Harbour House Aruba and the revival of Waf Chiquito

The former Mar Azul Condominiums and the Mar Azul Marina Mall, the massive abandoned development on Weststraat, recently found redemption, under its new name, Harbour House Apartments, and the Harbor Stores.

The complex has also undergone a clever repositioning. Instead of facing Weststraat, as its main mall entrance, the new layout calls for major shopping and dining on the ocean side, with a spacious promenade, as an extension of the Green Corridor, showcasing the beauty of the Oranjestad harbor.

Developer Albert Perret Gentil, Blue & Azul Condominiums, credits his brother with the brilliant idea to place the parking garage under the building and elevate the infinity pool, a la Renaissance in Curacao, for a more functional and dramatic use of the space.        

I know I wrote about this project before, I attended some shop openings in the past decades, Gilbert Senchi even operated an art gallery downstairs, friends almost bought condos there; I also lamented some unfortunate closings – especially that of a stylish Italian restaurant, what was its name?

With the project fully facing the water, seven harbor shops will be available for rent to reputable and experienced high-end F&B or retail experts. While Perret-Gentil believes it will take a while to find synergy he is confident that Weststaat, once a swinging neighborhood, will find a successful formula, perhaps a la WynWood, Miami, and he relies on the owners of neighboring real estate, APA, Eman, Harms, Mahtani, as well as Stichting Rancho, the fishermen, and the souvenir vendors of the Waf to come together for a comprehensive urban revival plan of the area.

Harbour House offers 96 units, from studios to 4-bedroom residences, up seven stories, on site parking, 24-hours security, boat service to beach, top floor solarium with hot tub, food & beverage, a swanky lobby, a fitness center, and the rooftop with 360 degrees views of the island.

Best of all, you’re welcome to move in, in 2020.

Perret Gentil remarks that an eclectic group of architects, designers and engineers were required to transform the unfortunately bankrupt prime piece of downtown real estate, but it’s done. And we should be proud of the rescue plan, breathing new life into the once popular Waf Chiquito.  

His company, just opened the first AZUL tower, on Eagle beach, one of two, and is planning the further construction of some townhouses in the back, facing the green areas.



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December 18, 2018
Rona Coster