Not a good area to build a house, but great for a condo or a commerce according to municipal officials
Escazú is known for hoarding malls and condominiums, more than any other city in the Gran Area Metropolitana (GAM) of San José. Specifically, in two areas where the commercial boom has been extreme.
The two areas add up to 4 kilometres of commercial strip that is home to some 60+ commercial centres.
The first, the “Milla de Oro” (Golden Mile) that runs from Walmart to the ICE on the old road to Santa Ana. Locals christened the area as such for its attraction of investment in infrastructure that translated into commercial premises, bringing the gold to Escazú.
In the Golden Mile a square metre costs between ¢550.000 and ¢1.000.000 colones (US$1.100 to US$2.000). The popularity of the area is owed to the first foreigners who came to Escazú.
With the arrival retailers and real estate developers realized that the area was heavily transited for it was one of the major routes to Santa Ana. And, coming from San José or Alajuelita headed to Escazú centre, it is one of the first areas you will coming into.
The development of the area was also a boom to local residents who were able to obtain employment in the area. For commerce, an adequate work force was at hand and not have to rely workers having to come from outlying areas.
The other stretch of gold in Escazus is the two kilometres from Multiplaza to Plaza Avenida (next to the CIMA hospital.
A square metre on this strip will range from ¢900.000 to ¢1.250.000 colones and more, depending on location, like facing the autopista or proximity to the hospital, Pricesmart or Multiplaza. Also the side of the autopista, north or south, will affect the value.
For example, figures provided by the Municipalidad de Escazú reveals that renting 100 square metres (1.100 square feet) of commercial space will cost about ¢15 million colones, which translates that the business must be highly profitable to afford those rents.
This type of development has never before been seen in Costa Rica. There are a large number of commercial developments throughout the GAM, however, none are as concentrated as the 4 kilometres of Escazú.
For residents of the area the boom is a mix blessing. The closeness of shopping, offices and medical centres, in addition to local employment is seen positive. However, all the activity has brought with tremendous traffic chaos, especially in the peak hours.