Construction in David

I recently learned more about the new Federal Mall. What I now understand is that it is scheduled to be built in four phases, each adding 100 stores. That may paint a different picture than many have in mind now.

This is essentially what occurred with Plaza Terronal. It took two phases to get to its current point. If you remember that development, it took years before all of the locations had stores in them. Plaza Terronal was scheduled to be a three phase development.

Therefore, no one should assume that there will be a 400 store mall in David in a couple years.

Yesterday, I took part of my morning driving around David and taking some snapshots of a small fraction of the building that is underway or recently completed. My mind is boggled by enormity of change in the time I have lived in Chiriquí.

When you add the new Federal Mall on top of the current construction, you have to wonder who and what is going to fill all these spaces.

Now let me pose a different thought. All of this construction has provided a tremendous opportunity for construction laborers. This includes those working on the InterAmerican Highway.

One of these days the InterAmerican Highway will move out of the construction phase and into the maintenance phase and require less laborers.

One of these days all of these current constructions will get to a point of completion where they need to be occupied and start paying for the investment required to build them.

One has to wonder where these laborers will go following the construction currently in progress. Of course this is be several years out.

On some of the photos below, you will see that some have signs saying there is no vacancy, even though they are in the middle of construction. As I said, it just boggles my mind.

As I said, the following photos are just a fraction of the construction going on.

This first photo is across the street from Dairy Queen close to the old Super 99.


This building looks like it is nearing completion and is across the street from the Mitsubishi dealer.


Here a couple more.


This is across the street from Escuela Municipal De Bellas Artes de David, which I will cover in a future post.


This building (on the old Boquete highway) has been completed for some time and awaiting occupancy.You can see the “for sale” real estate sign in the photo.


This mall is also on the old Boquete highway.


Obviously there is a lot of growth expected to fill all of these locations.

11 thoughts on “Construction in David

  1. The employment question is one I’ve wondered about with the final completion of the widening of the Panama Canal. What are all THOSE workers going to do? Build this new place, I guess.

  2. I talked to a couple of Panamanians that seem to be in the “Know.” They said that the people with money know that any construction today is in cheaper dollars than if they wait and build it in 5 or 10 years. It is better to build it now, even if it sits empty for a while, they will make their money back in 10 to 15 years from now. This is called “Generational Investing.”

  3. It is not apples to apples but….. 1) you have all of these construction people who will need jobs 2) you will have all of these new businesses needing employees. Ta Da ! Not that simple of course but it all works out in the wash. The population growth takes care of the additions.

  4. As you said, it is not apples to apples. A person laying concrete blocks is not going to sell dresses in department store. Skills are different and I think the salary levels will be different. Plus, there will no doubt be a large lag between the termination of projects and the growth of need to fill all the vacancies.

    I could be wrong. There is a lot of money in Chiriquí. Lilliam comments all the time when we drive by TGI Fridays that the parking lot appears to be full of its customers. TGIF is not a cheap place to eat and it gets more Panamanians than foreigners.

    Part of the employment problem see is that there are a large number of college graduates that can’t find work.

    I am glad I no longer need a job.

  5. If we build it and they will come, how will David handle all the traffic? Will it become like Panama City pre the Metro? Will a Metro be next? Quien sabe?

  6. There is a great deal of construction that is not as obvious. There are thousands of houses and small businesses being built in and around David. It is causing growing pains in most of the small places around David. Water, electric, internet, police and transportation systems are seeing use increasing faster than these systems can be expanded.

    My neighbors expect the “boom” will stop very quickly, as all booms in the past have; that is when the the infrastructure and crime problems will become even more acute. My community is trying to get ready for the end of the boom. Time will tell if we made the correct preparations.

  7. Well sometimes you can’t always be a brick layer your whole life. There will probably be more service jobs available and there will be more jobs to maintain these buildings. Probably the most important consideration in the future is job training.

  8. Chiriqui needs many roads. Tierras Altas needs a four lane highway which with any luck will give these workers at least five years of work. The ranching and produce growers need access roads as well.

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