Puerto Rico Hotel and Tourism Association members got a closer glimpse of the development projects underway in San Juan, where the municipal government is overseeing several initiatives: the Walkable City and the SATOUR light-rail transportation system.
“These development projects are a vision of advanced sustainable development and an example urban planning, through the design of the first light rail line,” said San Juan Municipal Advisor Robert Weihe, during his presentation. “We are already working in the studies and design of the ‘Old San Juan Terminus,’ which will be the first connector, pedestrian walkway and boarding station of the light train to be established in Old San Juan, near the Sheraton Hotel.”
The ambitious Walkable City project entails a $1.5 billion investment, of which about $350 million will be earmarked for the light-rail system that will connect Old San Juan to the Sagrado Corazón Urban Train station. The rest of the projected investment will go toward revitalizing the entire San Juan islet, with the ultimate goal of repopulating the district.
“The San Juan Walkable City is the implementation of our strategic actions to promote an integrated public transportation system, the construction of modern public spaces, the revitalization of our urban fabric and the repopulation of the area,” the municipal executive told PRHTA members.
Presently, the municipality is also developing a housing project in Puerta de Tierra, specifically in the old Teatro Sylvia Rexach, which will have at least 48 residential units. Also, plans to build the first and only Dolphinarium in Puerto Rico at El Escambrón park are moving along. The project will operate a dolphin therapy center for autistic children, Weihe said.
Meanwhile, PRHTA President Clarisa Jiménez said these types of presentations of current and future development plans are “are very productive for the industry because it helps us get to know the projects, to be able to plan in the same direction, keeping in mind the benefit for Puerto Rico’s tourism industry.”