PANAMA CITY, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Panama's largest residential development project, Ciudad de Esperanza or City of Hope, broke ground on Monday in the West Panama Province.
The 137 million-U.S. dollar project, to be constructed by China Construction America (CCA) - MCM Consortium, will benefit 11,250 people in the city of Vista Alegre, in the province's Arraijan district.
Aiming to alleviate the Central American country's housing shortage, Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela spearheaded the City of Hope project, which calls for the construction of 2,250 homes, as well as schools, recreational centers and sports facilities, cultural centers and a new roadway in Arraijan.
During a ceremony marking the official go-ahead for the construction work, the president said the project, along with the public infrastructure being developed by the government, has undergone a transparent bidding process in strict compliance with regulations and serves the best interests of the Panamanian people.
"The development of the works that we will begin as of today will bring new jobs and economic development to the communities, which in turn will allow us to continue generating more opportunities so that our vulnerable youth can be part of this great project and help build a better future for Arraijan together," said Varela.
To be built on 36 acres of land, City of Hope is part of the president's campaign promise to invest state resources efficiently and for the benefit of the less privileged.
The project is much more than a mere residential complex, said Varela, describing it as a comprehensive solution to the lack of housing and services in Arraijan.
The development will feature a new campus of the University of Panama for West Panama, providing an educational hub that will generate greater economic and cultural development for the region, he said.
Construction will be carried out by the CCA MCM Consortium, which is set to build five-story buildings featuring two- and three-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 48 square meters to 57 square meters.