The Costa Rican Institute of Aqueducts and Sewers (AyA- Acueductos y Alcantarillados) denied water availability for the Tamarindo Beach Plaza Mall because of the shortage of water in the area. Despite this rejection, Pepito Phub S.A., the anonymous society that owns the project, is continuing with the paperwork procedures, according to Vitorio Petrosillo, president of the firm that is building the project, Barocco S.A.
Sandra Salazar, head of AyA’s press department, said that the request was denied in April of 2015 and that no permit has been granted in the last three years for a project of this size. In addition, the Huacas-Tamarindo aquifer, which supplies the area, is experiencing a severe crisis in its water levels. However, Petrosillo affirmed that the project has had the permit since mid-2015.
“We would not have started the construction plans stage if we did not have the permit and water availability. I want to clarify that we already had water availability for the structures that we have now, but these are going to be demolished to build the new project,” the president of the construction company pointed out.
The anonymous society Pepito Phub S.A. has demonstrated to Setena the availability of water for Hotel Porto Fino, so they extended the environmental feasibility of the project. However, by email, Setana stated the following: “If there is a change within the parameters under which the Environmental Viability [License] was granted (in this case, the supply source or volume), it should be reported to the Secretary prior to implementation of the project; otherwise it would be in clear violation of the Sworn Statement of Environmental Commitments that they made before the administration.”
He also said that the hotel, shops and gym that the society currently has are going to be demolished to build the mall in order to continue using the same water plans.
The legal director of AyA, Rodolfo Lizano, explained that even though a property has obtained the water availability permit in previous years, it cannot be used for a new project.
The mall is to be located at the intersection of Cardinal Street and Central Avenue on a corner lot in the center of Tamarindo, in a space of 6,000 square meters (1.48 acres). It would cost about $10 million for the construction of three floors with 35 stores and offices for various businesses and service providers.
Three movie theaters with 350 seats and a bowling alley would be built on the third floor. The food court would have 23 establishments on the second floor and the commercial and service premises would be located on the ground floor of the building. Parking would be located adjacent to the building.
According to Petrosillo, the project has permission from the Environmental Technical Secretary (SETENA- Secretaria Tecnica Ambiental) and the Federated Association of Engineers and Architects (Colegio Federado de Ingenieros y Arquitectos), and in the next few days, they will do the paperwork for the building permits at the Municipality of Santa Cruz, hoping that dirt and debris removal work can begin in two months.