Shopping Center Business

MAY 2015

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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242 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • MAY 2015 Randall Shearin Plaza Las Americas and Plaza del Caribe lead the Caribbean. Leading The Caribbean S ituated at the intersection of the two most highly trafficked highways in Puerto Rico, Plaza Las Americas has influenced the direction of commer- cial and shopping center development for the island's 3.7 million inhabitants for nearly 50 years. Plaza opened in 1968, developed by the Fonalledas family, at the historic time in the shopping center industry when other families in the U.S. mainland were also building centers for this new style of shopping: Lenox Square, 1959, in Atlanta by Noble Properties; NorthPark Center, 1965, in Dallas by the Nasher family; South Coast Plaza, 1967, in southern California by the Segerstroms, to name only a few. The power of Plaza Las Americas' loca- tion, the roadway system and access, which ownership helped influence and invest in, now anchors the major commercial and financial district of San Juan. That takes a multi-generational vision, time, research, and long-term commitment. Jaime Fonalledas, President of PLA Holdings, Inc., recalls working with his father and uncles as they developed the new shopping center on land that had been a part of the family dairy farm where he lived as a child. "It was only the begin- ning," he says. "Today 500,000 cars per day have access to Plaza Las Americas from the highways and roadways imme- diately surrounding the property." Plaza Las Americas in San Juan and Plaza Del Caribe in Ponce, the largest city outside of the greater San Juan Met- ro area, situated at the central southern Caribbean coast of the Island, are both under the same ownership. Each center is the dominant center of their market; together they effectively claim nearly 62 percent of the entire population of Puerto Rico in their markets. Ponce has a strong, young regional mar- ket enhanced by an international airport, a shipping port facility and is home of six universities. Serving the extended mar- ket, defined well beyond Ponce proper, Plaza Del Caribe benefits from an under- retailed area with the closest traditionally anchored enclosed shopping center over 40 miles away. Plaza Del Caribe recently announced the addition of a 150,000-square-foot Ma- cy's and approximately 67,000 square feet of new stores combined with a complete remodel of the existing center, all currently under construction. The expanded cen- One of the courts at Plaza Las Americas. One of the entrances at Plaza Las Americas.

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