Gov’t unveils plans for $118M Bahía Urbana project in Old San Juan
The Puerto Rico government announced the start of work to rebuild and develop the new Bahía Urbana through an agreement with the Convention District Authority, and a private investment of $118 million that will create more than 180 jobs during its construction and 250 once it is in operation.
For this project, Las Brisas Property Management and Texas-based Caprock Partners have partnered to create the large-scale project for which they have signed a 20-year lease with the Convention District Authority to redesign, rebuild and manage the space, government officials said.
“Bahía Urbana will be an ideal point where passengers arriving on cruise ships, and tourists in general, will be able to enjoy a purely Puerto Rican experience in one spot, that includes culture, food and entertainment,” said Jacobo Ortiz-Blanes, who represents the developers in charge of the project.
Bahía Urbana will have an amphitheatre, an urban forest, floating beaches, a market, and restaurant area at the entrance to Old San Juan at Piers 6, 7 and 8.
The urban forest will consist of 1,000 square feet of space in which visitors will be able to appreciate native plant species and listen to the characteristic sounds of the forested areas and mountains of Puerto Rico.
The set of floating islands located in the bay area will have spaces and facilities for activities such as volleyball and beach tennis, direct access to the bay for water sports such as paddle boarding, and spaces to refresh after exercising.
The new Bahía Urbana will offer an area of restaurants, cafes, and shops to enjoy the delicious Puerto Rican gastronomy and emulate the experience of visiting the chinchorros in different corners of the island.
It will also have a town market to buy fruits and vegetables, and for local artisans to display their work in the open air, evoking the different market squares of the towns of Puerto Rico.
There will be an observation tower with a 360-degree view of the island from 200 feet high, which will allow visitors to appreciate the landscape of the island’s coast until reaching the Yunque area.
“With Bahía Urbana we transform this disused area into one of economy, entertainment, and culture,” said Convention District Authority Executive Director Mariela Vallines-Fernández.
Development and construction work is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2022 and finish in late 2024.