Metropolitano stops give economic boost to local areas, study shows

Carlos Hurtado de Mendoza for El Comercio

Three areas in particular along the Metropolitano route could see major growth over the next few years.

Metropolitano stops give economic boost to local areas, study shows

(Photo: El Comercio)

The difference is clear if you look at the before and after photos of the Naranjal and Tuhuantinsuyo zones of Independencia. 

Before the construction of the Metropolitano station, the area looks deserted. It has only an informal market where auto parts are sold, with Túpac Amaru Avenue running through the center. In the surrounding areas, there are metal and wood factories, where it was not safe to walk around at night, much less alone.

But after the municipal work was completed, the area changed. There are now a number of restaurants, bakeries, bodegas and even a couple of banks. After a few moths of transitional chaos, things began to change for the better, and with it the price of a meter squared of space.

A study carried out by Mapcity, in conjunction with El Comercio, shows the commercial potential in the area.

The study also found other areas where the introduction of Metropolitano stations stands to transform the local market, among them Barranco and Chorrillos, where the selection of restaurants, pharmacies, banks, hotels and malls could grow exponentially over the next few years, as long as the government is able to promote urban development policies that will encourage private investment.

“We have analyzed the areas within 10 minutes walking distance from where the Metropolitano passes,” said Katherine Montesinos, head of projects at Mapcity. “The route runs through 14 Lima districts and has 36 stations. That promises a potential demand of 500,000 people that use this kind of transport every day.” 

What the study found was 3,000 registered businesses in the area surveyed, of which 50 percent are restaurants, which seem to be one of the most profitable types of businesses for investors.

Between the Naranjal (Independencia) and UNI (Rimac) stations, in the areas around the Las Flores (Barranco) station, and between the Esadio Unión and Matellini (Chorrillos) stations were the three areas with the most opportunity for businesses, Mapcity found.

“In Independencia, it would be possible to create a commercial center with smaller dimensions than Mega Plaza or Plaza Norte,” said Montesinos, who believes that the price per square meter in the area could rise to $2,000.

Of the other two areas with potential, the vicepresident of the urban transport commission of the Municipality of Lima, Juan Carlos Arias, believes that Barranco could have the most space for doing business. 

“There is a plan to develop a commercial center in Las Flores, which would also be connected to the new southern expressway,” Arias said.

Arias hopes that changes are made to the zoning of these areas, because otherwise the growth will be unorganized, he said.

But real estate consultant Victor Saldaña warns that the value of these premises can only increase if they have commercial value.

“The homes next to a transit line like this lose value,” he said.