribbean capital stack.

AG&T is a real estate development and consulting company based in Miami, Florida with a track record that spans over 52 real estate projects in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, Central America, and the United States. Core services include Hospitality Development, Investment Sales, Strategic Planning, and Capital Advisory (Equity | Debt).

First Look Inside Vie L’Ven, St. Maarten’s New Luxury Resort and Residences

First Look Inside Vie L’Ven, St. Maarten’s New Luxury Resort and Residences


Vie L’Ven, a forthcoming resort and residential property from Altree Developments, is bringing a new level of luxury to the Dutch side of the Caribbean island of St. Maarten.

The project is slated to make its debut in 2028, and Robb Report got an exclusive first look at the renderings. The development—the name translates to “life to live”—will feature a hotel component alongside a collection of fully furnished homes ranging from $800,000 to over $2 million. Altogether, the Cay Bay project will comprise a total of 280 units with 190 hotel rooms, 60 of which will be suites, and 90 private residences.

Vie L'Ven st. maarten residences
The open-air lobby entrance at Vie L’Ven, a forthcoming luxury residence in St. Maarten.BINYAN

“Vie L’Ven stands as a unique and unparalleled project in St. Maarten, distinguished by its singular luxury experience,” Zev Mandelbaum, CEO of Altree Developments, tells Robb Report. “With only one other five-star hotel catering to a similar clientele, Vie L’Ven’s presence fills a crucial gap, providing an exclusive destination that will undoubtedly be in high demand. The extensive amenities that will be offered at Vie L’Ven set it apart, establishing a standard of luxury unmatched anywhere else on the island.”

Vie L'Ven hotel and residences
The property will feature a five-star hotel and a selection of private homes for purchase.BINYAN

Drawing upon both French and Dutch cultures for inspiration, the oceanfront building will be designed by award-winning architectural firm HKS with interiors by Toronto’s Studio Munge. In addition, the developer tapped Sotheby’s International Realty to handle all the sales and marketing. The homes on offer will be available in several different layouts, ranging from one-, two-, and three-bedroom residences that measure from 600 to 6,000 square feet. Owners will also have the option of entering their home into the resort’s rental program for short- or long-term stays.

Naturally, residents will have access to all the hotel’s facilities, including its three swimming pools, signature restaurants, and 24/7 concierge services. The grounds will also sport a world-class fitness center and spa and can be reached via boat.

Vie L'Ven st maarten
An aerial view of the resort’s massive beachside swimming pool.BINYAN

“St. Maarten is a captivating island that seamlessly melds the cultural influences of both the French and Dutch, cultivating a distinctive European ambiance in the heart of the Caribbean,” adds Mandelbaum. “Embraced by natural beauty and tranquility, the island beckons with a plethora of attractions, from exhilarating nightlife to the allure of mega yachts. For those seeking a perfect blend of excitement and relaxation, St. Maarten promises a tapestry of unique experiences.” 


Big shout out to everyone who joined us at our 2023 ULI Pitching Caribbean Capital or Shark Tank last week. It was a great event with over 50 people live and many others who joined on-line throughout the Caribbean.  Big shout out to Akerman LLP for hosting this event.  

The selected project winners brought forth an excellent offering, each with its unique set of opportunities and financial highlights.  Brad Lamensdorf at Sandy Point in Turks and Caicos, Andrew Carlson, CRRP, CRX, CSM, CLS / Nathan Whigham in the Town Center at Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico.

The  event would not have been possible without our esteemed panelists Adam Lipkin, The C-PACE Guy™Yrene Tamayo – LambertBenjamin Hedrick, and Joaquin A. Mojica, P.E.

Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this event possible, Amanda Staerker,  Stephanie Wade, and Patricia Nader. Special shout out to Sydney Ramirez, AICP Ramirez  who organized everything on behalf of ULI, Mallory Barker, and of course our Executive Director Julie Medley.

#uli is the world’s oldest and largest network of real estate and land use experts, and we currently boast 45,000 global members.  Our #ULISEFloridaCaribbean district council includes over 1,300 people and covers over 300 different Caribbean islands. 


Why Puerto Rico Now Book Signing

Why Puerto Rico Now Book Launch

Event Video Playlist

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Miami, Florida – June 15, 2023 – Banesco USA proudly announces the successful hosting of author Adam Greenfader for a captivating discussion on his recently released book, “Why Puerto Rico Now: A Masterplan For Resurgence, Resiliency, and Long-Term Economic Growth.” The event took place at the new Banesco USA Headquarters in Doral, Florida.


Greenfader’s book release resonated with the audience as it draws inspiration from his personal experience of enduring climate-related tragedies. The timing of the book launch, coinciding with the five-year anniversary of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the most devastating climate disasters in Puerto Rico’s modern history, added significant relevance and importance to the discussion. In “Why Puerto Rico Now,” Greenfader passionately emphasizes the urgent need for innovative approaches to rebuild Puerto Rico and establish a sustainable economic model that will benefit future generations.

With his extensive experience of 25 years participating in investments of over  $1 billion in residential, hospitality, and commercial developments on the island, Greenfader emerged as a devoted advocate for Puerto Rico. His efforts in organizing investment events, online seminars, and promotional publications received praise and support.

Enthusiastic Reception

“Why Puerto Rico Now” received enthusiastic reception from the audience, which included top industry professionals in finance, construction, real estate, law, and service industry. The highly anticipated conversation between Adam Greenfader and Rodrick Miller, the President and CEO of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, was an immense success. Held at the Banesco Headquarters, the discussion explored various captivating topics, including opportunities in finance, real estate, fintech, and other related subjects. Attendees were treated to valuable insights, expert perspectives, and thought-provoking discussions, empowering them with the knowledge to navigate the island’s evolving landscape with confidence.

Banesco USA’s unwavering commitment to fostering collaboration, innovation, and the exchange of ideas was prominently displayed through the resounding success of this event. The event served as a platform for diverse perspectives, expert insights, and forward-thinking solutions to be shared and discussed.

By orchestrating a gathering of industry leaders and facilitating an open and dynamic dialogue, Banesco USA showcased its steadfast dedication to supporting the long-term economic growth of Puerto Rico and its people. The bank’s commitment to collaboration, innovation, and the exchange of ideas reverberated throughout the event, leaving a lasting impact on participants and reinforcing Banesco USA’s role as a catalyst for positive change and long-term prosperity

About Adam Greenfader

Adam Greenfader is a respected business leader, speaker, and forward-looking thinker. As the chairman of AG&T, a real estate development and advisory firm based in Miami, Florida, he specializes in residential, hospitality, and island projects. Adam, along with his wife, lived in San Juan for 25 years, where they raised their two children. Passionate about the intersection of blockchain and real estate, sustainable development, and resilient communities, Adam Greenfader has long been associated with the Puerto Rico Builders Association and currently chairs the Urban Land Institute’s Caribbean committee in Southeast Florida.

For more information about the book “Why Puerto Rico Now,” please visit The book and Audio Book is available at amazon in paperback as well as in audio format, narrated by the author himself.


Sint Maarten Navigates Past The Storms


Navigating Past the Storms: Sint Maarten Resilience Amidst Hurricanes and the Covid-19 Crisis


The Hurricanes of 2017

In September of 2017, Sint Maarten was slammed with a category five (5) hurricane. The hurricanes caused billions of dollars’ worth of property damage and lost-lives. The Hurricane had a devastating impact on Sint Maarten’s economy.  By 2018, tourism plummeted to -56% from the previous year.  According to The United Nations (UN), the estimated damage was $10 Billion.  It took more than two-years of rebuilding and recovery efforts for Sint Maarten’s economy to start-up again.

The COVID19 Pandemic

Just about the time,  Sint Maarten was starting to recover from the hurricanes The COVID19 Pandemic brought an almost 100% shut down to Sint Maarten’s economy. According to the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, an estimated 75% of hotels were forced to close in the wake of the crisis, leading to an immense loss of revenue. The economy contracted by an estimated -17.9% in 2020, with major impacts on fiscal revenues. There also was a significant increase in the cost of living due to the rise in prices for food, housing, energy, and healthcare. This abrupt halt in tourism activities left many businesses, including restaurants, tour operators, and local artisans, struggling to survive.

Unemployment and Migration:

With the closure of hotels and the cessation of cruise ship operations, the repercussions reverberated throughout the labor market. The lack of employment opportunities compelled thousands of individuals to leave the islands in search of alternative means to support themselves and their families.

Government Response and Support:

The Sint Maarten Government swiftly recognized the urgency of the situation and implemented various measures to mitigate the economic impact. Stimulus packages were rolled out to provide financial relief to affected individuals and businesses. These packages included wage subsidy programs, grants, and low-interest loans aimed at preventing further job losses and stimulating economic activity.

Road to Recovery:

Despite the immense challenges faced by Sint Maarten, today there are strong signs of resilience and recovery. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Sint Maarten projects a strong tourism recovery in 2023 with an expectation of  5% growth.  Economic activity is anticipated to recover to pre-hurricane/pandemic levels with a 1.4 Billion GDP in 2023 and per capita GDP of $32,000 USD.  


The Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) continues with its ongoing reconstruction and is expected to be complete by 2024.  According to Tourism Analytics, total airport arrivals were 416,209 people or almost 65% of 2019 levels.

Cruise Ships

A new record for cruise ship daily arrivals was set for St Maarten on January 17, 2023 with 30,349 people. Projections for 2023 are for 1.1 MM passengers and back to stabilized levels of 1.5MM for 2024.


According to data by the Saint Martin Hospitality & Trade Association, as of December 2022, there are approximately 2,231 hotel and time share units on the island.  Hotel occupancy has been steadily increasing with record occupancy of 71% in 2022 and ADR’s at peak or above peak levels.


There appears to be a positive shift post COVID19 in terms of the seasonality of Caribbean travel. The summer season, which is normally the low season, has seen a significant increase in occupancy in 2021 and 2022. This occupancy increase has been primarily from family travel seeking destinations more affordable and closer to home (US/Canada).   

Length of Stay

The length of stay has increased post COVID19 as travelers continue to blend leisure with business – “bleisure”.  


Sint Maarten’s resilience in the face of the 2017 hurricanes and the Covid-19 pandemic is a testament to its people and determination. Despite the devastating impact of these crises, the island has made significant strides in rebuilding its economy. With government support and stimulus packages, Sint Maarten has seen a strong rebound in tourism, reflected in increased hotel occupancy and the resumption of cruise ship activities. Projections for 2023 indicate a robust recovery, with anticipated growth in tourism, a recovering GDP, and positive trends in seasonality and length of stay. Sint Maarten’s ability to adapt and rebuild offers hope for a prosperous future and a testament to the resilience of the Caribbean region as a whole.

If you are interested in learning more about the Caribbean, join us at this years’ CHRIS conference in Coral Gables, Florida from May 22-25, 2023.

AG&T is a real estate development and consulting company founded in 1998 with headquarters in Miami, Florida. Our  track record spans over 55 real estate development projects in Puerto Rico, Sint Maarten, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and various other Caribbean islands.