Some things are indispensable for a trip to the beach: a towel, sunscreen, shades, snacks, beer, a wisecracking best friend. But what happens when you get there and one of these essentials is missing? Well, unless it’s the best friend, three new commercial centers between Jacó and Herradura offer both visitors and residents to Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast access to vital beach goods, as well as a host of other amenities.
One commercial center in Jacó is even opening what developers claim is the only movie theater in the region. McCine, to be located at the two-story Plaza Coral, will feature two theaters, air conditioning, Dolby Digital sound, VIP sections and specialized concession stands.
Henry Loría, owner of the McCine enterprise, is excited about the project, and highlights the McDrinkz concession stand that will be installed with the 155-seat theater.
There, he said, theatergoers can choose from sweets in the candy shop or enjoy his special cuadraburgers and cuadrapizza – square hamburgers and slices of pizza. If that weren’t enough excitement, the VIP sections in both theaters – with 27 seats each – serve beer and liquor, and have larger, more comfortable seats.
The two theaters are called the McCine Arena (sand) and McCine Mar (ocean) an ocean theme that project director Susana Barahona says is constant throughout the mall.
“It’s a different beach concept,” Barahona told The Tico Times in a phone interview earlier this month. “It’s… for the middle class, for the young and the old, with all the services of the capital moved to the beach.”
The two-story plaza on the main road through Jacó, next to Más x Menos, is set on more than 5,000 square meters of commercial property and houses 61 different stores.
Some of the big names that will call Plaza Coral home include the U.S. fried-chicken franchise Kentucky Fried Chicken, the U.S.-expatriate refuge Bagelmen’s, the diet supplement specialist GNC and the hip surf land skate shop Arenas. Megasuper will be opening a sort of “Megasuper light,” Barahona said, a new concept for the supermarket chain.
With more than 100 parking spaces, Barahona said, clients should not have a hard time getting a spot, and with hours tentatively set for 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., a visit should fit into most schedules.
Plaza Coral is set to open in the first weeks of September, Barahona said.
Also in Jacó, on Calle Ancha, sits the Plaza Boulevard de Jacó. According to a fax from the developers, the center is already open, though 15 of its 34 store locations on the 7,800-squre-meter lot are still available. Among the seven businesses and five offices that are already renting space are the offices of the National Water and Sewer Institute (AyA). The Plaza Boulevard de Jacó is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, call 231-2658 or 814-6901.
Farther north up the highway, at the turnoff for the charming little coastal town of Herradura, CR4 Investments S.A. is building a 14,000-square-meter commercial center called Plaza Herradura, set to open Sept. 15 on a massive 36,000-square-meter lot. And that’s just stage one. Stage two, according to Mónica Araya of CR4, includes the construction of a four-star hotel with 180 rooms.
At present, the plaza has 21 commercial stores, 12 restaurants, eight offices on the second floor, and the first coastal location of AutoMercado, the upper-end supermarket of the Central Valley. Some of the other stars that will stud this mall include BAC San Jose bank, Radio Shack, Panasonic, Bagelmen’s, TCBY, Arenas, Ichiban sushi restaurant, Peruvian restaurant Inka Grill, a video store, a spa and salon and a drug store. Parking should not be a problem with 310 parking spaces.
Even with this bevy of commercial offerings, the plaza still has three spaces available. For more information, call 228-5157, or visit the developer’s Web site, www.cr4investment.com.