Community and Economic Development

Friday, May 20, 2005

CONTACT:   Eric Symons
(619) 533-5318
Tim Graham
(619) 533-5130

The Shops at Las Americas Expansion Revitalizes San Ysidro
Ceremony Celebrates New Stores; Marks Next Phase in International Gateway of the Americas Redevelopment Project

SAN DIEGO - Another step in creating a world-class gateway between the cities of San Diego and Tijuana continued today with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the expansion of The Shops at Las Americas redevelopment project. Public, private and community representatives took part in the morning ceremony, officially marking the opening of the final phase of The Shops at Las Americas shopping complex located within the San Ysidro Redevelopment Project Area. The expansion, which began in May 2004, brings 30 high-end retail outlets into the The Shops at Las Americas shopping center and serves as a catalyst for additional commercial and residential redevelopment plans designed to benefit citizens on both sides of the border.

The expansion, built by the development teams of JER Partners and Douglas Wilson Companies, is located on a 15-acre site, and provides an additional 189,000 square feet of shopping to the already 370,000 square feet of commercial and retail space. The Shops at Las Americas is a festive, bi-national village that celebrates a colorful, multicultural experience where locals and visitors are welcomed by regionally inspired Spanish Colonial architecture. More than 100 major brand retailers and a variety of dining and entertainment options are featured with Nieman Marcus, Ralph Lauren, Coach and Kenneth Cole retail outlets among the new stores now available to shoppers and tourists.

"The expansion you see today represents our vision and commitment to bring the world's best brands to our customers," said Mark Curcio, vice president of Retail Leasing and Asset Management for Stoltz Management Company, which manages The Shops at Las Americas. "This is a shopping experience like no other. As our theme depicts, it's fashion without borders."

The Shops at Las Americas are part of the proposed International Gateway of the Americas; a mixed-use entertainment and cultural village along the American side of the U.S. - Mexico border designed dramatically to revitalize the San Ysidro community and border crossing. The completed project will include new customs facilities, a pedestrian bridge, retail stores, offices, hotel and entertainment areas, and residential housing.

The City of San Diego and the City's Redevelopment Agency will provide approximately $20 million dollars in redevelopment and sales tax revenue for the entire, multi-phased International Gateway of the Americas project. Sales and Redevelopment tax revenue generated from the development will pay for the subsidies as well as supplement the City's General Fund and future San Ysidro redevelopment projects.

"With more retail opportunities available to the public, the Shops at Las Americas will help drive San Diegans and visitors from both sides of the border to this world-class facility, creating more jobs and improving businesses in San Ysidro," said Hank Cunningham, assistant executive director of the City's Redevelopment Agency and director of the City's Community and Economic Development Department. "The City looks forward to working with the San Ysidro community and developers to bring additional redevelopment projects, including much-needed affordable housing opportunities, to improve and revitalize this historic neighborhood."

The City of San Diego's 766-acre San Ysidro Redevelopment Project Area was established to create a world-class gateway between the cities of San Diego and Tijuana. The project area focuses on redeveloping a vital business district, attracting new businesses to the area, and encouraging continued tourism from American, Mexican and other international visitors.

The project area is located on the United States-Mexico border where Interstates 5 and 805 merge. It also includes a corridor along the San Diego Trolley route with retail and residential land. Easy access to the area and its proximity to Tijuana provide excellent large- and small-scale development opportunities.

For more information about the San Ysidro Redevelopment Project Area, contact Robert Chavez, Redevelopment Project Manager at (619) 533-5368 or rchavez@sandiego.gov, or contact the Redevelopment Agency, Community and Economic Development Department at (619) 533-4233 or visit the City's web site at www.sandiego.gov/redevelopment-agency.

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The City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency eliminates blight from designated areas, as well as achieves the goals of development, reconstruction and rehabilitation of residential, commercial, industrial, and retail districts. Redevelopment is one of the most effective ways to breathe new life into deteriorated areas plagued by social, physical, environmental or economic conditions that act as a barrier to new investment by private enterprise. The City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency consists of three divisions: the City Redevelopment Division (which provides overall agency management and is housed in the City of San Diego Community and Economic Development Department), the Centre City Development Corporation and the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation.
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