San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Automercado Unveils Plans For Beach-Town Store

Upscale supermarket chain Automercado has unveiled plans to build a new store in Garabito de Puntarenas, on the Central Pacific coast at the entrance to Playa Herradura.

The store will be one of several businesses at Plaza Herradura, now under construction and set to open in August, according to financial weekly El Financiero.A utomercado is the only supermarket chain not yet operating outside of the greater San José area, El Financiero reported.I ts Herradura store will be its 10th; the newest Automercado is still under construction in Escazú, west of San José.

In its first phase of construction, with an estimated investment of $8.5 million, Plaza Herradura will contain the supermarket, 22 stores, eight offices and six to eight fast-food restaurants.The second phase of construction will include a hotel, to open in 2007.

Plaza Herradura was originally set to open in December 2005, but delays in the process of obtaining the necessary permits postponed the project.

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