Melancia Freeshops

Melancia Mall will be a magnet for millions of Brazilians who live with a 300-mile radius of the border town.

With only fifteen months remaining until the 2014 World Cup, a new wave of real estate investment is flooding the Uruguay/Brazil border.

One of the most important retail projects will be the new Melancia Mall & Freeshops in the Uruguayan border town of Rivera. The US$42 million shopping center will feature over 236,000 square feet (22,000 m2) of retail space with 70 shops and two large Duty Free anchors, Neutral and Wisa, according to El Observador’s Mayte de Leon.

The project was just released and already 60% of the available space has been leased, reflecting the optimism of both the developer, Niensur, and local retailers for Rivera’s potential as a magnet for Brazilian tourists. Almost all of Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state of Brazil, is within a 300-mile radius of Rivera.

The Governor of Rivera, Marne Osorio, declared the mall’s recent groundbreaking “a very special day for Rivera.” The project will create 1,800 construction jobs and over 1,000 retail positions upon completion.

Not surprisingly, the developers hope to open the Melancia Mall in May 2014, exactly one month before the World Cup begins across the border when Porto Alegre’s Beira-Rio Stadium will play host to early round matches. (Full Story in Spanish)

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