The city of Joao Pessoa on the eastern coast of Brazil is a tourist magnet, and the city is known to draw thousands of tourists every year because of their pristine, white sand beaches with turquoise waters, rich cultural traditions, and fascinating history. The city is also home to famous Brazilians, including Roberto Santiago, who is an entrepreneur and a businessman who is known as the owner of Manaira Shopping, a large shopping mall complex considered to be the biggest in the state of Paraiba. Roberto Santiago is proud of his achievements, and he can recall the days when he was still thinking how he can contribute to the economy of his beloved hometown.
In 1987, Roberto Santiago noticed a patch of a lot near the city center that was put up on sale. He thought of purchasing the land, so he contacted the owners and settled a deal for him to get it. He bought the area and decided to develop it into a mall. Roberto Santiago seeks the assistance from local contractors to build the mall that he has been dreaming of, and within two years, the mall was completed, and it opened its doors to the public in 1989. The mall was called Manaira Shopping, after the district where it was built. In its early days, Manaira Shopping has a small area, but it was made from ground up to maximize the space that it can occupy. The locals of Joao Pessoa are not used in shopping malls, but the construction of Manaira Shopping changed everything. The locals hang out at the mall especially every weekend, and some are paying a visit to get what they need.
Roberto Santiago never expected that the mall he built would become the symbol of the city. His business has given him a tremendous amount of wealth, and the money that he made building the mall was later used for the Manaira Shopping’s renovation and expansion. Since 2017, the mall has undergone several development and renovation projects, including the construction of an ample parking space, the Domus Hall in 2009, the food court section renovation in 2012, and the addition of more areas for shops. Manaira Shopping has also welcomed its doors to developers, and today, residential and office complexes can be found operating inside the mall’s premises. There is also an educational institution, a fitness center, and banks which have daily transactions.
The construction of Manaira Shopping inspired Roberto Santiago to build more malls within Joao Pessoa. His second mall is now under construction, found just a few city blocks away from his first mall. He is also conducting ocular inspections in Sao Paolo and Rio de Janeiro because he wanted to build a mall in Brazil’s most populated cities and see how it will perform.