Distinctive architecture in Aruba
The architecture of the buildings in Aruba’s capital surely are noticeable, even iconic. The bright colors and the old Dutch shapes really take you back to the old colonial times. These types of buildings are also found in neighboring Curacao.
In the present these buildings are used for commercial real estate rental. Tenants in these store are mostly retail businesses focused on mostly the international traveler. Think about jewelry, clothing, perfume and souvenirs stores. Only a few are focused on the local customer.
A browse around town reveals a couple of things. There are many units vacated and are for rent. Shopping centers are eating away from city centers and in Aruba it’s no difference. There is a true mall-revolution going on. At Palm Beach new malls are popping up like Paseo Herencia, South Beach, The Village and coming soon Palm Beach Plaza. Malls are nice and central with plenty of parking space. Parking is chronically poor in down town. In order for these colorful buildings to survive, and revive, the landlords need to reinvent their business model. Rely more on foot traffic, less shopping, less jewelry, more culture and more local art. Quick tip: lower the rent.