The Plaza Cuicuilco Inbursa, or simply the Plaza Cuicuilco, is immediately south of the Cuicuilco archaeological site. It shouldn’t be confused with the Plaza Loreto shopping center, which is about 10-minutes drive north. Although history, even recent history, makes that confusion understandable.
The Plaza Cuicuilco is a recent update and re-purposing of the former Loreto y Peña Pobre Paper Mill. The Loreto Paper Mill had began operating in 1759, to the north at the Plaza Loreto site. In 1929, that mill was merged with the Peña Pobre mill here. Both were under the auspices of Alberto Lenz. He’s discussed in greater detail in the description of the Bosque de Tlalpan. The forest, after all, was originally set aside to provide timber for the now much larger paper mill.
Paper making began in New Spain as early as 1580 at a mill in Culhuacan, in today’s Iztapalapa.
In 1984, Grupo Carso purchased the plot and it was converted to a shopping center after paper production ceased in 1992. At that point it was re-fashioned as a commercial plaza which re-opened in 1997. The project is very similar to the much more extensive shopping center at the Plaza Loreto site. That site includes the original Museo Soumaya art and historical collections.
Today, the Plaza Cuicuilco is not a massive shopping complex. It’s best understood as a collection of good restaurants (some of them very good). The setting is a recovered historical industrial site. That’s then surrounded on nearly all sides by historical, archaeological, and natural reserves. The site is separated from Insurgentes Avenue, at the site of the Crea Furniture Market, by the Loreto and Peña Pobre Ecological Park.