(Bloomberg) -- Eduardo Costantini, the Argentine real estate mogul who popularized the gated community concept in his home country, plans to spend up to $1.5 billion developing more of the projects, including in new geographies. 

Consultatio SA, his publicly traded holding company, is doing due diligence on four new properties in Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina’s Patagonia region and the province of Buenos Aires, he said. Investments could begin as early as year-end.

“We’re thinking of different alternatives for the purchase of land for the development of master-plan communities,” Costantini, 77, said in an interview. “They’re all close to urban centers” and “will have services that aren’t common in those areas.”

Founded in 1991, Consultatio has focused on gated communities, residential buildings and office towers, mostly in Argentina. His 72% stake in the company is worth about $580 million based on the current stock price. FGS, the investment arm of Argentina’s state-run pension agency, owns 25% with the remaining 3% trading on the local exchange. 

Costantini’s lifelong project has been Nordelta, a group of gated communities north of Buenos Aires that has become a city in its own right. Construction began in the late 1990s in what was then marshland, and it now includes more than two dozen different neighborhoods with about 45,000 residents as well as schools, shopping centers and health facilities. 

From there, he expanded into several other geographies including Miami, where he built apartments under the Oceana name in Bal Harbor and Key Biscayne. His Las Garzas gated community project in Uruguay is located near the exclusive town of Jose Ignacio.

Current projects include buildings in the Puerto Madero area of Buenos Aires, an extension at Nordelta and a new “city-town” called Puertos in Escobar, 55 kilometers (34 miles) from the capital. 

He’s also a large collector of Latin American art and founded the Malba museum. 

Brokerage Deal

Costantini recently closed a deal to acquire brokerage TPCG Group and plans to combine it with Consultatio Asset Management, his finance unit. That deal may also allow him to expand to new geographies — like Chile, Colombia or Peru — and grow the services Consultatio can offer clients, he said. 

“We’re very complimentary,” Costantini said. “We’ve developed private banking and wealth management. TPCG has institutional and corporate businesses.”

TPCG also has strong ties with international brokers and traders, he said. Combined, the company will be one of the largest non-bank financial institutions in the country.

In its latest financial report, Consultatio stressed that 2023 was a difficult year for the Argentine economy, including a drawn-out election, but that its focus on affluent clients and lack of debt meant it was able to ride out the volatility.

On President Javier Milei’s new government and challenges ahead, Costantini said Argentina’s business community is used to dealing with uncertainty but applauded Milei’s efforts to cut spending and the size of the government. 

“No one knows the future, but the local businessman can develop activities independent of the volatility,” he said. “You can’t control politics but we have a hope that there will be a change for the better.”

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