Roberto Santiago and the Saga of the Largest Shopping Mall In Joao Pessoa
Robert Santiago is one of the most well -known entrepreneurs of Brazil. An alumnus of Pio-X Marist College and the University Center of Joao Pessoa, he is best known as the owner of the iconic shopping mall Manaria.
He purchased the land on which the mall stands in Joao Pessoa in 1987. He developed the land for two years, and in 1989 the Manaria Shopping Mall threw open its doors to the public. It became a gigantic success as the people had never before been exposed to anything quite like it. The mall came with a theater, a gaming area, food court, several shopping stores, a college, financial institutions and a gym.
The Domus Hall located on the mall’s rooftop was opened in 2009 and was another spectacular feather in its cap. This is an extremely large space and is ideal for hosting musical concerts, conferences, weddings, graduation ceremonies and other public events. All of this is possible on account of its enormous capacity- it can fit in 10000 standing individuals and 4000 seated ones. Add to that perfect acoustics, sound proofing, and air conditioning and you have an incredible venue at your disposal.
What is remarkable about the hall is that it comprises of two floors, with the upper one comprising of cabins to provide privacy to those who seek it and the lower floor being exclusively used for bigger public events. It is not surprising therefore to discover that the Domus Hall has seen performances by some of the top performers of the world. In fact, many of them visited Brazil only to perform at Domus Hall.
More than anything else Manaria Shopping Mall is an entertainment zone nonpareil. A particular favorite is the movie theater that shows the latest offerings. Then the eating options are something else altogether. From fast food to high-end cuisine everything is available in the eateries and restaurants there. Espaco Gourmet, Capital Steak House, and Waynes, in particular, are good examples of this.
The shopping experience is mind blowing as well. The sheer range and variety of merchandise available is phenomenal. There are book stores, sports gear stores, furniture stores, jewelry stores, cosmetics outlets and what have you. The piece de resistance is probably the college Higher Education of Pariba, which is responsible for students and faculty members thronging the place and adding to the atmosphere of the mall.
When Santiago serendipitously bought that piece of land in Joao Pessoa, he set in motion a whole lifestyle revolution in the town and indeed in the nation. This is usually how iconic cultural landmarks have come up down the ages. The Manaria Shopping Mall certainly contributes to the making of contemporary Brazilian culture in more ways than one. Of course, the credit for this has to go to the man who envisaged this kind of a concept in the first place.
If Roberto Santiago is a much-revered figure in Brazil, it is to a great extent on account of his creating this masterpiece of a shopping mall, the Manria Shopping Mall.