“The commercial sector of Puerto Vallarta has a growing dynamism.” With this phrase, we were received by Ignacio Benitez Landa, a broker specializing in commercial properties, when he met us to talk about the current situation in the destination.
“Today, this sector is growing. The increased population is demanding new industries, stores, brands, plazas… It is part of the natural development of the city,” he explains. And he says that due to the real estate boom in the region, there is more demand in the area for businesses that are being established in different plazas on the bay.
When asked about the commercial projects coming to the city, he said, “Francisco Villa avenue has been consolidated. There are several stores, such as Woolworth, in front of Soriana; La Comer, in front of Costco, adjoining the avenue; and Parota Center, a plaza in front of the Los Mangos Library, whose innovative business model is based on the sale of premises and is projected to be finished by the end of this year.”
He also explained what has been done in the destination: “Obviously, the highest-end shopping center that has recently opened is La Isla Shopping Village, a project that was consolidated after Fibra Uno, a trust that acquires commercial properties, bought Península to develop them together. The latter was already injected with money and generated a gastronomic corridor that includes Porfirio’s and other gourmet brands. Another case is that of Punto Banderas, which evolved as a business center and attracted ClearMechanic, a company specialized in technology that operates here in Latin America.”
He mentioned that recently an interesting area of opportunity has come to the fore: smart offices (spaces that do not need major investment and are ready to be used, since they have furniture, meeting rooms and other amenities), which have been established in different areas of the city. An example is Niza Business Center, in Fluvial Vallarta, which initially was 30 or 40 percent occupied and now has a waiting list after implementing these incentives. “This tells you about the current demand on the part of brands and businesses to come and open new businesses in Puerto Vallarta.”
“Standing out among the trends already being seen in the destination are smaller plazas, of two levels, such as Centrocity and San Marino, where you find an interesting mix of products, services and brands. At this time, I do not see that they are working on larger shopping centers.”
“Like other metropolises, an automotive commercial zone is already being developed in Puerto Vallarta, ranging from the Ameca River Bridge to Las Juntas, where, in addition to mechanic and service workshops, such as Albarrán and Midas, there are showrooms and maintenance areas of KIA, Mazda, Toyota and soon FIAT.” In fact, he says that the whole area is booming because it benefits from the avenue’s traffic flow, as well as anchor businesses (Starbucks) and established shopping centers (such as Plaza Las Juntas Design Center).
“With respect to the trends in business models, in addition to the aforementioned, the one implemented in the plaza where La Vaca Argentina restaurant is located stands out, its developers attracting high-level franchises and instead of renting space, charging a percentage of profits. This flexibility allows owners to focus on improving their facilities or products, which will obviously attract more business. Instead of having to pay rent, they can invest in staying ahead of the curve.”
Gastronomic Corridors Booming
“The two entrances of Nuevo Vallarta are in the process of becoming successful commercial corridors. Investors realized that there is a high demand for restaurants in that area, and recently establishments such as La Condesa, El Coleguita, Cervecería Chapultepec and Toca Madera have opened on Nuevo Vallarta Boulevard, joining Sonora al Sur, House Mama! and Parrilla de Villa, among others.”
Future of the Commercial Sector
“I see that there will be a growing evolution. Currently, there are many expectations regarding the connectivity the bay will have with the new highway to Guadalajara, as it will shorten distances and probably make it a weekend destination for both Guadalajara and the Bajío area. With this, the market will change, and the commercial sector will continue to grow around the development of the destination. It is natural and very beneficial for all of us who are involved in the real estate industry,” he concludes.