More mainstream media coverage of the Panama boom.
Posted February 22, 2007on:
PANAMA CITY, Panama — When Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega gets back to this lush tropical city after a 17-year absence, the former Panamanian strongman will scarcely recognize his old haunts. I barely did.
Makeover: Balboa Avenue, Panama City
The news that Mr. Noriega plans to come back to Panama in September after spending nearly two decades in a U.S. prison since being deposed in a 1989 invasion, is the talk of the town. His return has momentarily eclipsed the other omnipresent subject of conversation here — the real-estate boom fueled in part by American retirees, which has turned this once laid-back city, known as a refuge for spies, arms dealers and out-of-work dictators, into an enormous building site with a Manhattan-like skyline in the making.
Good times are expected to keep rolling: The country’s famous canal is about to get a multibillion-dollar makeover, and a chunk of its down-and-out colonial city center is getting a facelift.