Not in Our Backyard: Developers Hit Wall in Ritzy Mexico City Neighborhood

5/10/2016 The Wall Street Journal 

Mexico cityMEXICO CITY—Developers in one of the Mexican capital’s most affluent neighborhoods are facing stiff opposition to new commercial projects from residents who fear they will further strain the city’s outmoded infrastructure.

The neighborhood, Lomas de Chapultepec, is in the center of a debate over the merits and perils of densification.

In car-choked Mexico City, public transportation is spotty and outdated, while pollution prompted authorities last month to ban at least 20% of all cars from the roads every weekday in an effort to reduce unhealthy levels of smog. Other essential resources, like water, are strained as well.

Lomas was developed in the 1930s as a bedroom community for the city’s elites, modeled after Beverly Hills with California-style mansions and lush gardens along wide, tree-lined avenues.

But as development sprawled outward, Lomas has found itself on the fringe of the city’s main office district. Office space in Lomas now commands the highest prices in the metropolitan area, according to data from real-estate brokerage JLL.

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