Wave of New Shopping Malls Washing over Northwestern Province

April 7, 2006

With ever-increasing numbers of tourists pouring into the northwestern province of Guanacaste each year, and new hotels, restaurants and developments springing up to accommodate them, it was only a matter of time before the Gold Coast would also become home to a new wave of malls for visitors and residents alike. In the provincial capital, Liberia, and in the beach town of Playa Hermosa, three new malls are readying for business, with banking services, shops, restaurants, gyms and other offerings at customers’ disposal.

Plaza Santa Rosa in Liberia is only a few short weeks away from its opening day, scheduled for April 27. According to Juan Manuel Leiva, project director for the new mall at the company Novatecnia, Santa Rosa will combine a wide range of services with the feel of an old-fashioned plaza.

The mall is colonial in style, with wood, flagstones and walkways with lime trees, Leiva told The Tico Times. It will feature 57 businesses including a Perimercado Jumbo supermarket of more than 9,500 square meters, and stores selling leather goods, computers, appliances, tobacco, cell phones and shoes, among other products. An art gallery, Italian restaurant and food court round out the offerings planned so far.

Also at Santa Rosa – and of particular use to the community, according to Leiva – will be five banks: BAC San José, Banco Nacional, Banco Popular, Banco Improsa and Banco Interfín. The mall will be home to offices for lawyers, engineers and architects.

“Besides its colonial architecture, Santa Rosa has become a financial center… a mall with a concentration of financial services,” he said. “As soon as the opportunity became available, various banks took advantage – the area needs this service because of the great expansion in Guanacaste.”

The mall, which required an investment of $4.6 million, was built by the firm Van der Laat & Jiménez, with GB&K as the development firm. The property, located at the intersection of Route 1 and the road to the coast, belongs to Terres de Lleida, S.A.

Companies interested in renting or purchasing stores or office space within the mall should contact César Goldoni at 258-9122.

Another new mall in the works in Liberia is Del Llano Plaza, across from DanielOduberInternationalAirport, scheduled to open in December. Del Llano will feature U.S. chain bars and restaurants to entertain and feed guests at the nearby Hotel Holiday Inn, a mega-project of which Del Llano is a part (TT, Feb. 3).

Joaquín Gamboa of Fe and Esperanza S.A., which owns the Costa Rican Holiday Inn franchise, told the weekly El Financiero guests can’t find places to have fun in Liberia, and will enjoy the new mall, whose 74 shops will be taken up primarily by bars and restaurants belonging to U.S. franchises.

The initial investment for Del Llano is $18 million; it will take up 15,500 square meters including two large buildings separated by a 40-meter boulevard, green areas and a parking lot for 270 vehicles, El Financiero reported.

Meanwhile, Playa Hermosa will soon feature a mall all its own, part of the HermosaHeights development project on the main road from the main Coco intersection to Playa Panamá, close to the town center.

Sales Executive Gabriela Rivera told The Tico Times that while the mall has been designed “thinking about the needs… of the people in the development,” it will be open to the Playa Hermosa community.

The facility will include a Tex-Mex restaurant and sports bar, pharmacy, mini-supermarket, liquor store, small movie theater, gym and spa. Construction of the mall is almost complete; some stores, such as the pharmacy, have already opened, and the opening of the restaurant, bar and minisuper are expected within weeks.

Lots are available in the housing project, where purchasers can opt for one of three villa styles, built by Constructora Zárate, or a house; those who choose the latter option can contract Zárate or a builder of their choice. The villas are 70 square meters ($175,000), 90 square meters ($225,000) or 110 square meters ($335,000).

The 90- and 110-square-meter villas feature sea views, and the 110-square-meter villas offer private pools. A community pool is available for other residents.

All villas have two bedrooms, both with private bathroom, as well as a living room, kitchen, terrace and air conditioning. The buildings are octagonal and feature teak wood in the construction.

To date, three villas have been completed, Rivera said; several other lots have been  purchased, but construction has not yet begun.

More are planned for next month, with 21 planned in all.

For more information on the mall or housing development, visit www.hermosaheights.com or call 672-0173.

 

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