Negotiations are underway between the operators of the Santa Rosa Mall in Bayamón and the owners of the IKEA franchise to open the first full-service store in Puerto Rico at the former Sears location, this media outlet learned.
The mall’s operator, CCM Puerto Rico, is in talks with Santo Domingo-based Sartón Dominicana, owners of the Swedish franchise’s local license, to open the home goods giant in the 220,000 square-foot space that Sears vacated when it closed last year.
“The negotiation hasn’t been finalized yet,” a source at CCM Puerto Rico told News is my Business.
A second source at the mall confirmed that the shell left vacant by Sears will need to be fully remodeled and that workers for that project “will be hired soon.”
The future IKEA store is expected to incorporate all of the elements of the brand, including a restaurant and childcare services.
The IKEA brand has been present in Puerto Rico since 2013 with its Punto IKEA concept, a showroom that only allows consumers to look at the merchandise, but not buy it on the spot. Instead, they must place their orders and return to the store within 24 to 48 hours for pick-up.
The first such location opened in Bayamón, followed by Carolina, which also opened in 2013 at the Plaza Escorial shopping complex.
According to sources, Sartón Dominicana has been scouting locations for its future full-service Puerto Rico store for several years, presenting its proposal to the Carolina municipal government first. Town officials confirmed to News is my Business that they met with Sartón representatives, who unveiled their plans, but did not follow through with applications for permits, among other requirements.
The company apparently desisted and turned to Bayamón to set up shop, where it was considering taking up square footage at a strip mall to be constructed adjacent to Costco near Los Filtros Ave. But calls to the Bayamón permits office revealed that the company did not file papers there either.