The ongoing supermarket and shopping plaza wars in Costa Rica are expanding to Playas del Coco in the Guanacaste province.

w1300h600q75-landscape-lincoln-plazaThis beach town, which has experienced incredible commercial growth in the last few years, is already awaiting development of a luxury marina for the yachting and sports fishing crowd, but that’s not all. Coming soon to Playas del Coco: New shopping centers, supermarkets, banks, and office buildings.

According to recent reports published by financial news weekly El Financiero, a landowner in Playas del Coco is hoping to begin developing more than a thousand square meters of commercial space. The idea is to provide five commercial structures, each with a mezzanine of 25 square meters. The largest structure will have two levels, and it will house a branch of Banco Popular, one of the big banks in Costa Rica where account holders enjoy deposit insurance backed by the government.

This project will require an investment of about $700,000 and will be known as Plaza Nino, but it is not the only commercial project being considered in this once-idyllic beach community in Costa Rica. Grupo Luperon, the supermarket chain that operates three locations in Playas del Coco and Playa Hermosa, is considering expansion. There are, however, a couple of problems.

Grupo Luperon and Plaza Nino are hardly the only entrepreneurial projects in Playas del Coco. In 2008, Grupo Luperon was enjoying supermarket supremacy in the area, when suddenly a giant Auto Mercado with gourmet offerings and imported goods appeared in late June. Plaza Nino is not the only shopping plaza project planned for the area; the same business group that has developed the surroundings of the new Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) in Liberia has been working on getting permits for Plaza Montecarlo, a strip mall that would be located near the entrance to Playas del Coco.

The Real Estate Climate Heats Up in Playas del Coco

Some people are calling Playas del Coco the next Tamarindo, but a more accurate label will be the next Jaco Beach. This is an area where foreign visitors love coming back to; in fact, those who are experienced travelers in Costa Rica do not mind paying extra on their plane tickets to land at LIR and heading down the road to Playas del Coco, thereby skipping San Jose altogether.

What is happening in Playas del Coco is that the area is turning into a foreigner’s paradise; after all, this is where Costa Rica’s second Hard Rock Cafe may be developed. Let’s not forget about the nearby Water Kingdom Aquatic Park, a Guanacaste water amusement center that will feature a wave pool, mini-golf, scuba lessons, family fun, and lots more.

All factors above are conducive to a real estate market that is heating up quickly. Both residential and commercial properties are quickly appreciating in Playas del Coco, and there is a sense of urgency among buyers and investors alike. Real estate professionals are working out of rented houses due to the lack of office space, but that may soon change thanks to commercial zoning. Major condominium projects such as Bosques de Aurelie are motivating investors who see dollar signs floating in the pristine ocean waters of Playas del Coco.

Although it is too early to call a regional housing bubble in Playas del Coco, real estate professionals and commercial developers are certainly paying attention to the area. As with any business endeavor, investors are urged to proceed with caution and deal with trustworthy professionals in Costa Rica.

Article by Costa Rica Star