SHOPPING CENTER IGUATEMI                                    
Rua Iguatemi (Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima) and Rua Angelina Maffai Vita
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Work commenced on Latin America's first mall-type shopping center in July 1965. SHOPPING CENTER IGUATEMI was built on an 11.4 acre site, located 3 miles southwest of center city Sao Paulo, in the city's Jardin (or Garden) district.

The land, owned by the Eduardo Matarazzo family, had been acquired by Construtatora Alfredo Mathias, a real estate development company. Several barbeques were held at the site, where shares in a prospective shopping complex were sold to the public.

SHOPPING CENTER IGAUTEMI was designed by Gian Carlo Gasperini and Joao ["jow"] Henrique Rocha. The complex,  which cost 60 million cruzeiros to construct, was a roofed -but not enclosed- building of 2 retail levels and 387,500 leasable square feet. Third and fourth floors housed rented office spaces.

The original anchors were a 2-level (55,200 square foot) Sears and 2-level (17,600 square foot) Lojas Americanas variety store. The mall also housed a Pão de Açúcar ("Sugar Loaf") supermarket, Sinhá Boutique, Giuliano Jóias, AB Uniforms, Photoptics, Jogê, Renata Jewelry and Drogaria Iguatemi (a drug store). There were originally 72 operational stores and services.

An official grand opening was held November 28, 1966. Entertainment was provided by singer-quitarist Chico Buarque, singer Nara Lofego Leão, singer Eliana Pittman and comedian Chico Anysio.

By 1971, a fully-leased SHOPPING CENTER IGUATEMI housed 174 stores. The first expansion of the complex, completed in 1977, added a northwest store block and Garage Maffei Vita. Built on the south side of the mall, it contained 2 retail floors and a 7-level parking facility.

Commercial competition had arrived in the previous year. SHOPPING IBIRAPUERA ["ee-bee-duh-poo-air-duh"] {2.6 miles southeast} had opened its doors in August 1976. This was followed by SHOPPING ELDORADO {.5 mile northwest}, in July 1981. Next came CENTER NORTE ["nor-chee"] {6 miles northeast}, which was dedicated in April 1984.

Meanwhile, Sao Paulo-based Grupo Jereissati had acquired the holdings of Construtatora Alfredo Mathias in late 1979. Included in the transaction was a majority interest in SHOPPING CENTER IGUATEMI. A subsidiary, known as La Fonte Empresa de Shopping Centers, was formed. This enterprise would operate the IGUATEMI mall and also develop new retail facilities throughout Brazil.

The first of these were built in the cities of Campinas (1980), Fortaleza (1982) and Porto Alegre (1983). All were named under a newly-created "Iguatemi" brand, with the original retail complex being rebannered as IGUATEMI SAO PAULO.

A second enlargement of the original mall got underway in the early 1980s. Its east-facing facade was expanded with Garage Nova, which housed 4 floors of retail and a 6-level parking facility. A full third floor of retail was added to the existing structure and the complex fully-enclosed and air-conditioned. When the construction dust settled in 1982, IGUATEMI SAO PAULO encompassed approximately 1,132,400 leasable square feet.

The Sears chain shuttered all Brazilian stores in March 1991. It is unclear whether or not the IGUATEMI SAO PAULO store was in operation up to this time. Whatever the case, when said store closed for good, it was divided into 54 retail spaces, with most of these facing onto a new Praca de Alimentacao ["prah-kah jiy ay-luh-uh-men-tes-oh"] (or Food Court).

By the mid-1990s, there were 4 cinematic auditoriums in operation at the mall. The primary venue, the Circuito Sul Cine Iguatemi, was destroyed by fire on October 4, 1994. The venue was rebuilt as a state-of-the-art twinplex, which was dedicated August 18, 1995.

All cinematic venues at IGUATEMI SAO PAULO were replaced when an 8th floor was added to Garage Maffei Vita. Cinemark Iguatemi, a state-of-the-art 6-plex, was housed in the new retail floor. Its first features were shown on October 24, 2005.

The most recent expansion of the mall, a Southwest Wing, was completed in May 2011. It added 43,000 square feet of restaurant space and a 7-level parking facility. On top of this was a 5-floor headquarters for Grupo Jereissati and its subsidiary, now known as Iguatemi Empresa de Shopping Centers.  

Soon after the completion of the Southwest Wing, the exterior and interior of the existing mall were refurbished. The Avenida Brigadeiro Faria Lima facade was resurfaced, with glass windows installed. In the Praca Principal (Center Court), a garden composed of 170 terraced cumaru wood planters was installed beneath a curving "sculptural skylight".
All work was completed in September 2015. IGUATEMI SAO PAULO now encompassed 1,396,600 leasable square feet and housed 305 stores and services. Some of its high-end tenants included Alexandre de Paris, Antonio Bernardo, Burberry, Cartier, Chanel, Diane Von Furstenberg, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Polo Ralph Lauren. 

Sources: / "After 40 years, Iguatemi changes its name to Shopping da Bahia" / January 2015 / Jereissati Group / Carbondale Architects