Posted on 10:04 PM, September 30, 2010 [ BusinessWorld Online ]
SM Prime Holdings, Inc., the country’s largest mall developer, will start operations at SM City San Pablo in Laguna today.
The company wants to tap the middle-income market through the new mall, and another to be opened this year in the same province.
SM City San Pablo, the 38th shopping mall of SM Prime in the country, has a gross floor area of 56,086 square meters (sq. m.), SM Prime said in a disclosure.
“This is the second SM mall in Laguna, with another one coming up later this year in Calamba,” SM Prime President Hans T. Sy said in the same statement.
“Laguna is a key area for our mall expansion, with its bustling cities, relative proximity to Metro Manila, and a thriving tourism industry,” he added.
SM Prime opened its first mall in Laguna, SM City Sta. Rosa, in 2006.
SM City San Pablo has an area for lease of 34,169 sq. m., of which 99% have already been awarded to various tenants like SM Supermarket and SM Department Store; quick service restaurants Jollibee, Mang Inasal, McDonald’s, and Pizza Hut; full-service Chinese restaurant Savory; and shops like Ace Hardware, Watsons, SM Appliances, and National Book Store.
SM Prime said the new mall also has a business center, a 456-seat food court, four cinemas with a combined seating capacity of about 1,400, a parking lot for 600 vehicles, and a terminal for public utility vehicles.
San Pablo City is known for its coconut-based food products and a thriving fishing industry. Majority of Laguna province’s population belongs to the middle-income bracket benefiting from an agricultural-industrial economy and the presence of manufacturing plants.
SM Prime also said it was scheduled to open SM City Calamba and SM City Novaliches later this year.
By yearend, SM Prime is expected to have 40 malls in the Philippines, with an estimated gross floor area of 4.8 million sq. m.
In April, SM Prime opened to the public the four-level, 34,385-sq. m. SM City Tarlac, the first new SM mall to be opened this year.
Shares in the mall developer, whose consolidated net income climbed by 10% to P3.8 billion in the first half due to higher consumer spending, were unchanged at P12.62 each yesterday.
Meanwhile, the property development arm of the conglomerate will start the construction of its first residential project in Tagaytay.
In a separate disclosure, SM Development Corp. said it would break ground for the first tower of residential condominium project Wind Residences on Oct. 2.
This will be the first of nine towers in the P12-billion Wind Residences on Emilio Aguinaldo Highway.
“Another tower of Wind Residences [will] begin construction before yearend,” SM Development said.
“Scenic Tagaytay offers unrivaled natural attractions such as its cool and windy climate, and is a very popular tourist destination that is quite proximate to the metropolis,” said Henry T. Sy, Jr., vice-chairman and chief executive of SM Development.
Wind Residences, the first residential project of the company outside Metro Manila, was launched in 2009. The 15.45-hectare Wind Residences will have a total 7,758 units.
Amenities include a clubhouse, badminton and basketball courts, swimming pools, children’s playground, and a jogging path.
SM Development, which has a market value of P58.26 billion, expects to raise P11.675 billion from a stock rights offering later this month to finance land acquisition.
Shares in SM Development -- which recorded a 24% increase in profits to P1.3 billion in the first half due to the strong take-up of new projects -- shed 3.77% or P0.40 to close at P10.20 apiece yesterday. -- Neil Jerome C. Morales