While any official groundbreaking ceremonies have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, progress continues at the Merida’s U.S. consulate complex at Via Montejo.
The new U.S. Consulate promises a “secure, resilient, and sustainable platform for diplomacy,” government officials said. Seattle-based Miller Hull Partnership is the design architect BL Harbert International is contractor. The US$150 million project is expected to be completed in 2023.
The consulate will be much grander and more contemporary than the current compound on Calle 60. It will rise on a 3-hectare / 7.4-acre site adjacent to new office buildings, condos and the Harbor mall. As a flourish, an inside water feature will reflect the region’s association with cenotes, the underground water system considered sacred by locals.
“We look forward to celebrating the official groundbreaking with our Mexican friends in the coming months,” said Beale. “The new U.S. Consulate General in Merida will provide a larger, more modern building from which to provide visa services and assist U.S. citizens throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. It is a strong and enduring symbol of the friendship and important bilateral partnership between the United States and the people of Mexico.”
The United States’ most recent consulate projects include Ciudad Juarez, opened in 2008; Tijuana, 2011; Monterrey, 2014; Matamoros, 2019; and ongoing construction in Hermosillo, Guadalajara and Nogales
Since the start of the department’s Capital Security Construction Program in 1999, 157 new diplomatic facilities opened and 59 projects are in the design phase or under construction.
The U.S. Consulate serving the Yucatan region moved from Progreso to Merida in 1934, first near the Parque del Centenario and then near the Cathedral. In 1959, the consulate set up offices and housing for the consul and vice-consul along the Paseo de Montejo at Avenida Colon. The complex on Calle 60 opened in 2006 and remains in service until the new compound is complete.