Puerto Rico has more than 100 shopping malls, which generate about 20 percent more sales per square foot than their counterparts on the U.S. mainland.
The statistics, coupled with potential industry growth, recently moved the International Council of Shopping Centers to name local architect Arturo García to a three-year term in its Admissions and Governing Committee to Certify Professionals in shopping center Development, Design and Construction techniques.
“Puerto Rico’s shopping center industry is in recovery and growth prospects look positive. We’re at a stage of evolution in which malls are reinventing themselves,” said García, who will be in charge of promoting professional certifications in Puerto Rico and Latin American countries along with three other committee members.
“New models are adapting to global changes that have impacted our industry in the first decade of the 21st century. This makes it essential to remain informed to be able to develop shopping centers more intelligently, ensuring the success of existing malls and protecting the industry,” he said.
Of the ICSC’s 55,000 members, there are only 400 who are Certified Development, Design & Construction professionals. García is the only representative from Puerto Rico to hold the title.
“Professional certification contributes to both the healthy and sustainable growth of our industry and to the evolution of the individual who gets it. Having trained professionals helps us remain more globally competitive, which will continue to bring greater opportunities,” García said, adding the ISCS approached him in May 2011.
During his tenure, García will represent the island in several local and international ISCS conferences, and has been invited to teach two short courses at the trade group’s Development, Design and Construction Institute this month during a session in Chile.