ln Cartagena, a new shopping center project is ready

From now until 2026, a new shopping and entertainment center will be built in the northern zone of Cartagena, strengthening the offerings in the capital of the department of Bolívar.

This complex, with 110,000 square meters of leasable space, will be located exactly in the new urban development Azul de Arenas, which will cover 206 hectares and will include 10,000 housing units.

Andrés Arango, manager and founder of Urbanum, explained that it will operate as a single-owner, mixed-use complex for commerce and leisure, hotels, corporate spaces, and healthcare, which will be developed in stages.

According to him, this project will cover 19 hectares of development and will include leasable space for mixed-use commerce and leisure, hotels, corporate spaces, and healthcare.

The project will be developed by expert and prominent firms in the sector that bring their knowledge and experience to the new shopping mall.

Arquitectura & Concreto, AED, Renta Urbana, and Urbanum, as partners and managers of this project, will be responsible for supporting the project’s management and making it a benchmark for the region and the country.

Additionally, the team of experts for the project includes Contexto Urbano, which will be responsible for developing the detailed and final design.

Andrés Arango explained that the project is in an area of exponential growth and is where Cartagena’s development has migrated. He believes it will continue to expand and consolidate, becoming the most relevant commercial and business destination in the region, given that it is mixed-use, as the global trend is indicating.

“Its location will not only capture residents of the area but also tourists and people traveling through one of the most important roads in the Caribbean,” he stated.

According to him, the sole owner will be a vehicle managed by the firms which, in addition to having access to capital, have a portfolio of strategic investors contributing to capital and development. The four firms are also development partners.

A trust will be established to structure the percentage of rights for each participant.

Arango explained that the total cost, at today’s prices, is estimated to be $1.3 trillion. The goal is for construction to begin in early 2024.

Francisco Martínez, CEO of Arquitectura & Concreto, stated, “We are very pleased to announce to the Colombian Caribbean and the country the development of one of the most important projects in the coming years in terms of commerce, leisure, and entertainment. The projected area, its strategic location, its sustainable design and urbanism, and the allies we brought to the table will guarantee an internationally significant project, with its first phase completed by 2026.” This firm has experience in commercial complexes such as El Tesoro in Medellín and Centro Mayor in Bogotá.

The Features

According to Arango, the project, located in the northern zone of the capital of the department of Bolívar, even though there is talk that the trend in the country is to construct fewer shopping centers, the executive comments that the per capita commerce indicator in that city is one of the lowest in Colombia, making the opportunity clear.

The project has a unique aspect compared to other shopping centers in that it is built around a lagoon. More precisely, a Crystal Lagoon will be the focal point of the design, which is intended to offer the best experience and various entertainment and leisure options for visitors.

This is a patented technology which allows to build and maintain crystal-clear lagoons in real estate projects.

Precisely, explains Arango, that’s why Gensler is involved as the responsible party for the conceptual design and master plan of the shopping center. Gensler is recognized as one of the most relevant architectural firms globally.

In the view of the manager and founder of Urbanum, this attraction becomes the heart of the project and a traffic generator, currently considered the number one amenity in the world. It has been proven that the component of pure water, white sand, and the iconic destination creates memorable experiences, which is important for visitors, retailers, the floating population, and tourists.

The project will be developed based on sustainability principles and will be certified by Sustainable Sites. This certification is granted to the project’s urbanism and its buildings for meeting high standards related to vegetation, water, and land management as well as the materials and innovation used in construction, among other aspects that ensure respect for the natural environment in which it is located.


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