When it comes to real estate development there are ideas, and there are economic opportunities. Sam Marasco, president of LandGrant Development, doesn't waste time with the ideas.
"Not every idea is an economic opportunity," said Marasco, who founded the Del Mar-based LandGrant in 1986 with the expressed purpose of building shopping centers.
One of Marasco's best-known economic opportunities was the Las Americas outlet mall, a 50-plus-store shopping center nestled on the U.S.-Mexico border in San Ysidro. After its completion in 1998, Las Americas turned San Ysidro from a fly-through border town to a shopping destination.
In Barrio Logan sits the Mercado shopping center, a commercial center that has been awaiting construction for more than 10 years. In 2000, The MAAC Project, a social service and redevelopment agency based in Logan, came to LandGrant to ask for help in developing the Mercado.