Amarillo and its new stakes for sustainable development in the regions of Colombia

Roberto Moreno always wanted to become a construction businessman. That’s why he studied industrial engineering and economics. He lived for 19 years in Florida, where he was involved in building real estate projects and businesses. He attributes Amarillo’s innovative spirit to his life in the United States, which gave him the opportunity to see the world from another perspective. Its mission is to positively impact the quality of life of Colombians, betting on the improvement of their environment, their well-being and the progress and growth of the country.

What is Amarillo’s first project?

Roberto Moreno: Preserved by Tonal, in Ciudad Tonal. There were two phases each with 400 apartments of social interest. Then came construction opportunities in Sideritos, Pontevedra, Huuelos and others.

How was the concept of a city within a city born?

RM: Being Chairman of the Board of Directors of Camacol, we opened the discussion on how to implement large urban interventions for social housing, with complete and high-quality urban planning, which would allow families to have a shopping centre, health center and schools nearby. etc. . As a result, the idea was born and the first major project under this model: Ciudad Verde, in Soacha, with a total of 52,000 homes.

RM: My life in Florida. He dreamed of building a gringo-style suburb in Colombia that would change people’s lifestyles, a development that would allow people to go out to ride their bikes, walk, and take their children to the park in a safe environment. While I was dreaming, a 200-hectare plot of land appeared in Shea, owned by a family who told us this dream and trusted us. This is how the urbanization of Fontanar (1,399 houses) and a large shopping center was born. However, I thought about the fact that we were reaching the top of the pyramid and not the bottom, as 70% of Colombian families earn less than four minimum wages. This is how Ciudad Verde was born, in collaboration with other developers. Today we have ten major projects under this model, and eight social categories.

How did they get people to learn to live together in a horizontal property?

RM: Social support, giving them the tools to manage themselves and build a beautiful community, was key. I also learned this from my life in Florida. When someone goes out, the neighbors bring a cake to welcome him, and this is part of the work of neighborhood associations. For me, this is something very important, because construction is not only about developing housing, it creates social fabric and cohesion with communities.

How many crises have you had to face?

RM: Those dating back to ’82, ’95, ’99, when we saw negative growth for the first time in Colombia, after 50 years. There were security problems, lack of trust and a lot of pessimism, and the financial crisis in 2008. Great lessons came out of that, like pre-selling with confidence and taking advantage of projects. But countries do not end. One teacher told me: “Crises don’t happen very often, make the most of them,” and that was the beginning. As a sailor, I learned not to lose my way, because a calm sea never makes a good sailor. That’s why we focus on complaining less and doing more.

Quora is part of the ecosystem of Amarilo Group, a company from Guatemala, how is this joint work progressing?

RM: Quora is one of the biggest bets we make in Bogotá. Cimento, the creators and operators of Fontanar and Arkadia, a sole proprietor model, is leading the project. Investments are channeled through Yellowstone, a Grupo Amarilo company that supports us in turning large-scale projects into reality; And Amarillo is building. Since launching the housing component in October, we have sold more than 70 percent of the aforementioned housing project, which we will open to the public in just over 4 years.

Where will Amarillo’s next big bets be in the regions?

RM: We have already reached Medellin, a very competitive market, with a project in Ciudad del Río; In Antioquia, we are also moving forward with projects in Rionegro and in Pereira we are building a very large project in Cerritos. In the regions we always try to work with local people to achieve greater value. The plan was always to transform cities positively.

What is the key to building in Colombia?

RM: Joint work between the public and private sectors and commitment to policies that encourage housing in the country, as was the case with Mi Kasa Ya, has been the key to the progress and development of the country, in which it has played a major role. Impact on reducing the housing deficit in Colombia, on the development of the regions and on the quality of life of thousands of families who gain access to their own home. History has shown us that when we come together we do great things, especially in times of crisis, when teamwork and relationships of trust have been vital to achieving revitalization.

What is your advice for future generations?

RM: You have to dream big, and for the long term; Contributing to society and working hand in hand with sustainability.

*Content created with support from Amarilo.

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