Mauro School of Dance has its opening ceremonies on Ponce de Leon Ave next to Abracadabra Café.

Mauro School of Dance has its opening ceremonies on Ponce de Leon Ave next to Abracadabra Café.

Established real estate investors have always lived by the mantra "location, location, location" - anticipating the best possible return in a rising market.

However, in a declining market - its all about 'psychology, psychology, psychology' - when markets become 'frozen' as sellers cling to higher listing prices and sellers looking for better bargains that seem to multiply every week.

While this psychology is just starting to change in the residential sector - there are positive signs that Commercial Landlords have embraced a 'market bottom' and are negotiating leases at market-driven rates.

This is especially true in the emerging Santurce Arts District - just across the highway from the Condado Tourist Area and a few minutes from historic Miramar along Ponce de Leon Avenue.   After getting a boost from the Ciudadela Condo Complex - the market fell hard as the private sector was squeezed out by government overspending, over-regulation and the declining professional class.

But this is changing fast - as businesses which could normally not find vacancies or afford high rents are taking advantage of landlords willing to negotiate fair deals:

  • CVS is almost ready to open on the entire block across from the Sagrado Corazon station of the Tren Urbano. This 24 hour addition to the neighborhood will serve as an anchor for future development at the Hato Rey end of the Arts District.
  • Beshanti Café and Aggressive Cross-Fit in the former Patio Shop at the entrance to Sacred Heart University.
  • Kids & Music school has moved from Calle del Parque to their new home across from the former Hospital San Carlos near Calle Bouret.
  • El Varadero has opened their new restaurant across from Kids & Music. 
  • AOR Building Supplies is building their new store on the entire block between Ponce de Leon and Fernandez Juncos on the former site of Hospital San Carlos.
  • Como en Casa has reopened their 'pre-prepared' serve at home take-away concept.
  • Hotel San Jorge is renovating their restaurant with an exciting new concept for 2016!
  • La Terraza de Bonanza has re-invented themselves on Eduardo Conde and Calle San Jorge as the hot place to enjoy traditional 'Bomba' music every Monday night with the hip, young, university crowd.
  • Mauro School of Dance has taken over the entire space that has been vacant for years next to Abracadabra.
  • Temptation Disco is opening on Calle Bolivar on the site of the long-closed Café Barcelona across from the spruced-up Hotel Bolivar and next to the under-construction Dialysis Center.
  • Boulevard Café just opened in Cobian's Plaza in space formerly occupied by Radio Q11.  By the way - stop by and see the amazing re-design of the offices on the commercial floors to bring Cobian's Plaza into the 21st century.
  • Nick André Salon has moved from Condado to their new home in Cuidadela.
  • Cuidadela now has their commercial space fully rented and continues construction of their final 5 buildings on Calle Antonsanti and Calle del Parque.
  • The Palace disco has taken over the space that used to be 'La Jirafa Verde'
  • Tutto Benne has taken over the space formerly occupied by Gia Pizza near the PR Museum of Art just down De Diego Ave from the newly opened Medio Mixto art gallery and café. 
  • Seccarelli has moved their classic upscale Italian eatery from Old San Juan to Centro Europa opposite the Fine Arts Center.
  • A-Lounge has opened as a late-night club across from Central High School.
  • The Lunch Box opposite Central High School is getting a reputation for the best Tacos in San Juan!
  • José's Restaurant is between Domino's Pizza and Garden's Restaurant.
  • Lots of new activity in Plaza del Mercado with the addition of Asere Cuban Cuisine, Smokehouse for traditional US style bar-b-que and 'Next Iron Chef' Roberto Treviño's new showcase restaurant Chicharrón on the ground floor of his future boutique hotel.
  • Metro Plaza has a Luxury Car showcase in its long-empty commercial space.
  • El Vocero newspaper has moved their executive offices from their decades-long home in Puerta de Tierra (near the capitol) to a classic building designed by renowned architect Henry Klumb on Ponce de Leon where Marshall's has been for decades.
  • Cristabol Salon has moved from Condado to their chic new home in Miramar Plaza opposite the Conservatory of Music. Also look for the new upscale bistro set to open soon in the same building.

These are all major investments by serious local businesses who have finally found the terms that they needed to invest in the Santurce market. After informal discussions with several owners - the overwhelming response was 'we've wanted to be in the area for years - and the price is finally right...''

There are still lots of empty commercial spaces - but instead of being boarded-up eyesores - they are being spruced-up and ready for market as owners seem willing to negotiate terms that provide a 'win-win' for both sides.

Hopefully it is a signal of a bottom for rental properties and a major change of market psychology.  Solid leases will soon establish realistic valuations for commercial property sales. 

If you are considering an investment in the Santurce Arts District? 

If you need a broker in San Juan, PR - call 787-455-4216

Our real estate broker office is located in San Juan's SANTURCE Arts District near Ciudadela, Lote 23 & Cobian's Plaza.

Office hours are Monday - Saturday from 9am - 7pm.  (by appointment only).

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