By Nick Gilbert
Real Estate Investment Trust, Taubman Centers and New Century Development have broken ground for the construction of an upscale shopping mall in San Juan.
Dignitaries today broke ground on The Mall of San Juan in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Pictured left to right: Luis Rivera Ortiz, President New Century Development, Inc.; Jorge Santini, Mayor of San Juan; Luis Fortuno, Governor of Puerto Rico; William Taubman, Taubman Chief Operating Officer; Luis Rivera Siaca, Chairman of the Board, New Century Development, Inc.; Frank Trogolo, Vice President, New Century Development, Inc.; Albita Rivera, Puerto Rico House of Representatives, and Rick Cunningham, Regional Vice President, Intercontinental Hotel Group. (PRNewsFoto/Taubman Centers, Inc.)
The mall is estimated to cover an area of 650,000 sq. ft.. and will be the island’s maiden luxury retail development. The location of the shopping center is adjacent to the San Jose Lagoon and will be five minutes away from the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport.
The $405 million project will feature the first showrooms of Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue in the Caribbean. It is expected to house about 100 stores and restaurants, of which 60% will be newcomers to the island. The shopping mall is expected to generate about $275 to $300 million in terms of sales and over $26 million in terms of tax revenues. Adjoining the mall will be a 225-room hotel and casino. Taubman will be responsible for the development, lease and management of the shopping center. The project is slated for completion in late 2014.
Luis Fortuno Burset, the governor of Puerto Rico, said that this project would be not just a shopping center, but a mall with world-class caliber. The mall will represent a fresh center of life with a gamut of employment opportunities. It is anticipated that the mall will create a total of 5,000 direct jobs. About 2,000 jobs opportunities are expected during construction and the remaining at the time of opening. The new construction is expected to inject energy to the island, with convenience, communities, and a promise of quality life for thousands of families.