Mega-mall developer DDR Corp. announced Wednesday plans to expand its redevelopment program on the island from $50 million to $90 million, creating additional space at its four shopping centers. As a result, it will sign up new tenants, including the first Bath and Body Works store in Puerto Rico, to be located in Plaza del Sol in Bayamón.
Attempts to reach Bath and Body Works executives for further details related to the announced store or the opening of additional ones were unsuccessful Wednesday.
The highly anticipated arrival of the fragrance and body care retailer is expected to take place in the fall of 2014, when DDR plans to complete phase two of Plaza del Sol’s redevelopment, which will include the construction of approximately 137,000 square feet of new tenant space. DDR will also usher in the third Victoria’s Secret location in Puerto Rico, Claire’s, Sketchers and Aeropostale.
“Increased demand for quality retail space in this supply-constrained market has created unique value-add opportunities in many of our most productive assets,” said Paul Freddo, senior executive vice president of leasing and development for DDR. “By executing our strategic redevelopment plan, we are creating attractive opportunities for our key domestic tenants to establish or expand their presence on the island.”
Plaza del Sol — which along with Rexville Plaza in Bayamón, Plaza del Norte in Hatillo and Plaza Fajardo in the east, rounds out DDR’s local portfolio of properties — has undergone a significant makeover, including a new 10,500 square-foot food court which was relocated from the lower level to the upper level of the mall.
At Rexville Plaza, a 131,000 square-foot community center, the DDR has completed the addition of a new Marshalls and CVS drugstore, which replaced an underperforming Pueblo Supermarket. Its increased productivity at the mall is already paving the way for the addition of a new Anna’s Linens store and has freed up space for future leasing, mall officials said.
The transformation at the 680,000 square-foot Plaza del Norte in Hatillo includes the consolidation of three vacant small shop units to accommodate a new PetSmart as well as a new Caribbean Cinemas theater on the upper level. The reshuffling allowed DDR to attract a variety of new retailers, including Shoe Carnival, Carter’s, Journey’s Kidz, Crocs, Van Heusen, Ecko Unlimited and Robert Wayne Footwear.
A new Krispy Kreme donut shop is expected to open at the mall during the latter half of this year.
Finally, the redevelopment of the 250,000 square-foot Plaza Fajardo will include the construction of two new spaces for PetSmart and Shoe Carnival, both of which are expected to open in the Fall of 2013.
These new stores represent PetSmart’s fifth and Shoe Carnival’s third location in a DDR center on the island.