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By: Kenneth Rapoza
Puerto Madero is Buenos Aires’ green zone. There’s no place like it. Not only is it isolated from the capital, it almost seems completely isolated from Argentina. This is where the elite buy for posterity, but not necessarily to live. Lionel Messi has an apartment here in The Chateau. It is where global executives hide out from the rest of Argentina’s crisis-wracked reality.
One sunny day in March, in front of the Casa Rosada of newly minted president Mauricio Macri, supporters of the Socialist Workers Party are protesting 40% inflation. They want a raise. It’s loud. And it’s crowded.
A few minutes away by car, across a bridge running over a delta of Argentina’s famous River Plate, one enters the Buenos Aires bubble. It’s quiet. You can hear the clatter of construction equipment — mostly power saws. Beautiful people stroll in and out of Faena, a luxury hotel like nothing else in the city. Unlike A-list neighborhoods Palermo and Recoleta, Puerto Madero is isolated. There’s no one asking for spare change.There’s almost no crime. Indeed, no one even speaks of it. Over the last 35 years, capital gains on real estate rose 120%. Those with rental income to add saw capital gains plus income rise 562.9%, according to the Central Bank of Argentina.
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