LandGrant Development opened a 75-store retail center in San Diego, phase one of a $260-million project that will be the largest private development on the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.
The Spanish-style Las Americas project was built in an effort to capture business from the 60 million people who annually pass through the San Ysidro border crossing, the world's busiest, said Samuel Marasco, president of the San Diego-based developer. The project abuts the border crossing.
The center is opening just as the U.S. is tightening security at its borders after September's terrorist attacks, cutting the flow of traffic in and out of the country.
Average daily vehicle crossings are down 20% to 35,000 at San Ysidro, and pedestrian crossings are down 50% to 23,000, said Lauren Mack, a spokeswoman for the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
Tenants in the first phase of the project include Brooks Bros., Liz Claiborne, Ralph Lauren and Gap. Restaurants at the site include an Outback Steakhouse.
LandGrant, which bought the 66-acre property in 1994, is backed by J.E. Robert Cos., a real estate investment firm with property in the U.S., Asia and Europe.