By JAMES A. LOYOLA
[ Manila Bulletin Online ] December 13, 2008
SM Investments Corporation’s property subsidiary SM Land Inc. is spending an initial P10 billion to pursue the transformation of the 60-hectare Mall of Asia Complex into a world-class business and entertainment hub fronting the famous Manila Bay.
SMIC chief financial officer Jose Sio said the initial capital expenditure for phase I of this ambitious project will amount to P10 billion. Phase I will start next year and will be completed in about three years.
The first phase will include hotels and facilities for gaming after the recent provisional license granted by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation marked the start of the development of the entertainment hub which will be executed over the medium term.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) yesterday, the firm said the plan runs in line with the group’s thrust into tourism development as SM develops other projects such as Hamilo in Batangas and a chain of high-end and boutique hotels, and convention centers throughout the country.
"We believe in the country’s strong potential in tourism. As such, SM will be at the forefront in providing much-needed infrastructure and facilities for more tourists to enjoy the country’s scenic destinations, while experiencing the warmth of Philippine hospitality," said SMIC vice chairman Henry Sy, Jr.
The entertainment hub will have on its plate a number of hotels fronting the Manila Bay to be operated by leading international hotel chains like the Radisson and the luxury Regent brand.
It will also include high-end retail establishments, a mega structure that will be operated by an international casino operator, and a theater for the performing arts.
There will also be a residential component and a ferry terminal that will directly link the Mall of Asia Complex with SM’s Hamilo project.
The firm also continues to develop its Hamilo Coast, the country’s emerging premier eco-tourism destination, and is breaking ground for its new projects – the Carola and Miranda condominium clusters.
Located at Pico de Loro Cove, Carola and Miranda are among the 11 clusters of low-impact residential condominiums to rise along the impressive coastline of Nasugbu, Batangas.
"Development is already in full swing at Hamilo Coast and we’re moving forward with the residential components of the project," said Jess Lucas, president of SMIC’s Costa del Hamilo, Inc., developer of Hamilo Coast.
He added that "the Carola and Miranda Clusters will be a vital part of our overall vision to provide Filipinos with a new kind of resort lifestyle – one that embraces modernity and nature."