San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Barrio Don Bosco, Paseo Colón among mayor’s urban renewal program

La Sabana, on the western edge of San José, is the centerpiece for an urban renewal project headed up by Mayor Johnny Araya. The renewal plan includes 20 different projects that aim to bring an ailing city back to life.

“I’ve been talking about repopulating San José for seven years now, and today it’s a reality thanks to the confidence investors like Hogares de Costa Rica have in us,” the San José mayor said in a statement.

Among the projects is a new hotel in the Don Bosco neighborhood, near municipal headquarters. When completed, the $20 million, 12-story, four-star hotel at Avenida 10 and Calle 28 will offer 130 rooms.

Hotel Grano de Oro, off the Paseo Colón in western San José, is another key component to the mayor’s urban renewal plan.

“Some people criticized us at first because the projects in La Sabana are for the upper class, and I said, ‘In no time, wealthy people, who had abandoned the city of San José, will begin returning to the city.”

 The city also plans to build an Olympic village at the downtown location of the National Production Council, or CNP, a government agency that uses money from state liquor sales to support small farmers.

The mayor did not say what plans he had in store for the city’s poor. 

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