Shopping Centers Today

APR 2015

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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60 S C T / A p r i l 2 0 1 5 and Argentinean developers say that though their countries are still ripe for further development, current economic conditions are not favorable. "Argentina holds phenomenal potential," said Martín Malara, a founding partner of Argentinean mall develop- ment firm Retco, which has five shopping centers in Argentina and some projects under way in Colombia and Peru. "Today it is going through a singular political and economic period," he said. "But this country has in its favor an unbeatable capacity for recov- ery. Thanks to its social, cultural and geographic characteristics, Argentina is and will continue to be a highly attractive market." Retco is set to open its first Peruvian center this year, the 50-store Tarapoto Mall, in San Martín. Also in the pipeline for this year is the 64-store Novomall, in San Bartolo, in the province of Lima. "We believe the shopping center business still offers growth op- portunities throughout the region," said Malara. Retco will open one more shopping center in Peru and two in Argentina over the next three years. The firm is planning to open its first shopping center in Colombia in 2017. Grupo Sambil, Venezuelaís biggest mall operator, with eight malls at home, is predicting that the growth of the Venezuelan industry will be spectacular once an economic recovery gets un- der way. But for that to happen, the government must provide "clear and perdurable rules for investors," according to Alfredo Cohen, the companyís director. Grupo Sambil had one of its malls, Sambil La Candelaria, expropriated by the Venezuelan government in 2009, before it even opened. Grupo Sambil has a mall in the Dominican Republic: the three-year-old Sambil Santo Domingo. The company is on track to open a 140-store mall in Curaçao, in the Caribbean, next month and has an- nounced a project for Puerto Rico too. Another Venezuelan player keen on expansion is Fondo de Valores Inmobiliarios, whose niche is high-end malls. In Venezuela the firm owns and operates the exclusive Centro San Ignacio, the Paseo El Hatillo-La Lagunita and the Tolón Fashion Mall, all in Caracas, and the Llano Mall Ciudad Comercial, in the city of Acarigua. In 2010 the firm opened the ritzy Blue Mall Santo Domingo, a mixed-use project in the Dominican Republic that contains a hotel and an office tower. Fondo de Valores Inmobiliarios has teamed up with the Dominican Republicís Grupo Punta Cana to develop a second project in that country: the Blue Mall Punta Cana, in the resort town of that name, scheduled to open next year. Last year Fondo de Valores Inmobiliarios opened Blue Mall St. Maarten, on the island of Saint Martin. "Our international expansion emerged from the need to generate value through economies of scale and the diversity of investments in scenarios with different risks and commit- ments," said Luis Carlos Serra, COO of Fondo de Valores Inmobiliarios. Investing in the Caribbean islands is attractive, Serra says, because they are small yet increasingly affluent mar- kets. Global retailers want to open branches there, he says, but through "new-generation shopping centers." In the end, developers say, with a total population of nearly 560 million, Latin America is big enough for all ó so long as the economy continues to grow as projected and consumers increasingly favor modern malls. S C T S a m b i l S a n t o D o m i n g o , i n t h e D o m i n i c a n R e p u b l i c

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