BY the start of the new year, Costa Rica will be able to boast three new world-class shopping malls situated throughout the country, affording residents not only new shopping options, but also investment opportunities.Popular beach towns on the Pacific coast seem to be the places for these new projects, such as Plaza Coral in Jacó, on the central Pacific coast, Plaza Tamarindo, on the northern Pacific coast in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, and the new residential and mall combination project of Monte General in Perez Zeledón, in the Southern Zone. All are scheduled to open their doors by the first quarter of next year.Plaza Coral Mall, JacóPlanned to be fully functional and operating by late March, Plaza Coral mall, just a third of a mile from the beach in Jacó, will feature 59 business units, a three-screen international movie theater, a food court and two formal restaurants.An hour north of the perennially popular tourist destination of Manuel Antonio, Plaza Coral will cater to both tourists and area residents.“There will be gift shops and merchandise,” said Marjorie Guzmán, director of sales for Plaza Coral. “But there will also be services and supermarkets for people living in the area.”The mall will feature several open-air eating and lounge areas that will give patrons the opportunity to stop and enjoy some ice cream or a cup of coffee while enjoying the fresh ocean air and beautiful weather of Jacó.“We will also have people coming from San José to visit the beach for a few days, and they will have a place to come and relax,” Guzmán added. “This is really just to offer guests to Jacó a world class establishment that is calm, clean and a great environment to shop.”At press time, 15 business locations were still available for purchase or rent. For information, call Marjorie Guzmán at 257-0303 or 384-8549, or visit www.plazacoraljaco.com.Plaza Tamarindo, GuanacasteOffering a different kind of shopping experience, Plaza Tamarindo, slated to complete its first phase of mall construction in Playa Tamarindo in December, will be a modern mall with a tropical theme, complete with waterfalls and islands.A 3,000-square-meter, two-floor, three-building establishment, Plaza Tamarindo will be the largest mall built in the beach community to date, boasting 52 business units and two formal restaurants.Although the first phase of construction, set to open this December, is sold out, 22 units are still available for the second and third phases, scheduled for completion in December 2006. These remaining units are scheduled to go on sale in mid-October.Plaza Tamarindo will be an original shopping and dining area for Costa Rican residents and visitors, according to Jogi Germer, director of ABC Realty, which is in charge of sales for the development.“We wanted a more tropical, metro appearance to the mall,” said Germer. “We’ve added waterfalls and tropical plants that really make this project different from others in the country.”One of the mall’s original features will be an open-air courtyard in the center of the complex that will feature four refreshment stands on four separate islands, connected by bridges.The mall will be home to a large mixture of international retailers, souvenir shops and local service companies, according to Germer.“The service locations will be located more in the second and third phases and will allow local professionals such as dentists, lawyers and doctors to have offices,” Germer said. “These will be best utilized by retired people or those who live full-time in the area.”The mall will be located just 200 meters from the beach on the main road of Tamarindo. For more information, call Germer at 653-0402 or visit www.plazatamarindo.com.Monte General, Perez ZeledónPerhaps one of the most original mall structures being built in Costa Rica is the Monte General mall and residential community in Perez Zeledón, in the Southern Zone.Offering 60 business locations, a six-restaurant food court, three-screen theater and supermarket, the Monte General mall will be the anchor for the larger Monte General residential community, scheduled to open Nov. 30. The residential community, adjacent to the mall, will be home to approximately 1,800 residential development lots, measuring 200 square meters each and on sale for $13,000.The prospect of purchasing land and building one’s own house in the family community that will accompany Monte General is rapidly attracting many investors, according to Vanessa Alvarado, sales secretary for the project.“There are two options potential investors can choose from if they decide to build a home,” Alvarado said. “We have five possible models of homes that we can build for them and assist them with getting the construction loan, or the investor can contract his or her own architect and construction crew.”The joint commercial and residential Monte General project offers a convenient approach to anyone looking for a new place to call home, Alvarado said.“(Perez Zeledón) is growing by the day, and this project is a huge step of progress,” Alvarado added. “We have a lot of gorgeous natural beauty, very close beaches and incredibly nice people.”For more information, call Alvarado at 394-9792 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.