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‘Smooth sailing’ for Popular Campus development in Hato Rey

Construction is on track for the 2025 opening of the complex in Hato Rey, which entails a $300 million investment.

Two years after Popular Inc. announced plans to develop a $300 million Popular Campus corporate complex in Hato Rey, bank officials said the construction process has been “smooth sailing” so far.

Popular Inc. has already invested close to $100 million of that amount, News is my Business confirmed.

Already underway is a 10-story building near the Puerto Rico Coliseum, which will be the first to be completed, said Eduardo Negrón, chief officer of the administration group at Popular Inc.

In front of that construction is the footing of the second building, which has also been completed and will house 11 floors of offices and training and research centers, as well as a 121-room hotel at the top.

“We’re currently on schedule with both constructions and, if we don’t have mishaps with atmospheric phenomena that could delay the project this year, we should be inaugurating the first building next to the Puerto Rico Coliseum by the beginning of 2025,” said Negrón.

“Once the construction of both buildings is completed, this new corporate campus will allow a greater number of Popular’s administrative employees to work in these facilities in an environment where learning, innovation and collaboration are promoted,” he added.

The first building, adjacent to the Tinto y Blanco restaurant, will have a 34,200-square-foot world-class gym on the 10th floor, including a full basketball and volleyball court, a 24-meter-long four-lane pool, a weights area, and rooms for activities such as yoga, CrossFit and spinning.

Additionally, it will have a drive-thru banking facility with two lanes on the first level, as well as a 19,900-square-foot grocery store with a food court, and eight floors of parking with a total of 768 spaces.

The parking lot will also have more than a dozen charging stations for electric cars, including spaces for handicapped parking. The roof of this first building will feature a 230-kilowatt photovoltaic system, capable of generating 405 megawatt-hours of electrical energy per year.

The construction of the first building’s parking area should be completed before the end of 2024, Negrón said. Meanwhile, the gym and supermarket, whose operators will be announced soon, should be ready by the first quarter of 2025.

“It was important to complete this building first to have the parking facilities available before welcoming the employees who will move to the building near Fine Arts Cinemas at the beginning of 2027,” Negrón added.

As for the progress of the second building, the company said the construction of 1,473 columns to stabilize the ground was completed, the concrete slab for the 1,560 cubic yard cistern was carried out, and the columns of the first floor are already starting to be erected.

This building, which will also house the hotel, will have a parking lot with 523 additional spaces, as well as a central plaza for public use, with a retractable roof, vertical gardens and decorative mosaics.

The first level will be complemented by commercial spaces, the hotel lobby and the Popular Lab, which will be a study and research center for students.

The second level will consist of the development center currently in Centro Europa, and floors three to 11 will be used for administrative offices. Immediately above these offices will be a 121-room hotel between floors 12 to 16, featuring an open terrace, a bar, a gym and a swimming pool with views of the city and San Juan Bay.

So far, the construction of these two buildings has contributed to creating more than 230 jobs in this phase and is estimated to generate close to 1,400 jobs in the area after the project is completed, Negrón said.

“We’re confident that Popular Campus will foster a renaissance of urban movement in Hato Rey with all the amenities that will be offered to employees, as well as our clients and visitors,” he said. “At Popular, we’re committed to Puerto Rico’s economic development, and we believe that projects of this magnitude contribute to that goal.”

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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