In the last two years, no new large-format plazas have been built in the city because a consolidation of the existing ones is expected. What there will be are small squares for neighborhood centers.
Raúl Uranga Lamadrid, president of the Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce, commented that due to its nature, the capital of Jalisco has become the commercial city of the country and is now a regional hub of shopping malls that serves the entire Western Region.
“Guadalajara has consolidated because not only does it provide service to the city, but as a city it has become this regional hub that has an influence on a market of 22 million people who live less than three hours away by road, so these plazas have this regional use and it has positioned them,” he said.
Among the most visited squares are Plaza Andares, Plaza Galerías, La Gran Plaza, La Perla, Punto Sur and Galerías Santa Anita.
“They all have this regional use and have positioned themselves, they have their local market, but also regional, there are also new places in the South that are being consolidated,” he added.
The president of the Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce reported that there are currently no large plazas under construction but rather small projects.
“There will be few that we have, especially large large-format plazas, there is an issue of consolidation, what we will see is there will be a growth of small plazas with neighborhood services due to the same growth of the city,” Raúl Uranga stressed.
The leader of the Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce also commented that they are looking to make the Tapatío Center an option for visitors to the city.
“In many squares people go to walk, eat or go around, but they don’t go to buy, because they feel safe, it’s a whole psychological issue, so why can’t the Historic Center have this happen? That’s why we are promoting a lot of events and all these things.”
Plaza del Sol was inaugurated in 1969, thus beginning the era of shopping centers in the city. SPECIAL
Pioneers in Mexico
On November 25, 1969, the first shopping plaza in the city, Mexico and Latin America was inaugurated: Plaza del Sol.
The executive project of the work was carried out by architect Alejandro Zohn, who had already carried out the Libertad-San Juan de Dios Market and other works such as the Acoustic Shell of the Agua Azul Park.
Its concept was inspired by the shopping centers in the United States, known as “malls.”
More than 50 years after its opening, Plaza del Sol remains among the favorites of the people of Guadalajara. SPECIAL
The best season is coming
Javier Cañongo Escobedo, head of the Specialized Section of Shopping Center Administrators of the Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce, said that this sector, like all sectors, has gone through a stage of growth.
“We consider that the influx we have or capacity is 70 to 80%, it is not a bad number, it depends on each place, but it seems to me that it is a good number in significant terms,” he said.
The manager explained that the last quarter of the year is the busiest season in the plazas due to various events such as El Buen Fin and the Christmas season.
“We have a projection of having capacity of 90%, because the reality is that we have worked hard, all the factors we had in some way made us react to generate new strategies, adapt quickly to change and offer innovative things to customers,” he assured.
Javier Cañongo added that for the coming months the opening of new large spaces is not contemplated, but small ones are.
The shopping plazas are cataloged in different formats: The mixed ones include commerce, services, offices and in some cases even an industrial part, other plazas are for services and other plazas are focused on meeting neighborhood needs with less than around a dozen stores.
“I believe that Guadalajara is at a good level, above other cities we have many good quality squares, which give us more opening in the market and I believe that the city’s squares are among the best in the country,” he concluded.
According to specialists in the construction of plazas, the transformation of shopping centers is towards mixed use.
“We are seeing that the transformation of retail is towards mixed use where you have everything in one place such as housing, commerce, entertainment and where to work,” he said.
The Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce promotes the economic development of the metropolitan area, says its president, Raúl Uranga. THE REPORTER
The INFORMER/ L. Martínez
They remodel to attract more customers
Some traditional plazas that already operate in the city are being converted to mixed uses to attract more customers and survive after registering low influx of customers and closure of commercial premises.
The squares that entered a remodeling process in recent years were Plaza Pabellón, Plaza Ciudadela (Ciudadela Urban Village), Centro Sur, Plaza Patria and Plaza del Sol.
One of the city squares that underwent a total remodeling was Plaza Pabellón, located on Patria y Acueducto.
After being sold by its previous owners in the Plaza Pabellón, it was remodeled and two apartment and office towers were incorporated. The square has commercial premises, movie theaters and restaurants.
Plaza Centro Sur also underwent a remodel after many years of registering low occupancy of premises, but despite that in recent months they closed a portion of the second floor stores.
Plaza Patria was also another one that underwent renovation. Attractions such as Kidzania, cinemas and a casino were incorporated into this square.
Plaza Ciudadela, located on Avenida Patria and Moctezuma, also underwent a remodeling and change of ownership a few years ago, but still has many empty stores.
This commercial complex is now called Urban Village and according to the company Planigrupo, which bought it last December, around 120 million pesos will be invested in its improvement.
Plaza del Sol, which was the first to operate in the city more than 50 years ago, has also seen several renovations over time. The last one occurred recently after the departure of Fábricas de Francia, a location that was occupied by Suburbia.
Shopping plazas are part of the tradition of Guadalajara families, they are meeting points and economic development.
Currently it is purchased in a hybrid way: on the web and in physical stores. THE REPORTER
They grew more in the South and in the West
During recent years, new shopping malls have grown more in the South and West of the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area.
In Tlajomulco de Zúñiga the last new plazas are being built, three located in the López Mateos Sur corridor, one in the San Sebastián area, and another in the municipal seat.
The last spaces in the López Mateos Sur corridor are: Punto Sur and Galerías Santa Anita, which were added to those that already existed in this corridor such as Urban Center, located in the La Rioja subdivision; Plaza Las Villas, in the El Palomar subdivision and Plaza Galicia, in the Nueva Galicia area, a new one is also being built in this area.
Of the last five seats in this corridor, two are large and three are medium.
These new squares came to consolidate the development of the area that already has a dozen squares from Bugambilias to Las Cuatas.
Punto Sur began operations in 2019 and has a commercial area, hotel, offices and residences.
Galerías Santa Anita was built in the San Agustín area in Tlajomulco de Zúñiga and has a Liverpool store as its anchor.
Galerías Santa Anita is a project that has cinemas, banks, shops and restaurants, an artificial lake, a wooded area with green areas.
In Guadalajara, one of the last plazas was Midtown located at the intersection of Avenida López Mateos and Américas. The plaza has the tallest office tower in a shopping center.
Midtown, which is located on López Mateos and Colomos, where the Guadalajara Club was, is a mixed-use project that provided new commercial and entertainment spaces, as well as an important offer of offices and a hotel and a central park to the area.
The shopping center incorporates restaurants, bars, boutiques, cinemas and a self-service store on three levels.
Other plazas that were built in recent years in the ZMG are located in the municipality of Zapopan.
Among the most recent in this municipality, Distrito La Perla stands out. The complex will have 236 stores once it operates at 100%, distributed over three levels, in a construction area of 350 thousand meters.
When it is fully operational, it will be able to receive around 1,600,000 visitors each month, according to the businessmen’s projection.
La Perla generated nearly 2,500 direct jobs and an investment of eight billion pesos since the beginning of its construction.
Another shopping center opened in recent years in Zapopan is La Cima Strip Center, on Avenida Juan Gil Preciado and Dr. Ángel Leaño.
The plaza has 20 stores, including Supercolchones, Subway, Marissa, Ferreterías Amutio, Any Time Fitness, Famsa, as well as restaurants.
According to the Economic Promotion Directorate of Zapopan, the commercial and services sector has had an upturn in investment in recent years.
In addition to the new squares in Zapopan, expansions were made in Plaza Galerías, the Andares area and in the Avenida Patria corridor.
La Gourmetería was one of the first commercial plazas to be established in the south of the city. SPECIAL
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