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Prosperity on the Horizon?
A Large, Potentially Huge Development Project Breaks Ground on Roatán
September 24, 2020
Despite the Roatan COVID-19 economy shut down a large, perhaps the biggest project the island has ever seen was announced. Próspera, a company with $17.5 million capital and 58-acre site on the north shore aims to change Roatan’s future. Próspera, has built a team of first-class associates with architectural design by Zaha Hadid Architects, evaluation by Ernst & Young, and business interest from CEMESA Hospital.
Próspera’s website states that by 2025 the project will have a “foreign direct investment of at least $500M and new jobs created (direct) of at least 10,000.” On an island of 100,000 people theses numbers are staggering. If Próspera’s goals will ever be achieved they key will lie in tying the project to Honduras’ “Zonas de empleo y desarollo económico” [ZEDE] – Zone for Employment and Economic Development. Próspera is the first company to take advantage of this ZEDE laws passed in 2015. While many islanders dismiss the legislation as irrelevant to their lives, some see its potential as an opportunity for a business boom and others see it as threat to property ownership in Honduras.
The man behind Próspera is Erick Brimen, the company’s Venezuelan born and US educated CEO. His 2005 thesis in Babson College was “how one could direct market forces to solve social problems,” and he sees Roatan Próspera doing just that. While Brimen has been coming to the island since 2016, he has been thinking about Roatan since high school.
In 2002 Brimen heard a high school friend talk about Roatan and describing the island’s potential as being held back because of the lack of legal infrastructure that Cayman Islands had. That friend was Tristan Monterroso, a Roatanian pastor who now sits on Próspera’s council. “When Honduras past the ZEDEs law and the Supreme Court ruled it constitutional it clicked on me that that could be a delivery mechanism for a place like Roatan to have more prosperity,” said Brimen. Two islanders are now part of the project: Tristan Monterroso and Duane McNab, owner of Max Communications and Próspera’s Council Member.
Source: Paya Magazine