LOOK: Mall Aventura: “San Juan de Lurigancho has the same or better potential and qualities than Lima Norte”

—How did 2023 close for Parque Arauco and how has this year started?

We have closed the year well, although 2023 has been a tough year for the retail world. Nevertheless, We have had a good return to the malls, we see growth of close to 15% in our flow of visitors and we have been accompanying that with a very good and intense management of our assets. We took the opportunity to renew our commercial mix, which has allowed us to minimize vacancy, which is around 3%.

—Does that level of vacancy mean that the 2019 figures have already been recovered?

It depends on the shopping center and the city, it has been a bit variable. We have malls like Larcomar, where we have had a very important return from our visitors, partly also because of our best commercial offer. And there are others that are still a few points below pre-pandemic levels.

—And at the sales level?

If we look at the total portfolio, we see that it is relatively stable, but here I also have to double click because what What we have seen in the market is that the large anchors such as departmental and home improvement have been affected, partly due to access to credit. And that pulls down a little the good results that the smaller and intermediate stores have had. 2023 was our first full year after the pandemic and we have also seen good results in restaurants, entertainment and other experience-related categories. Also in retail, in smaller stores.

—Have you made these mix changes in all your malls?

We have an armed schedule of changes. We manage 20 assets in Peru, the MegaPlaza, the outlets, Larcomar, Viamix strip malls and last year we changed the brand. We had two assets under the El Quinde brand in Ica and Cajamarca that became MegaPlaza, which came with an improvement in the mix and experience. These joined the ‘refresh’ of MegaPlaza Independencia and Larcomar.

—And you also have the mall project in La Molina, how is it progressing?

We hope that our ‘mall’ in La Molina will open in the last quarter of 2024. We are well on our way in the construction schedule and in terms of the brands that will be there.

Expansion in MegaPlaza Independencia.

Expansion in MegaPlaza Independencia.

—What will this ‘mall’ be like?

It’s a ‘lifestyle’, which has 16,000 to 17,000 m2. We think of it as a Larcomar of La Molina, where we are selecting brands a lot, with an open place and a different experience. We have brands like Falabella, SmartFit, Rip Curl, Tommy Hilfiger, cinemas, gastronomy and a long list that I cannot reveal yet.

—How much will they invest in the mall? What percentage of the tenants are defined?

The investment is about US$60 million. We already have almost 60% of the contracts.

—What other projects do you have in the pipeline?

Last year We announce our first rental housing project or ‘multifamily’, on La Mar Avenue (Miraflores), with our partner Desarrollo del Pacífico. This project, valued at US$16 million, is progressing well and would open in 2025. This allows us to learn and then incorporate it into our malls with high potential.

And, the other project is the remodeling of Megaplaza Independencia, which includes a new, much more powerful gastronomic patio, with a differentiating proposal in northern Lima. This is part of a master plan with different stages. We have been doing this master planning work for our main assets.

“We see the demand and the potential to include other uses in MegaPlaza Independencia”

—A few years ago, you said that MegaPlaza Independencia had the potential to receive other types of uses in the ‘mall’, what will they be?

That’s how it is. In MegaPlaza we have a clinic and when you see how the surroundings of the mall have been developed, we see that There is beginning to be that demand and that potential to incorporate height and bring in other uses such as education or housing or coworking. These are things we have been working on and studying in depth.

—Could the ‘multifamily’ project come in?

We are super open to analyzing these other uses for MegaPlaza. Follow that evaluation.

—Are you evaluating the new use that is going to be given or the brands that will accompany it?

I already have some definitions, but I cannot yet communicate them to the market.

—How much are you planning to invest in this stage of the master development plan?

In this first stage it is an investment of US$33 million. But this is a first stage of several more to come, of several years of development, where we are really going to generate an important change in this ‘mall’ and that is why I commented on the commitment we have with the country. These investments are long-term, we are committed to growing here.

“The MegaPlaza project in SJL is in the process of sanitation and permitting”

—You mentioned that this master plan will focus on your main assets, what are they?

Larcomar, for example, where we have made several changes, is an important asset with which we began to work (the master plan). And we can already see the impact of these changes and a good recovery in sales.

Another important asset is MegaPlaza Independencia, as well as El Quinde de Cajamarca and Ica, which have already been renamed MegaPlaza. Like MegaPlaza Chimbote and Parque Lambramani in Arequipa, where there are also changes, which we will communicate around March.

—Within the master plan, will the changes start this year in Chimbote and Arequipa?

Yes, we are going to make changes over time and constant investments, which are obviously planned. The master plan is a multi-year development plan.

—How much will be invested in the entire master plan? Is it being adjusted along the way?

What usually happens is that in these projects, when you make a first stroke you have a very large investment and as we divide it into phases, it is already specified or detailed and we fine-tune the investment of each phase. What we have announced so far is the first phase of MegaPlaza Independencia, but we have been working on the other five or six large assets.

—Are these assets going to focus on reconfiguring the mix or on other uses?

In some cases we actually have area growth, which sometimes also implies other uses. One case is that of the Arequipa mall, where we already included the USIl Entrepreneurs Institute. This is a new use for that shopping center and it is something that we can replicate in other malls as well, in terms of educational use. .

Lambramani Park CC

Lambramani Park CC

—Is MegaPlaza Independencia still the asset that generates the greatest sales for the group in Peru?

Yes, it is our main asset, with almost 40% of our business in the country.

—On the outlet side, how has this format fared in Peru?

It has gone very well for us. We have two, one in Lurín and the other in Faucett, next to the airport. Both have performed very well and have a very high occupancy. There are always tenants looking to get in.

—How much do the outlets contribute to Parque Arauco’s sales?

It is more or less a 6% of sales of the entire portfolio.

“Our first ‘multifamily’ project will open in 2025 in Miraflores. “We are evaluating having more”

—In addition to the La Molina mall and the master plan, what other projects are you exploring?

We are going to focus on the expansion of our assets with the master plan. Also in new ‘malls’, such as La Molina. We do not rule out new developments or possible purchases. Regarding the ‘multifamily’ project, we already have one and we are evaluating new ones.

—You also have a project for a Megaplaza in San Juan de Lurigancho, when will work begin?

We maintain interest in the project in San Juan de Lurigancho. It is currently in the process of sanitation and permitting.

—A few years ago they bought Plaza Jesús María but there is still no work to be seen, is the project going to be resumed?

It is a project that we continue working on, with expectations of doing something in the future. There is still an issue there of permissions and things that will take us a little longer, but it is there in the portfolio.

—Is the delay due to procedures with the Municipality or issues with the former tenants?

Both, I would tell you. We still have several things to do and to move forward there.

—Have they set a deadline for when progress can be made?

I cannot reveal deadlines, but it is something we have been working on and I believe we are going to progress satisfactorily.

“We have a master plan, with several stages, that includes improvements in our main shopping centers”

—How do you see the summer campaign and what are the projections this year?

We are putting a lot of force into the summer campaign, I think that In the retail world there is an optimistic vision for 2024. 2023 was difficult. Although there is still little visibility of how it will behave (2024), the changes we have made and will make in some shopping centers put us in a much stronger position, In that sense, it should be a good year for us.

—Is the El Niño Phenomenon a factor of concern?

I believe that the risks, today, more than in our physical assets, are in how it will end up impacting demand, the impact that people will have. What could happen, as happened last year with the warming of winter, is that winter clothing will not be sold, which would strongly affect anchor stores. But, in general, we are optimistic and eager to grow.

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