Q COSTA RICA – While the growth of business parks has been mainly to the west of San Jose, in areas like Heredia and Alajuela, the mayor of San Jose is betting that he can lure tech companies to his city.
On Wednesday, Johnny Araya, unveiled plans to develop, in an area of 18,000 square meters in the center of the capital city, a building to house technology companies and two universities, the Universidad Técnica Nacional (UTN) and the Instituto Tecnológico (TEC).
The objective of the Municipality of San José is to attract foreign investment to the capital city with creation of the Agencia para el Desarrollo Económico Local (ADEL) – Agency for Local Economic Development – for the development of a business park dedicated to the technology sector.
The plan has the support of the Costa Rican Coalition for Development Initiatives (Cinde), the Ministry of Foreign Trade (Comex), the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC) and the Ministry of Labor.
However, for the municipality to bring this project to reality, it requires the approval of a bill in the Legislature (Congress) to change the use of the 18,000 square meters lot. Previously, the land was going to be used to build a cemetery.
Companies that will set up in the technology park have not yet been defined, but Mayor Araya explained that “… an architectural firm offered to create a master plan for the development of the project.”
According to Araya, the municipality won’t be putting up the buildings, rather the companies themselves to build in the park or that real estate developers will set up the infrastructure and then sell them or rent them out, a concept used by private business parks around the Greater Metropolitan Area of San Jose (GAM)
Araya said,”the Municipality of San Jose has the power to attract companies in the technology sector.”
According to London-based Euromonitor International, the Costa Rican capital is among the main emerging cities in the world. In January 2017, Euromonitor listed San Jose 4th in the “Top 10 Most Diversified Cities“.