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La Isla, largest mall in Mexico’s southeast, opens in Mérida

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La Isla lets in the sun, but has a high-tech method for keeping its shopping mall cool. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida, Yucatán — La Isla Mérida, the mall portion of a giant complex north of the Periférico, opened today, beating another massive shopping complex to the punch.

While the mall is still building its inventory of stores and activities, the massive complex is officially open for business.

La Isla is a sister to the La Isla Shopping Villa in Cancun as well as numerous other malls and outlet centers across the country. It was built by Mexico City-based Grupo Gicsa for a reported 2.25 billion pesos.

Gicsa calls La Isla the largest mall of its kind in the southeast. It will have 180 stores, an artificial lake stocked with fish and a theme park, the latter of which is still under construction. In later phases, a hotel and office space are planned.

The contractor also boasts that the mall, which is largely under a series of glass domes, uses a air-cooling technology similar to that seen in the gigantic commercial centers of Dubai, which is also known for high temperatures.

Two restaurants, a clothing store and a cinema are advertising for employees and offering paid training, transportation and benefits.

“La Isla” represents a new concept of mall called “malltertainment.”

While not all the stores are open, Dorothy Gaynor, H & M, Guess, Calvin Klein, Zara and Liverpool appear ready for today’s unveiling.

Plaza La Isla is located in the planned community Cabo Norte, on the Temozón course, across the Periférico from City Center. (Map)

The Harbor, the mall portion of another massive complex called Via Montejo, is also due to open this year. It also includes an artificial lake, shopping, residences and offices. Both claim to have the largest shopping mall in the region, using different standards of measure. 

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