Home Yucatan Meet Progreso: Yucatan’s Public & Private Infrastructure

Meet Progreso: Yucatan’s Public & Private Infrastructure

Investment is Soaring

by Brent May

Progreso is a dynamic, growing town on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Yucatan state. Over the past decade, the town has seen significant investment in infrastructure including upgrades and renovations to the pier, the port, the Malecon and surrounding streets and other essential services like water treatment plants.  

At the same time, Progreso’s real estate market is thriving and offers a range of investment opportunities. The town has seen a steady increase in tourism and port activity over the past decade, which has helped to drive growth in the local economy. The development of new roads, bridges, and public transportation systems has helped to make the town more accessible to residents and attractive to investors.


An Historic Shipping Hub and Resort Destination

Progreso has undergone a tremendous transformation over the years. As a small fishing village, Progreso came to the forefront of the shipping industry in the mid 1800s and then became a seaside resort destination for wealthy tourists escaping the heat from the city. Hotels and vacation homes were built. Progreso became well-known for its emerald waters and beautiful beaches.


Investment in Progreso

Government and private investment in Progreso has played a significant role in the growth and development of the town. Over the years, the government has invested in various projects and initiatives aimed at improving the town’s infrastructure, promoting economic development, and enhancing the quality of life for its residents.


History of Progreso’s Port

The economic base of Progreso is fishing and maritime commerce.  Historically, Progreso shipped henequen products, mainly rope and twine made from the agave plant. In the 1960s and 70s, Yucatan’s products began being shipped more by land, drastically reducing Progreso’s port activities. But the port expanded its activity and began shipping honey, henequen artifacts, chewing gum, fish and other articles. In 1999, work began on the fourth stage of the port’s expansion, one of the most important investments in the maritime port sector. This renovation allowed access to larger vessels.


Sustained Shipping Growth

The federal government is currently investing in the new expansion of the Puerto de Altura de Progreso based on considerable growth over the past decade in maritime traffic. In 2017, the Mexican government recognized Progreso, Yucatán, as one of the most important special economic zones in the entire country. Expansion and modernization works are in progress to increase the depth and width of the navigation channel, which will allow larger cargo ships and cruise ships with greater passenger capacity to dock, which reinforces competitiveness and tourist affluence.

Progreso’s Port Expansion

The plan to expand the Port Altura in Progreso involves enlarging the port’s platform from 32ha to 72ha. This project will be done in collaboration with the Mexican Navy (SEMAR).

Currently, ships with 36,000 to 40,000 tons of cargo can dock; with the improvements, ships that move up to 100 tons will be able to dock. Yucatan registered a movement of eight million 427,275 tons of cargo in 2022, the highest figure reached so far, according to the Mexican Ports Statistical Report of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT).

Total cargo in 2022 represented an increase of 21.9 % with respect to 2021, which positioned the State in the “Top 5” for growth in the Gulf-Caribbean zone, and at a national level, among the seven entities with the highest volume moved.

The cruise ships that arrive now have capacity for 2500 passengers. Once the works are finished, number will increase to up to 8000 passengers.


The Great Shipyard

Once the works finished, the Italian shipping giant Fincantieri, will create and operate the largest shipyard in America in Progreso. The investment in the first stage is $150 million dollars, which could reach up to $500 million dollars, generating thousands of direct and indirect jobs for the area. Fincantieri has 230 years of history and has built more than seven thousand vessels. The company is listed on the Milan stock exchange and on the Nasdaq in New York. It has geographically diversified businesses, with profits from the construction of cruise ships, warships, submarines, specialized construction and supply ships for electronic systems solutions, as well as software for maritime infrastructure.

The Malecon

Progreso has dramatically changed in the past few years. Thanks to a dynamic mayor, town council and a dynamic community vibe, Progreso continues to undergo a transformation with an ongoing $250 Million Dollar Federal Investment to improve Progreso´s Urban Infrastructure. The government has provided funding for the development of new hotels, restaurants, and attractions, as well as for marketing campaigns aimed at promoting the town as a tourist destination. These investments have helped to attract more visitors to Progreso, which has provided a boost to the local economy.

The Malecon area and surrounding streets have been expanded and modernized. Remodeling of the traditional Malecon was completed in July 2022 along with repaving of 33 kilometers of roads. You’ll find a revitalized esplanade dotted with restaurants, sculptures and bikes for rent. Progreso boasts a mix of Caribbean, colonial and modern architectural styles. It has a beautiful French style City Council building and a curious inland lighthouse.


General Infrastructure

The government continues to invest in Progreso’s infrastructure. The government has provided funding for the construction of new roads and highways including the Merida- Progreso highway bypass estimated at $70 million dollars, streets and underground wiring, water and sewage systems and the local education system. These investments have helped to improve the quality of life and favored entrepreneurship in Progreso, which has had a positive impact on the town’s economy and overall well-being.

Progreso’s Viaduct

The elevated viaduct project in Progreso aims to revolutionize mobility in the port town, prioritizing efficiency, intelligence, and sustainability. Enhancements include optimizing entry and exit points, streamlining traffic flow, and reducing environmental impact. Additionally, green spaces, family parks, and a bike lane will be integrated to improve residents’ quality of life and promote a healthier lifestyle. The viaduct, with separate lanes for inbound and outbound traffic, facilitates cargo transport directly from the port to the federal highway, bypassing Progreso. The project also includes significant upgrades to drinking water infrastructure for comprehensive and sustainable community development.


Rail Extension

Other projects are planned like the 52km extension of the Mayan Train to Poxila-Progreso.  This connection aims to enhance shipping conditions from Salina Cruz to Veracruz and beyond. Connecting Port Progreso with the industrial zone of Poxila (Uman), Hunucma, and Teya, the railway seeks to significantly cut logistic transportation costs. The logistics hub’s strategic location, just 15km from the Port Progreso container terminal, adds to its appeal. In collaboration with the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA), Yucatan’s government has donated over 100ha to establish a logistics park, reinforcing the state’s logistics development.


Tech Industry

In recent years, the government has also invested in Progreso’s technology industry. Yucatan is actively advancing technological innovation through the creation of a Well-being Technology Hub, mirroring the fiscal incentives of the CIIT project’s industrial parks. Spanning 223ha along the Merida-Progreso highway, the hub designates 110ha for the Mayan Train and 60ha for the Yucatan Science and Technology Park. The aim is to attract investments and businesses, particularly in information and communication technology. Proposed plans have been submitted for review to the Ministry of Economy and the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP).

Progreso offers an excellent opportunity for those looking to invest in real estate in Mexico. One of the key reasons to invest in real estate in Progreso is the city’s stunning location. With its pristine beaches, emerald waters, and surrounding natural scenery, Progreso is a prime destination for a laid-back beach lifestyle or investing in the next real estate hotspot in Mexico. Popularity due to location, climate, community, activities and affordability are increasing demand for rental properties and vacation homes.

Progreso is an attractive option if you’re looking to maximize your return on investment. Get in touch with our agents in the Yucatan. They know how to understand your dreams and show you properties that meet your personal requirements.

Call: 999 418 4827

Email: info@baysideyucatan.com

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