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Centro Comercial La Central - the newest mall in Medellín - Medellin Guru
La Central is one of the newest malls in Medellín. It's a nice mall that opened in May 2018 in the Buenos Aires comuna in Medellín and has nearly 200 shops.

La Central: A Guide to the Only Mall in Buenos Aires in Medellín

Centro Comercial La Central is one of the newest malls in Medellín located in the Buenos Aires comuna of Medellín. The new mall opened on May 3, 2018 with promotions in several of the stores.

This new mall is expected to be popular since it’s the only Western-style mall in the neighborhoods east of El Centro in Medellín. I went to this mall on the first day it opened and it was packed with people.

La Central is one of the largest malls in the Aburrá Valley metro area with reportedly nearly 200 shops and 915,000 square feet (85,000 square meters) of space in a large building with six floors of shops and three additional floors in a tower.

This new mall is relatively far from the most popular neighborhoods for expats in the metro area including El Poblado, Laureles-Estadio, Envigado, Sabaneta and Belén. So, it’s not expected that you will often hear English being spoken in this large mall.

I have only met one foreigner living in Buenos Aires that was attracted by lower living costs. He pays only 700,000 pesos per month for a nice but small two-bedroom apartment. I also have a Colombian friend living in the area.

Buenos Aires has a population over 140,000. And since the Tranvía tram line was put in place running from El Centro east into Buenos Aires, my Colombian friend has told me that real estate prices have increased in the area.

Inside La Central Mall with six shopping floors

Inside La Central Mall with six shopping floors

History of Centro Comercial La Central

Viviendas y Proyectos, the developer of the new mall, conducted research before building the mall project. They determined that within a radius of about 1.9 miles (3 kilometers) from the mall there are over 130,000 families and a population of over 400,000 in a large area that is lacking a shopping mall east of El Centro.

Viviendas y Proyectos plans the manage the new mall taking advantage of its experience with the Los Molinos mall in Belén.

La Central was originally scheduled to open in March 2018 according to press reports last year. So, the developer was pretty much on schedule, opening only a couple of months later than originally planned.

The mall was reportedly built with an investment of about 200 billion pesos. And the mall is pursuing U.S. Green Building Council LEED Silver certification for sustainable design.

When I went to the mall on the opening day, some of the new stores and some of the fast food places hadn’t opened yet. Also, the Smart Fit gym that is supposed to be on the eighth floor wasn’t open yet.

In addition, I noticed some vacancies in the mall. But I expect these will be filled quickly based on the crowds I saw in the mall on the opening day.

The Shops in La Central Mall

The anchor tenants of the mall include Agaval, Exito, Cinemas Procinal, Happy City and Smart Fit. In addition, the mall has a total of about 200 shops of all types.

The shops and businesses in the mall include male and female fashion, children’s and youth clothing, footwear, sporting goods, furniture and decoration, lingerie, opticians and fast food places.

The Agaval store in La Central Mall

The Agaval store in La Central Mall

Agaval in La Central Mall

Agaval is a large store that primarily sells major brand tennis shoes such as Adidas, Converse, LA Gear, Nike, Puma, Reebok and others at discounted prices. They also sell sports clothing, televisions, appliances and some other products.

Due to having some good prices I expect it will be one of the most popular stores in La Central mall.

Agaval also has shop in the Florida Parque mall. And it has stand-alone stores in Bello, Itagüí, Junin and El Centro. In addition, the company also has smaller Sport brand stores in other malls in the area like Los Molinos, Mayorca, Santafé, San Diego and Unicentro.

Cinemas Procinal in La Central Mall

Cinemas Procinal in La Central Mall

Movies at Cinemas Procinal in La Central Mall

Cinemas Procinal’s movie theater in La Central mall has seven screens. Furthermore, you can see the schedule of movies on the Cinemas Procinal website.

Cinemas Procinal is a movie theater chain with movie theaters in eight cities in Colombia. It has movie theaters in Apartadó, Barrancabermeja, Bogotá, Cartagena, Rionegro, Medellín, Santa Marta and Villavicencio.

In Medellín, Cinemas Procinal has movie theaters in Aventura, Aves Maria, Florida Parque, La Central, Las Américas, Mayorca, Monterrey and Puerta del Norte.

Also, Cinemas Procinal has a frequent moviegoer card. With this card, you can buy movie tickets at discounted rates. In addition, you can receive discounts on food and beverages.

The busy Exito on opening day of the new mall

The busy Exito on opening day of the new mall

Exito Supermarket in La Central Mall

Exito is a large supermarket chain in Colombia that also sells appliances, electronics, clothes, home furnishings, kitchen items, and many other things. Most noteworthy, an Exito in Colombia is similar to a Walmart in the U.S.

The Exito at La Central mall was incredibly busy on the opening day. Exito has 26 of its large grocery stores in the Medellín metro area. Also, it has some smaller Exito local markets. In addition, Exito owns the Carulla grocery store chain, which has several locations in Medellín.

If you shop frequently at Exito and/or Carulla you should sign up for Puntos Colombia, which is a program that used to be known as Puntos Exito. Puntos Colombia is a frequent shopper program where you accumulate points for each purchase. You can use these points to purchase items in the future.

To sign up for Puntos Colombia you just need a Colombian cedula ID. And it’s essentially like getting 1 percent cash back on your purchase that you can use for future purchases. With the program you get 1 punto for every 700 pesos in purchases. And that 1 punto is worth 7 pesos.

Exito frequently has sales on appliances, TVs and other electronics. Jumbo is another chain of big box stores like Exito that also frequently has sales. If you are furnishing a place, make sure to check out the sales at both Exito and Jumbo.

The Flamingo department store in La Central Mall

The Flamingo department store in La Central Mall

Flamingo in La Central Mall

Flamingo is a department store that sells a wide range of items including appliances, clothing, electronics and furniture. In addition, Flamingo has five other stores in the Medellín metroplex with three located in El Centro and one in the Mayorca Mega Plaza mall and one in the Puerta del Norte mall.

Flamingo also has additional stores in Colombia located in Armenia, Bogotá, Ibagué, Itagüí, Monteria, Pereira, Piedecuesta, Rionegro, Sincelejo, Soacha, Soledad and Valledupar, Villavicencio.

Happy City's Ferris Wheel on the sixth floor of La Central Mall

Happy City’s Ferris Wheel on the sixth floor of La Central Mall

Happy City in La Central Mall

For kids and families there is also a Happy City in La Central Mall on the sixth floor. Happy City is a chain of arcades in Colombia with all kinds of games for kids and families.

Happy City is a Colombian company that was formed to produce, promote and market recreation spaces for children and families. Since 1982, Happy City has manufactured, marketed and administered family recreation spaces in Colombia. And Happy City belongs to the IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions).

Happy City has locations in several malls in Medellín including Forida Parque, La Central, MayorcaSan Diego and Santafé.  And they have additional locations in many cities in Colombia.

Smart Fit in La Central Mall

Smart Fit is a Brazil-based fitness chain that expanded to Colombia with the help of MAS FIT and Grupo Bio Ritmo.

Reportedly Smart Fit is going to have a gym located on the eighth floor of La Central Mall. But it wasn’t open on opening day of the mall and I tried to go to the eighth floor, which also wasn’t open yet.

The “Plan Smart” membership at Smart Fit costs 90,000 pesos to sign up and 59,900 pesos per month plus an annual maintenance of 89,000 pesos.  This plan provides access to a single location.

And the “Plan Black” membership at Smart Fit costs 45,000 pesos to sign up and 69,900 pesos per month plus an annual maintenance of 89,000 pesos. This plan provides access to all Smart Fit locations and permits you to invite a friend.

In Medellín, Smart Fit has 10 locations plus an additional three locations in Envigado, two in Itagüí, one in Bello and one in Sabaneta. So, it has 17 locations in the metro area.

Smart Fit reportedly has a total of over 50 locations in Colombia with additional locations in Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cartagena, Cali, Ibaqué, Manizales, Montería, Neiva, Palmira and Popayán.

Part of the food court in La Central Mall

Part of the food court in La Central Mall

La Central Mall Food Options

La Central has a large food court on the fifth floor. And there are spaces for over 20 fast food places in the mall. On opening day, not all the food spaces were occupied and a few of the fast food places hadn’t opened yet.

Fast food options in the mall include Al Carbón, AsiaWok, Burger King, Frisby, KFC, Presto, Mis Carnes, Qbano, Sarku Japan, Sr. Wok and Subway.

In addition, there is a Juan Valdez Café on the first floor of the mall. And there is a Chef Burger restaurant on the second floor in the mall .

How to Get to Centro Comercial La Central

The easiest way to get to Centro Comerical La Central is via the Medellín Metro. To get there take the A or B metro line to the San Antonio metro station. And transfer to the T-A Tranvía tram line downstairs.

The mall is near the Miraflores station tram station

The mall is near the Miraflores station tram station

Take the tram to the Miraflores station. Finally, the La Central mall is about a five-minute walk from this tram station.

From the metro tram station, you will go up some stairs and walk through a small neighborhood sporting complex to get to the mall.

Walk up these stairs from the tram station

Walk up these stairs from the tram station

You will walk through a small neighborhood sporting complex to get to the mall

You will walk through a small neighborhood sporting complex to get to the mall

Furthermore, some taxi drivers in Medellín will know where this mall is located. If not give them the address below. And it’s also fairly easy to catch a taxi on the street in front of the mall.

If you drive, the mall reportedly has 800 parking spaces for cars and 900 spaces for motorcycles plus 100 spaces for bicycles.

Also, the newest gastronomic market in Medellín, Mercado Del Tranvía, is located near to this mall and is only one stop away on the tram line.

Website: https://www.lacentral.com.co/   

Address: Calle 49 between Carreras 25 and 19, Buenos Aires, Medellín

Telephone: +57 (4) 322 7117

Hours:  Monday – Thursday: 10 am – 8 pm; Friday and Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm; Sunday and Holidays: 10 am – 8 pm.

The Most Popular Malls in Medellín

Several readers of Medellin Guru have asked for information about the malls in the Medellín metro area.

So, we have provided up-to-date guides to the 14 best and largest malls in the Medellín metro area in a series on this website:

  1. Viva Envigado – one of the newest malls in the Aburrá Valley located in Envigado, which is reportedly the largest mall in Colombia
  2. Santafé – one of the largest malls in Medellín located in El Poblado
  3. Mayorca Mega Plaza – a popular mall in Sabaneta with several outlet shops
  4. El Tesoro – Medellín’s popular mall with a view in El Poblado
  5. Premium Plaza – one of Medellín’s largest shopping malls with entertainment on the third floor
  6. Puerta del Norte – the largest and most popular mall in Bello
  7. Arkadia – the newest mall in Medellín and the nicest mall in Belén
  8. Los Molinos – the oldest Western-style mall in Belén
  9. Oviedo – the oldest mall in El Poblado.
  10. San Diego – the oldest mall in Medellín.
  11. Unicentro – the largest and most popular mall in Laureles-Estadio
  12. Monterrey – Medellín’s technology mall in El Poblado
  13. Florida Parque – the only Western-style mall in the Robledo comuna in Medellín
  14. La Central – the only Western-style mall in the Buenos Aires comuna in Medellín

Also, we included La Central in our article about the 14 best malls in Medellín.

Inside Centro Comercial La Central looking down

Inside Centro Comercial La Central looking down

View of Medellín from Centro Comercial La Central

View of Medellín from Centro Comercial La Central

The Bottom Line: Centro Comercial La Central – the Only Mall in Buenos Aires

Centro Comerical La Central is one of the newest malls in Medellín. And it’s a very nice mall with a Cinemas Procinal for movies, an Exito for groceries and many fast food options.

In addition, it has big selection of shops with nearly 200 shops. Also, it’s the only mall in the Buenos Aires comuna, east of El Centro. And since the mall is high up the eastern hills of Medellín, it has some nice views of the city.

However, it’s mainly a local mall with customers expected to come primarily from the nearby area. It’s not really a destination mall like Santafé or El Tesoro malls in El Poblado, Viva Envigado in Envigado or Mayorca Mega Plaza in Sabaneta.

Sign up for the Free Medellin Guru Newsletter – You can see all of the previous Medellin Guru weekly email newsletters and sign up here.

Editors note: updated on August 20, 2018 to reflect the change in Exito’s frequent shopping program that has changed from Puntos Exito to Puntos Colombia.

Editors note: updated on October 6, 2018 to add the new Viva Envigado mall.

Editors note: updated on November 14, 2019 to add the Arkadia mall, which is the newest mall in Medellín.

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8 thoughts on “La Central: A Guide to the Only Mall in Buenos Aires in Medellín”

    1. Nice article, I didn’t know a new mall opened up. This has a Santa Fe mall feel to it. The more malls the better. Perfect way to spend a Sunday with your SO.

    2. Nice article thanks! And looks like with the tram and new mall Buenos Aires looks like a place to investigate to live in that will be cheaper than the typical gringo haunts.

    3. Another mall? That’s 12 malls with one more on the way with a area population of only around 4 million. I need to do some analysis on why the people of Medellin are so attracted to mall concepts. Most of them have the same stores, restaurants and movie houses. Of course, I’m an American and malls have rapidly fallen out of favor in the past decade here. So much so that their hollowed out shells have become an eyesore in many major cities in the US. Shopping malls were once a huge deal amongst people of my generation (Gen X). Naturally, this was before modern tech like the smartphone, Amazon and social media. Besides, there was no other central place where we could meet so many girls…lol.

      I’m not critical of this mind you. It’s a business model that works for Colombians apparently. For them I suppose it’s the retail heyday of the 80’s. Go figure.

      • There are more than 12 malls in the Medellín metro area, we have just covered the largest 12. There are several more smaller Western-style malls like Aves Marie, Aventura, City Plaza, Terracina Plaza, Viva and Vizcaya.

        New malls in areas underserved with shopping tend to do well, two examples are Los Molinos in Belén and Forida Parque in Robledo.

    4. David Williams May 4, 2018

      Thanks, great article and looks like a nice mall. Interesting that after the tram line was installed investment followed with Medellin’s newest mall and the newest gastronomic market in the city.

    5. Brock Canner May 4, 2018

      Thanks Jeff, starting to think there are too many malls in Medellin. Fine by me. Guess people love to shop.

      • Yes, some paisas love to shop and also like to hang out at the malls and go to movies in the malls. On the weekends, most of the malls in the city are pretty busy. The El Poblado neighborhood is possibly overbuilt with malls. For example, Santafé and Oviedo are almost across the street from each other. This news article (in Spanish) in 2016 showed that Santafé at the time had the highest vacancy of malls surveyed with 11.9% vacancy and Oviedo had 7%: http://www.vivirenelpoblado.com/periodico/centros-comerciales-y-de-negocios-ya-no-dan-imagen-de-saturacion-sino-de-oportunidad

        • Johannes Ghiletiuc May 4, 2018

          Thanks for that article! Nice to see that they built that close to a rather central metro station. I’m already fed up going to Poblado (which is basically right in the middle of nowhere and on top of that, expensive). Guess I’ll buy my shoes and SD cards in Buenos Aires then 🙂

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