The small but fast-growing country of Panama has been buzzing in recent months over the many celebrities visiting for real estate investment and project inquiries. It all began with none other than the traveling wonders, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. Last December the duo visited the Panama Canal and had a private tour of Frank Gehry’s Biodiversity Museum, a highly anticipated project of the ecological history and development of Panama, set to open in 2008. According to spanish-language newspaper “Panama America” (and translated through the Associated Press,) Pitt and Jolie “were considering investing in the $56 million project and buying land in Panama.” No adoptions occurred, however.
Next came reports of Mel Gibson making the rounds. According to the Panama Tourism Bureau (headed by actor Reuben Blades), Gibson “suggested his next project should be a remake of the 1950 film noir Panic in the Streets. Gibson was also entertained in the lush rainforest area of Boquete by Panamanian real estate developer and blogger Sam Taliaferro. According to Taliaferro, Gibson “had come on a whirlwind tour to see as much of Panama as possible, looking at real estate investments.” He’s also apparently terrible at Texas Hold’em.
The name dropping continues in the Pedasi/Azuero Peninsula area of Panama, known for incredible fishing and surfing. Apparently, it has also attracted “the likes of Mick Jagger, Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, Mel Gibson, Eddie Murphy and others,” according to Ocean Legacy, a Panamanian real estate company specializing in the area. “The allure of Pedasi comes from the sheer awe of pristine natural beauty and the simplicity of living in a small fishing village,” they continue. Mick Jagger and a small fishing village? Tourism is good for any area, but c’mon, have you seen his yacht?
In the chic neighborhood of Bella Vista in Panama City, green builder Urban Core International is also rumored to have given info to celebrity buyers. Urban Core is planning the first LEED certified sustainable building in Panama. Will celebrities follow suit and be considerate of the delicate balance of man and earth? Or, will they build megahomes and bring insane amounts of paparazzi? We’ll be keeping a close eye on this little firecracker of a country!