The Economic Development Bank approved a $2.5 million rescue loan to spare the Ocean Marina Blue Shopping Center, the only strip mall in Puerto Rico’s coastal town of Loíza, owned by siblings and built in 2008.
The mall is located on a 15-acre lot that initially were two acres of land inherited by Maritza and Francisco Rodríguez. With a loan from a private lending institution, they were able to subsequently buy another 13 acres and build the mall. However, they got into trouble when the financial institution that financed the project sold some of its commercial loans to another institution, putting the investment at risk
The $2.8 million EDB loan will go toward paying off debt and finishing the construction, agency chief Ivonne Otero said.
The 48,031 square-foot mall has 13 commercial spaces already built, 7,864 square-feet of common areas and parking, and two other areas offering a combined 17,000 square feet of available space to build free-standing establishments. It is expected that once the mall is open, it will generate some 600 direct and indirect jobs.