Shopping Center Business

MAY 2017

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

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CENTER REVIEW 100 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2017 O nly a place with very rich natural resources and a strong reputa- tion for adventure tourism could be called a human playground. That place is Costa Rica and its commercial real es- tate inspiration will soon be manifested on the north side of San Jose. Cuestamoras Urbanismo has started development of Oxígeno (Oxygen), a 2 million-square-foot project that will offer ample entertainment, sports, shopping, cuisine and green space. Designed by JERDE, the mixed-use complex will be divided into four plazas or "worlds," each featuring distinct design themes, activities and offerings that are connected by undu- lating pathways and courtyards. "We don't call it a shopping center, we call it a human playground," says Hernan Martinez, CEO of Cuestamoras Urbanis- mo, who adds that community attitudes, values and interests led the developer and designer to create a place based on unique experiences while adhering to strict sus- tainability principles. Eduardo Lopez, JERDE senior vice president and senior design principal, de- scribes it as "a first-of-its-kind approach to retail in the Americas." Located in the Heredia province of San Jose, Oxígeno will draw from a metro pop- ulation of nearly 3 million people. Marti- nez calls the opportunity to purchase the approximately 31 acres a rare one, adding that the north side of San Jose is "clearly" underserved for retail and entertainment. Oxígeno's uncommon design and lo- cation in the hillside community of San Francisco mean great views in and out. The approximately 31-acre Cuestamoras Urbanismo project is scheduled to open in time for the 2018 holiday season. The first phase of Oxígeno will be the "human playground," the second will maintain the concept but with office space added and the third phase will be a residential component. PURA PLACE Martinez emphasizes the huge effort that Cuestamoras Urbanismo and JERDE made to blend the property in with the urban grid so it was not an isolated com- mercial island. The goal was interaction through integration. He also wanted the mixed-use property be more than the next destination attraction. With flexibility, the A Retail Breath of Fresh Air La Estácion Oxígeno in Costa Rica plans to refine and perhaps redefine experiential real estate. Brian A. Lee Oxígeno will be a complex featuring entertainment, sports, shopping, dining and green space north of San Jose, Costa Rica.

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