Construction has begun on a new luxury mall in Puerto Rico that will for the first time bring Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue to the U.S. territory, the Associated Press reports.

mall-of-san-juanThe Mall of San Juan is being built near the main international airport and represents a $405 million private investment. Gov. Luis Fortuño says the mall will open in 2014 and will feature about 100 stores and restaurants. He says the mall is expected to generate 5,000 jobs overall.

Taubman Centers, Inc. and New Century Development announced the groundbreaking on the 650,000-square-foot Mall of San Juan, the island's first luxury retail development. Located adjacent to the San Jose Lagoon at the south end of the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge, the mall will be just five minutes from the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport.

The $405 million, two-level upscale shopping center will feature the first Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom in the Caribbean. Of the approximately 100 stores and restaurants, it is expected that 60 percent will be new to the island.

"Beyond the establishment of a shopping center of world caliber for the neighbors of these communities, The Mall of San Juan represents a new center of life, where employment opportunities and progress are created. With a private investment of $405 million, The Mall of San Juan will generate 5,000 direct jobs, 2,000 during the construction phase and another 3,000 by the time it opens its doors. Not only will this construction transform the area, it will also inject energy to the zone, providing convenience, uniting communities, and promising thousands of families a better quality of life," said Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuno Burset, "not to mention the positive effect other related businesses who service these industries will experience."

The shopping center is expected to generate sales of approximately $275 to $300 million with expected tax revenues in excess of $26 million.

"Our city welcomes The Mall of San Juan. A project of this magnitude represents an important destination for our community and our visitors. We are extremely excited about the construction and upcoming opening of this world class mall," said San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini.

The shopping center is a joint venture with New Century Development of Puerto Rico, who will also be constructing a 225-room hotel and casino adjoined to the mall. The entire project is expected to open in late 2014. Taubman will develop, lease and manage the shopping center.

Source: Repeating Islands

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