Starbucks Coffee to open at Gallery Plaza
Even as Starbucks Coffee Puerto Rico LLC readies to unveil a new store on Loíza St., it is scouting for prime locations for the new stores planned for 2014 in an investment that could reach $1.5 million, said a company official.
Starbucks’ newest store will open on the ground floor of Gallery Plaza, possibly in mid-December or at the end of the month, said the company’s Construction Manager Carlos Solis-Ramírez.
The 1,100-square-foot store, which will employ between 15 and 25 people, represents an investment of around $400,000, he said.
The location for this new Starbucks is quite strategic.
Gallery Plaza is the monumental luxury condominium cornering De Diego and Loíza St., at the entrance to the Condado tourist area. There are 218 apartments in the twin-tower complex and they are likely to generate steady business for the store, a point the company considered when selecting the location, Solis Ramírez said. Plus, the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel is next door and it too is sure to bring in additional traffic.
Loíza St. has been experiencing a rebound in the past couple of years with new businesses opening and increased people flow.
“This is a most important corner … we have an important role to play,” Solis-Ramírez said, noting that negotiations for the space began earlier this year.
Actual construction took a record 31 days, “the fastest we’ve done it.”
This will be the 20th store in the Starbucks Puerto Rico chain and one of two the company opened this year (the other one is in Plaza Las Americas.)
The company is currently scouting locations around the island for the two or three stores planned for next year. The average investment in each store is between $400,000 and half a million, said the executive.
The Gallery Plaza Starbucks is cozy and bright. Upon entering, customers face a large front counter where they can place their orders. On one side is a small, open seating area that Solis-Ramírez said is suited for people to conduct a business meeting; for those with computers, there’s a long wood table, handcrafted locally, with plenty of room for comfort.
Large bay windows offer a view of the condominium’s large courtyard. Additionally, there will be tables and chairs outside for those who prefer being al fresco.
The store will open 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday.