Avenida Presidente Masaryk
Presidente Masaryk at night
|Location||Polanco, Miguel Hidalgo
Mexico City, Mexico
|East||Calzada General Mariano Escobedo|
|West||Avenida Ferrocarril de Cuernavaca|
Avenida Presidente Masaryk (English: President Masaryk Avenue), a thoroughfare in the affluent Polanco neighborhood of Mexico City, is the city's most fashionable urban shopping street. It runs from Calzada General Mariano Escobedo in the east to Avenida Ferrocarril de Cuernavaca on the west.
President Lázaro Cárdenas named the avenue after the first President of Czechoslovakia, Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk in 1936. In 1999 the city of Prague donated a statue of Masaryk to Mexico City, one of the two originals made when the statue for the Prague Castle was being prepared. The statue was placed in the roundabout at the intersection of Av. Presidente Masaryk and Arquímedes on 28 October 2000, on the Czechoslovak National Day.
The name of the street is often misspelled e.g. "Mazarik" or "Mazaryk". The City of Mexico decided to correct the signs under its control in 2000 (street, highway and other signs), but the incorrect names remained on some of the local shops.
In 2013 Seduvi, the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing of the Federal District, decided to invest 480 million pesos for the urban renewal of the street, with an emphasis on making it more walkable. Half of this budget will be contributed by the government, with the rest coming from the private sector and a tax being levied on the residents/businesses that will benefit from the rehabilitation.
The project is a complete overhaul of current infrastructure, it includes: granite sidewalks, hydraulic concrete, landscaping (including the replacement of unhealthy trees), new benches and bike racks, energy efficient light posts, replacement of aging water supply and drainage systems, and the replacement of overhead electricity/telephone cables with an underground system. The rehabilitation, which is being completed in phases, started on January 2014 and is expected to last 18 months.
Exclusive shopping street
Masaryk, as it is commonly called, is also one of the most expensive shopping districts in the world and competes with Avenida Madero in the Historic Center for the title of street with the highest rents in the city.
It now faces competition from upscale shopping centers such as Centro Santa Fe, Arcos Lomas and Paseo Interlomas. Despite this competition and a tepid economy (which has led to a moderate drop in rent prices), Avenida Presidente Masaryk is still considered the standard for shopping in Mexico City.
- Pedro Romero. Night+Day Mexico City. p. 56.
- http://www.mzv.cz/public/60/43/b3/144368_14893_odhaleni.jpg Photo of the unveiling by the President of the City Government Rosario Robles and the Lord Mayor of the City of Prague Jan Kasl
- "ANUNCIA MANCERA ARRANQUE DE OBRAS DE REHABILITACIÓN EN AVENIDA PRESIDENTE MASARYK". http://www.agu.df.gob.mx. Retrieved October 3, 2014.
- Lida, David (2008). First Stop In The New World. Riverhead Trade. ISBN 1-59448-378-7.
- Nallely Ortigoza (November 21, 2012). "Disputa calle Madero negocios a Masaryk: Compite en precio con la avenida comercial de Polanco" [Calle Madero vies for business with Masaryk: it competes in price with Polanco's shopping street]. Reforma.
- "In Mexico City, Ritzy Strip Meets Bumpy Road". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 5, 2014.