QCOSTARICA – It was 21 years ago when Mall San Pedro opened its doors, the first large shopping centre in the country, creating memories for many Costa Ricans and foreigners alike.
Since then, fierce competition and lack of renovation turned Mall San Pedro into a dinosaur.
But that will soon change.
Donald Formal, one of the owners of the mall, announced an investment of US$4.5 million dollars that will give the mall a facelift in areas like floors, balconies, parking, stairs, elevators, cinemas and the food court, among others.
“It was the first mall in Costa Rica and now it’s time to renew after almost 22 years,” said the Formal.
Work on the renovation is expected to start May 1 and be concluded by mid November, in time for the year-end shopping season.
Formal said the mall will not close its doors during the renovation, the work will be carried out at night, between 9:00pm and 5:00am.
Mall San Pedro stands alone in far as a major shopping centre in the city, the closest competitor being Mutiplaza del Este.
The others, Mutiplaza Escazu, Terramall and the largest mall in the country, City Mall are all located in the suburbs.
Francisco Navarro, an expert in Market Intelligence with the commercial real estate broker, Colliers, told La Nacion, Mall San Pedro has a privileged position with its convergence of high foot traffic.
The mall is a connection to various bus lines, including Sabanilla, Cartago, Curridabat and Tres Rios, it is adjacent to the Circunvalación, and close to the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), among other factors. Also, the commercial area surrounding the mall has grown, attracting people from all areas.
In the opinion of Navarro, the mall should improve its retention of tenants and attract new ones. ”
It is a letdown to go to the mall and find a specific store is no longer there,” says Navarro.