Estate Owner Looks to Sell
- Published on Thursday, 16 February 2012 12:53
- By Brendan Missett
The estate has been under the care of Dr. Ruben Ricárdez, a former professor whose family has owned El Aranjuez for years. On a tour of the hacienda, Ricárdez nostalgically peered around one room and remarked, "I remember when the walls in here came up no higher than your knee." His father, the property's preceding owner, worked to transform El Aranjuez into its present stately condition, with arched doorways, flower gardens, and a elegant central courtyard.
Now, after decades of family ownership, Ricárdez is looking for renters and investors who wish to spend time away from the city noise, or to pursue new enterprises on the verdant land.
According to Ricárdez, one of the greatest attributes of El Aranjuez is its complete enclosure in a picturesque natural setting. The owner is brimming with ideas for ways to transform the estate into a fruitful venture that allows artists, nature lovers and travelers to enjoy the serene landscape.
"I envision three scenarios," Ricárdez said. "The first is to rent out luxury apartments, studios and banquet halls to guests or tourists who want to stay outside of the city. The second, to develop a spa and hotel in the context of a nature-lovers or 'Bird Watchers Club,' and the third, to sell larger lots to investors."
In his written business proposal, Ricárdez lays out a vision for a nature-lover's retreat center that may include a hotel, commercial square, gourmet restaurant, bar, gym, health club, swimming pool, sauna baths, day care and recreation center, and eco-tourism unit that offers hiking tours that will benefit from Oaxaca's rich biodiversity. In our discussions, Ricárdez also indicated an openness to new ideas, such as developing a foreign language school on the lot.
In its present condition, El Aranjuez is comprised of a ring of large bedrooms and living spaces - including a double-room apartment suite - fit with bathrooms, that surround the central courtyard. The structure is built with lofty ceilings, ornate accessories, and a meandering network of rooms that occasionally unveil a hidden pantry or kitchen.
I left El Aranjuez along the only dirt road that leads to the estate. As I pulled away, Ricárdez waved goodbye and stood in front of his old house and before a stretch of land that he has come to know intimately, both as a childhood home and a fountain of possibility.