Polanco: Mexico City’s High-End Housing Hub
The coveted neighborhood is the city’s cultural center
BY NANCY A. RUHLING | ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON AUGUST 13, 2022 | MANSION GLOBAL
Mexico City’s Polanco is defined by luxury boutiques, fine-dining restaurants, museums, galleries, embassies and high-end hotels.
FITOPARDO / GETTY IMAGES
Polanco, the so-called Beverly Hills of Mexico, is the cultural center of Mexico City, the country’s capital, and is home to some of the most expensive properties in Latin America.
Cosmopolitan, costly and cultural, Polanco is the sought-after enclave for those who want to be part of a vibrant social scene.
“It is a casual chic neighborhood where you can find within walking distance everything from a freshly baked loaf of bread to the fanciest restaurants in the city,” said Luis Diaz, luxury property specialist, Mexico Sotheby’s International Realty.
Calling it the “most exclusive and posh neighborhood in all of Mexico,” Josh Stein, owner/real estate agent, Vive Polanco and Josh Stein Realtor, said that “it’s the most coveted place to live in all of Mexico City. You could easily mistake Polanco for the best neighborhoods in London, Paris or New York City. Many of the wealthier residents have private chauffeurs and security guards, live-in help, private chefs and full-time nannies. Despite the wealth and fanciness, Polanco is still very down to earth— people are friendly and helpful.”
Polanco, which is in the district of Miguel Hidalgo, is bounded on the north by Avenida Ejército Nacional, on the east by General Mariano Escobedo, on the south by Avenida Paseo de la Reforma and on the west by Anillo Periférico.
The general price range for luxury housing is US$6,000 to US$12,000 per square meter, said Laura De La Torre De Skipsey, luxury property specialist, Mexico Sotheby’s International Realty. (Prices are quoted in U.S. dollars for the international market.) She added that single-family mansions from the 1950s and 1960s, which are extremely rare, command $12 million to $15 million. Most of them have been converted into restaurants, hotels, offices and shopping centers.
Listed for $1.325 million, this condo, in the Semper Polanco, has three bedrooms, three full bathrooms, one half bathroom, a private elevator and three parking spaces. The building, which opened in 2022, has one condo per floor, and each unit has 270-degree views.
Rendering: Semper Polanco
Condos, in low-rise buildings, are the predominant housing type; typically, they are in the Mexican/International Contemporary style.
“Some of the most exclusive residential projects are in smaller boutique-style buildings with 10 or fewer condos and five stories or less,” Mr. Stein said. “They usually range in size from 1,500 up to 4,000 square feet, which is huge compared to condos in other similar large cities. Many of them have private helicopter pads on the rooftop, and it’s very common to see them take off and land throughout the day.”
The newer developments come with a variety of amenities, including a gym, swimming pool, a playground and a shared common area.
Ms. De La Torre De Skipsey noted that one of Polanco’s premier complexes, Rubén Darío 225, has a swimming pool, a juice bar, a gym with top-of-the-line equipment, a library that lends children’s toys, a restaurant, a spa, a beauty salon, gardens and a multipurpose space for social events.
This 3,928-square-foot apartment in a complex that was built in 2018 is listed for $5.9 million. It has two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, one half bathroom and a private terrace.
Sotheby’s International Realty
What Makes It Unique
“Polanco is the hub for culture, shopping and dining,” Ms. De La Torre De Skipsey said. “And it’s surrounded by beautiful parks, including Chapultepec Park with its castle, and it is in proximity to all the important areas of the city. People want to live there for all these reasons as well as for its lifestyle, security and its international vibe.”
Noting that it’s the most cosmopolitan part of the city, Mr. Diaz said that “what makes it different from any other neighborhood is the fact that in a relatively small area, you have everything you need inside the huge metropolis that is Mexico City.”
He added that it has “spectacular views of the Bosque de Chapultepec,” which at over 1,695 acres is one of the larger city parks in the Western Hemisphere. “It has a zoo, trails, outdoor gyms and lakes.”
Its natural beauty is another attraction, according to Mr. Stein. “It’s one of the greenest neighborhoods in the city, with tree-lined streets, beautiful fountains and lush landscaping on nearly every street.”
He added that the Polanquito section, the heart of Polanco, “is filled with hundreds of restaurants, bars and the beautiful Parque Lincoln. On weekends, this place is bustling with activity, and it’s the place to see and be seen. And it has a much more upscale nightlife than that of other trendy neighborhoods such as Roma Norte or La Condesa.”
The neighborhood is defined by luxury boutiques, fine-dining restaurants, museums, galleries, embassies and high-end hotels.
“All the gastronomy in Polanco is incredible,” Mr. Diaz said. “You can find all kinds of culinary experiences, from Mexican to Chinese, Japanese, Indian, contemporary, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Peruvian, Lebanese, Argentinian, steakhouses and seafood. There also are bars, clubs and places to have a nice drink with fine music.”
Popular dining spots include the Mexican restaurants Pujol, Hacienda de los Morales and Quintonil and the French restaurants Aud Pied de Cochon and Le Relais de Venise. Rosa Negra (Latin American cuisine), Nobu (Japanese), Puerto Madero (Argentinian and seafood) and The Palm (steak and lobster) are other choices that reflect the neighborhood’s culinary diversity.
Avenida Presidente Masaryk, which has been called the most expensive street in Mexico, is filled with luxury-boutique brands, including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Hermes, Dolce & Gabbana, Tiffany and Cartier. The Palacio de Hierro, the largest department store in Latin America, also is in the neighborhood.
Residents have the choice of several private clubs: Club de Golf Chapultepec, which has hosted the Mexican Open and the WGC-Mexico Championship several times, and Club Mundet, a fitness club that has tennis courts and gyms.
There are several private schools nearby that residents send their children to. They include American School Foundation, a co-educational college-preparatory school for international students who are 3 to 18; Humanitree, which enrolls students from preschool age through high school; Escuela Sierra Nevada, a multicultural school for students in preschool through high school; Colegio Vista Hermosa, an International Baccalaureate program for students in preschool through high school; and Greengates School, a multicultural British-style co-educational international school for students in primary through secondary grades.
Polanco is a museum mecca: Residents have access to Museo Nacional de Antropología (Museum of Anthropology); Museo Rufino Tamayo, a public contemporary art museum; Museo de Arte Moderno (modern art); Museo Jumex, which houses a private art collection in a public space; and Museo Sumaya, which has over 66,000 works of art.
Exterior of the Plaza Carso building of Museo Soumaya.
Alejandro Perez / Unsplash
Who Lives There
Polanco is an “affluent year-round melting pot,” Ms. De La Torre De Skipsey said, adding that “it’s a place for families from all over the world.”
The residents range from embassy staffers and diplomats to expats, celebrities, artists, designers and politicians, Mr. Diaz added.
Actress Maria Felix, who died in April, was a longtime resident of Polanco, according to published reports. Billionaire philanthropist Carlos Slim is a major force in Polanco, where he erected the Museo Sumaya as a memorial to his wife.
Calling the Polanco market “very stable,” with “a sought-after market value,” Ms. De La Torre De Skipsey said that she’s optimistic about the future because “prices continue to increase by as much as 10% per year, and there’s high demand in the area.”
She noted that although the pandemic made prices dip— they dropped about 10% during 2020 through 2021 but have rebounded—it didn’t dampen the demand, but it did change what purchasers were looking for. Today, buyers are more than willing to pay premium prices for properties with outdoor spaces and terraces, swimming pools and home offices, she said.
Noting that the “market is strong and prices in Polanco stay relatively calm with a steady annual growth,” Mr. Stein said that “it would be fair to say that the highly desirable areas and top luxury buildings are increasing in value at least 5% to 10% per year.”
He noted that high demand and low inventory—“in some of the ultra-luxury buildings, there are very few units available for sale, and most of the luxury condos in the $5 million to $10 million range are sold”—will continue to push prices.
Mr. Diaz said that the neighborhood’s central location will always be coveted. “Because it is surrounded by the Bosque de Chapultepec, real estate prices will continue to rise as there is “no place in the city that can compete with such spectacular views,” he said.
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