Plaza del Carmen Mall is a two-story enclosed shopping mall in Caguas, Puerto Rico.

Plaza del Carmen Mall
Mall logo
LocationCaguas, Puerto Rico
Coordinates18°13′02″N 66°02′37″W / 18.21722°N 66.04361°W / 18.21722; -66.04361
AddressPR-1 int. PR-172
Opening date26 November 1976
DeveloperTurabo Shopping Center, Inc.[1]
ManagementWiner Property Group
OwnerDowntown Development Corp.
ArchitectCarlos Sanz
No. of stores and services50+
No. of anchor tenants4 (3 open, 1 vacant)
Total retail floor area176,115 sq ft (16,361.6 m2)
No. of floors2

History Edit

Plans for the construction of Plaza del Carmen began in 1960, but the development was halted until 1973 by the Planning Board and the Department of Commerce who considered that a center of its size in the Caguas area was not warranted by then.[2]

In 1973, under the development of Turabo Shopping Center, Inc., plans for the construction of the commercial complex of $12 million dollars were approved, with plans of a two level, approximately 232,000 square feet of retail space designed by architect Carlos Sanz to lease to commercial businesses.[3]

In November 1975, CO-OP Supermarkets inaugurated their store at the mall, multiple artists made appearances on different dates through the inauguration ceremonies for the store such as Carmita Jiménez, Rosita Rodríguez, Las Caribelles, Braulio Castillo, and others.[4]

On November 13th, 1976, a moment of a toast for the good luck of the new Plaza Del Carmen Mall project, in Caguas, appeared Mr. Alberto González, left, President of the firm González Padin & Co.; Emma Sara Portela, president of C.I.M.S, coordinators and leasing agents of the project; and Mr. Adrián Pérez Agudo, then president and owner of the aforementioned shopping center, whose inauguration was planned in great detail, and would include a grand reception. It was reported that this new González Padín facility would be one of its most modern stores.

Toast for the new project in 1976

First opening to special guests on the 24th. On November 26th, 1976.[5] Plaza del Carmen Mall opened to the public with 40 stores.[6] Among those 40 stores the mall had González Padín, and CO-OP Supermarkets as its main anchors. The mall also housed other establishments at the time such as Western Auto, Banco de Ponce, Marianne Stores, Kinney Shoes, Clubman, Flagg Bros., Cine Foto, and many others.[7] Gittys Toys a chain of toy stores, would later go on to open a 1,844 square foot store at the shopping mall. It was the third store in the chain at the time.[8]

Aerial in 1976

On December 3, 1976, an interesting demonstration of household clothes would take place at the González Padín store in the Plaza del Carmen Mall throughout the day. Halston, exclusive designer for Fieldcrest, created a collection of clothing designs for the bedroom and bathroom. The demonstrator would illustrate the different ways sheets, pillowcases and towels could be used, both decoratively and for personal use.[9]

In March 1977, a Howard Johnson's Restaurant opened and joined as one of the shopping centers many tenants.[10]

On December 8, 1978, Farmacias El Amal opened a location on the lower floor of the mall.[11][12]

On May 8th, 1980, a Command Performance hair salon opened at the mall.[13]

In April 1983, the mall had stores such as Pearle Vision, Stuart’s, La Esquina Famosa, Anibal L. Arzuaga a hardware store, Plaza Sesamo, Waterbed World, Books and Papers, La Favorita, Tiffany’s, and many others.[14]

In December 1988, the mall was still going strong with now 48 establishments at the time such as Kress Kids, Sensación, Gaston Bared Jewelers, Fínisima, Paoli Casuals, King’s Men Wear, Segarra’s Shoes, Kids Way, Chiquitín, Super Pet Center, Mundo Joven Music Store, Novus, among others. It also at the time housed an Ayer y Hoy restaurant.[15]

Ayer & Hoy restaurant at the mall in 1988

In 1988, precisely 12 years after its inauguration by this point. Plaza del Carmen continued to expand. On this year the center was expanded some 5,000 square feet.[16]

In 1989, expansions would be carried out that would include the remodeling of the main entrance of the mall and the construction of new spaces for new future tenants.[17]

In November 1989, the mall at this time had around 350 employees and 50 establishments such as Rave, Gitty’s Toys, Studio Staff, Arias, among others.[18]

Mall exterior in 1989
Center Court during Christmas season in 1989

In 1989, Amigo Supermarkets opened their first major location at the mall, this was in part due to them acquiring CO-OP Supermarkets in 1983 and deciding to shutter the chain in the late 1980s.[19]

During the late 1990s, despite the opening of the Amigo Supermarkets store, the mall looked desolate. This was in part due to González Padín ceasing operations in 1995,[20] which was followed by other stores over the years.

By 2004, with the opening of Pitusa in the former González Padín space, and openings of offices, the mall was able to rebound somewhat economically as a mixed-use center.[21]

In 2012, the mall had establishments such as Radio Shack, Grand Stores, Farmacias Caridad, Payless Shoe Source, Pearle Vision, Me Salvé, Marianne, 5-7-9, La Gloria, Vitanatura, Kids For Less, Sara, Modern Nails, Claró, an Advance Auto Parts, among others. It also had services and offices at the time such as Humana, WIC, MCS, P.D.C.M Medical Group, Health Care Ambulatory, and other doctors offices.[22]

By 2015, the mall was primarily anchored by a Fallas Discount Stores which had by then replaced the former Pitusa space.[23] Pitusa had closed after the consolidation of the chain in 2012.[24]

The Subway restaurant at Plaza del Carmen closed after it was destroyed by Hurricane Maria in September 2017, and reopened in August 2018.[25]

On June 30, 2017, Amigo Supermarkets closed their long-standing location at the mall,[26] its space has since been replaced by a discount store Outlet China.[27]

In late October 2020, Fallas Discount Stores closed at the mall, and no plans have been made to replace the anchor space.[28]

In January 2023, a coffee shop “Café Central” opened at the mall, this included the remodeling of a hallway leading to the coffee shop.[29]

References Edit

  1. ^
  2. ^ "El Mundo 1976.12.09 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  3. ^ "El Mundo 1976.12.09 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  4. ^ "El Mundo 1975.11.19 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-08-17.
  5. ^ "El Mundo 1976.11.20 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  6. ^ "El Mundo 1976.12.09 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  7. ^ "El Mundo 1976.05.15 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  8. ^ "El Mundo 1978.10.08 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-08-21.
  9. ^ "El Mundo 1976.12.03 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-08-27.
  10. ^ "El Mundo 1976.12.09 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  11. ^ "El Mundo 1978.12.08 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-08-03.
  12. ^ "El Mundo 1983.01.28 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-08-03.
  13. ^ "El Mundo 1980.05.07 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-08-03.
  14. ^ "El Mundo 1984.04.01 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-08-05.
  15. ^ "El Mundo 1988.12.04 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  16. ^ "El Mundo 1988.10.14 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  17. ^ "El Mundo 1988.10.14 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  18. ^ "El Mundo 1989.11.22 — Archivo digital de El Mundo". Retrieved 2023-07-18.
  19. ^ "Bienvenido a Supermercados Amigo". April 3, 2005. Archived from the original on 2005-04-03.
  20. ^ "Gonzalez Padin Closes". El Nuevo Herald. October 31, 1995. p. 12 – via
  21. ^ "Welcome to Downtown Development Corp". 2004-02-01. Retrieved 2023-08-07.
  22. ^ "Downtown Development Corp. [Site Plan]". 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2023-08-07.
  23. ^ "Welcome to Downtown Development Corp". 2015-02-20. Retrieved 2023-08-07.
  24. ^ "Puerto Rican retailer Pitusa consolidating, selling assets". News is My Business. 2012-11-27. Retrieved 2023-08-07.
  25. ^ "Reabre el restaurante Subway en Caguas que fue destruido por el huracán María". El Nuevo Día. August 31, 2018.
  26. ^ Segarra, Christian Ramos. "Walmart cierra supermercado en Caguas por impuesto municipal". Metro.
  27. ^ "Facebook".
  28. ^ Miranda, Sadot Santana. "Empresa matriz de tiendas Fallas radica quiebra". Metro.
  29. ^ "Cafe Central - YA ESTAMOS ABIERTOS #VisitaCaguas..." Retrieved 2023-08-07.